Sunday, February 1, 2009

The MSF Basic Rider Course Part 2

It was Friday evening and I had left work early and arrived at the small office complex where the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riders Course was to be held. I had arrived at the small two story office building fifteen to twenty minutes before the class was to begin. It appeared that I was the first person there, so I stayed in my old Ford Explorer and waited for more people to arrive. The small office complex was located not to far from a major freeway on one of the main roads running north and south through the Mid-Cities. The building itself already looked old and worn and in need of maintenance and minor repairs. The Texas climate is hard on buildings and everything else for that matter.

I did not have to wait long before several other vehicles started to arrive. Pretty soon people started to get out and gather at the entrance to the stairs leading up to the second story office where the course was going to be held. I got out of my vehicle and joined them. It was a good mix of people. There were two young guys that drove in together in an old pickup truck that looked like typical construction workers from the clothes and work boots they were wearing. There were a couple of well to do business types. There was also some nerdier looking middle-class types. I would say ages ranged from the lower twenties to mid fifties.

An older gentleman carefully pulled up on an older model Honda Shadow, parked his bike and removed his helmet. He was weathered and tough looking and handled his bike like a pro. Since he was riding a bike it was easy to assume that this was our Instructor. He dismounted and came over and introduced himself. Indeed he was the teacher for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course we were there to take. We went up stairs to the room the course would be held in and got the class underway.

The Room was small but adequate with several small tables set up with chairs around them. The air conditioner did not appear to be working and it was hot and stuffy inside. At the front of the class was a TV with a VCR hooked up to it. Everyone introduced themselves and told about how much motorcycling experience they had. Experience ranged from none to multiple years. Some had off road dirt bike experience. We had to fill out paperwork and sign a risk waiver.

We all got our MSF Basic Rider Course material and Handbook to study. And with formalities over we watched the Video about motorcycling and safety. The Instructor paused the tape in several places so we could answer questions and have discussions about the material. We then went though our workbooks given to us filling in all the blanks and marking the correct answers. The material was not that hard to learn and it would cover everything needed to pass the motorcycle license test. We also learned the "T-CLOCS" Pre-Ride Checklist and tons of safety information. We had to pass the course test in the morning before we got to proceed with the riding part of the course.

Ride on,


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