Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sorcerer's Apprentice

It has been a while since I posted last, it has been busy at work and I've been busy at home, not to mention trying to catch up on yard work between rain showers. Fortunately since my last post, the rain has subsided, it has finally slowed some at work and we have actually had some sunshine and beautiful warm days allowing us to get in a ride or two the last couple of weekends.

Since Oregon spring consists of nothing but showers we certainly appreciate the sunshine yet remain cautious since the weather can turn on you quickly. We don't fully embrace the warm weather until July and are always looking over our shoulders watching for the gray clouds and telltale signs of rain.

A couple three weeks ago I spent one wet and miserable weekend teaching even wetter and more miserable students to ride motorcycles. Saturday wasn't too bad, but Sunday was blowing-sideways-wet. If I'm running around setting cones, waving students through the exercises while wearing an extra 20 lbs. of riding gear, you know the weather sucks. But I truly feel for the students as they arrive on the range eager to ride wearing jeans, hi-top shoes and hardware store gloves only to be completely soaked to the bone by the end of the day. You can't blame them, many have never even sat on a motorcycle before so this is all new to them and they don't want to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on brand new riding gear quite yet.

They remind me of me when I first started riding; I got by with just an old denim jacket, jeans, worn out stompy boots, work gloves and poor fitting, garage sale helmet. I would get caught in the rain and scramble to find a garbage bag and design a makeshift t-shirt for rain gear, stuff newspapers in my jacket for warmth and huddle under overpasses until the shower passed, or at least let up some. My jeans would be soaked, my socks wicking water into my boots and my hands so cold and wet that I couldn't feel the controls. But just like I was back then, their spirits remain high and they continue to smile through fogging visors despite their uncontrollable shivering. In staging, they huddle over their motorcycles and stuff their numb hands around the cylinder heads praying for any sort of warmth that little 250cc motor will provide.

Whether they know it or not, they just experienced their first motorcycle adventure and now have a story to tell their non-riding friends, co-workers and family that solidifies the fact that motorcyclists are in fact somewhat mentally disturbed (insert maniacal laugh). Welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycles, enjoy the ride.

That weekend was also a great one for me despite the rain and it earmarks another page in my own journal. After numerous class audits, the Instructor Preparation weekend, hanging out at the range and teaching two more weekends I was signed off from an apprentice instructor...




I am now an Intern Instructor, which means receiving my instructor card, my name tag and letter of congratulations signed and "hand delivered" by The Legend himself. I have the full responsibility of an active instructor and will no longer have a mentor at my side to coach me, offer guidance or catch me if I mess up. My mentor will now be all the way across the range. You know how Mickey Mouse felt with all that water? It's time to sink or swim. The next challenge is to put everything I've learned as an Apprentice Instructor to the test by covering certain criteria and "meet standard" in two consecutive BRT courses to be signed off as an Active Instructor.

I got this.

It's supposed to be another nice weekend coming up so if I can catch up on some of the yard work and a bit of the home renovations maybe, just maybe I can sneak out to the range for a bit of a refresher.

And if you haven't been riding lately because of the weather, be careful out there, your skills might need a little refresher too. Ride safe. 


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18 comments:

  1. That's a great post..I loved every bit of it... but then, I'm a little disturbed myself. Had a great day riding with everyone on Saturday..just wandering hitting this road and that, was a much needed stress release from all the gray we've had lately. Nothing like good friends, good roads, and good weather for a great adventure.

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    1. Thank you sir. Saturday was awesome, it was great to get my mind off of work and just enjoy the sunshine and dry roads. Looking forward to more days like that.

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  2. Congrats on your new status! I can remember all those new rider feelings and excitement, confidence and fear all ran through me at the same time and it was the calm kindness of the instructor that helped me be successful. Good on you!

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    1. Thank you Dar, as a new instructor I have those same nerves but I know that they are more afraid of me than I am of them....right?

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    2. Lol - I dunno I think I would be more afraid of someone who has never ridden and now has throttle control of 250 to 500cc ponies and ay not have good aim. Never turn your back on 'em. Lol

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  3. Great post Brad...best you have written. and well done by the way

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    1. Thank you Roger... and thank you Roger. It is good to be past our seasonal rush and get back to riding, blogging and honey do projects (in that order).

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  4. Troubadour:

    congrats to the new "mini Legend" (in the making). It must have felt nice to move up another level. Too bad life's pressures keep you away from the "Honey do" list

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

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    1. Wow, wing commander and now mini Legend? I wonder how long before I earn the name IronBrad?

      Thank you Bob and fortunately honey likes to ride too so I am prioritizing between the honey do list and the honey want to do list.

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  5. Troubadour....I am full confidence you'll do fine as an Intern Instructor and will soon become an Active Instructor.

    The legend will be watching I am sure.....

    dom


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

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    1. Thanks Dom, the Legend does have his ways.

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  6. WooHoo! Congratulations...you are well on your way and having fun. Remember, strict but safe. Hehe.

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    1. Thank you Lori, it is a lot of fun and I am having a blast.

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  7. Congrats to getting to the next level. Just going by way you're writing this marvelous post I am absolutely confident that you will be an awesome instructor.

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    1. I will do my best to meet your expectation and I thank you for your vote of confidence.

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  8. Good for you! But you've got to get out there, it's supposed to be 78 degrees this weekend!

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  9. Thanks and no worries, I've been out there. We tore up Hamm Road and CG/Lorane Hwy last Saturday. (You might want to let the residents calm down a bit before riding that area again).

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  10. So Dom is sure that the Legend will be watching. And you say the Legend has his ways. Who was out in the rain with you on Sunday, who helped gas up bikes and put them away in the rain while you gabbed with your mentor instructor?

    Who was watching you do such an outstanding job in your first intern class this past weekend while supervising another range instructor prep session on the other parking lot? Congratulations for not only meeting standard in your first intern class but exceeding them!!

    Still, though, IronBrad? Puhleease!

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