Monday, May 14, 2012

Wow, what a weekend!

Wow, time flies when you're having fun and boy, oh boy, have I been having fun.... and it's only just begun.  It seems I just wrap up one weekend on the "the range" and there's another one right around the corner. For you lady riders, my first intern and last class (4/28 - 4/29) consisted of 8 women and only 3 guys. Way to go ladies!

Me, my mentor Ben and eager students

Being an intern means that I get to teach on my own without a mentor on my shoulder but across the range. Ben was my mentor and we got synced perfectly even though we have never worked together before, as if we'd been teaching together for years....well okay, make that hours. Even with Irondad spying from the range next to us all weekend, I had fun and I met standard.

All by myself...

This weekend (5/12 - 5/13) was a whirlwind. First, I completed my second teaching assignment as an intern. All that hard work is paying off. I am required to 'meet standard' two consecutive times before being signed off as a full instructor, otherwise it is a one step forward two steps back scenario. Team Oregon is such a supportive program, all the instructors and mentors are positive, respectful and helpful so I wasn't worried in the least.  My mentor this weekend just happens to be my neighbor. He is a high energy guy and a lot of fun, we get along great and I was really looking forward to working with him. He came over to the house Sunday evening to deliver the news and congratulate me personally. Not only am I an instructor, but all twelve students passed both the skills evaluation and the knowledge test!!! Congratulations class, you were awesome!!!

It was a crazy busy weekend, I taught Basic Rider Training Saturday morning then Saturday afternoon I jumped from instructor to being a student in the Rider Skills Practice. Team Oregon graciously offered remaining spots available in the class to instructors so I jumped at the opportunity. I not only got to play with motorcycles all day, I got to ride!

First attempt of the circuit ride, cone 2

Initiating a lean

"What happened when you looked down at the cones?"

Swerving (full fork compression)

Second attempt of the circuit ride, cone 2

The RSP a great step up from the BRT, a course I encourage everyone to take every spring to refresh your skills after a long winter. I learned a lot and felt that I improved considerably by the end of the day. Three of us stayed after class and ran the circuit a couple more times and improved even more without the anxiety of being timed by the instructors.

Here is my second run.

To round off the weekend it was back to teaching Sunday morning then today I took the day off work to attend an instructor braking clinic. Learning to stop quickly from 70 mph (113km) on a closed course will certainly wake you up more than any quad shot of espresso coffee will.

This is what it does to your front tire.

I understand there are more photos floating around and hope they become available soon to share.

On Bobskoot's advice, we bought a GoPro Hero2 camera for our summer adventures and I've been playing around with settings, camera angles, tank mounts, helmet mounts and such but I don't really have anything worth sharing yet other than the unedited video above.

I'm learning that it takes hours of video to put together a decent two minute video and I can only imagine how much time and effort Mike dedicates to not only videoing his mountain bike adventures but the countless hours he spends editing. The results are fantastic and I can only hope to produce something as blog worthy. If not, I swear I can time lapse photograph my lawn growing.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, THIS is what May should feel like and I pray it stays this nice through October. It has been close to 90° all weekend, wasn't it just a couple posts ago I wrote about snow and how cold, wet and miserable my students were? Now that the weather has arrived what say we slow down just a bit to enjoy it. However, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month so my dance card is full with events, rides and classes. I'll certainly try to keep up on the blog, but in the meantime... get out and ride.



  1. Looks like a labor of love! Great job teaching more new riders how to be safe riders!

    Yes, you will spend hours editing video for just a few minutes of final product....just remember, most viewers have the attention span of a gnat and you must edit accordingly. :)


    1. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me and my journey has just begun, thank you Dom.

      I guess I better start banking some footage.

  2. Troubadour:

    I have learned to use shorter "clips", rather than long, more boring segments. When the scene changes more frequently it grabs the viewers' attention more

    I don't think I am capable of riding around the cones, like you.

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. I'm going to try and keep my videos to 3 or 4 minutes long with plenty of transitions but it's going to take some practice.

      Speaking of practice, you can ride around cones... it just takes good, strong head turns and some practice.

  3. Well done, you look very confident and abviosly getting some thing out of teaching. Just excellent!

    1. Thanks Roger, it wasn't a perfect run but my technique definitely improved throughout the day and prepared me for the braking clinic. I never thought I would get so much out of teaching but as you know, we truly do.

  4. Awesome! I am glad to see even an experienced rider does battle with the orange cones Fom HELL! It's great to see so many ladies taking motorcycle courses. From your writing I can hear the joy you get from teaching. Well done!

    1. Know your enemy, that cone was mocking me all day caling me slow and had it coming. Brandy heard my "AWW, MAN" from across the range and couldn't believe she caught it on camera.
      Thank you Dar, I am having an absolute blast teaching.

  5. Nice head placement in those shot. Just proves where you look is where you go.

    I got the Gopro Hero2 for christmas. Great little cameras. Took a little sorting out at first but now the vids are great.

    1. Thank you, turning your head has to be one of the most important techniques when riding.
      It is going to take me awhile to figure out all the camera can do but I am happy with it so far.

  6. Yay, Brad! Congratulations! That's an accomplishment to be proud of. And I also think it's super-awesome that your class was almost 73% women!

    1. Thanks Kathy, I am ecstatic and I immediately signed up for the next step to become a classroom instructor.
      I am surprised at the number of female riders signing up for the class, you go girls!

  7. Well done Brad, you're really getting into it and I guess we both understand Irondad's comments about the instructor getting more out of it than the student a lot better now.

    Impressive photos of you on the Tiger!

    1. Thank you Geoff, little did I know how much I would learn from teaching and yes, Irondad does have a way of putting things into perspective.
      Thanks to my personal photographer Brandy for the awesome action shots.


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