Finished my MSF BRC !!!!!!

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Greg .
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Finished my MSF BRC !!!!!!

#1 Unread post by Greg . » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:51 pm

Wooooooo Hooooooo !!!!!!!!! I didn't expect it would be that much fun!

I took the course Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. Wow, those were LONG days. Our instructors took a bunch of us from knowing next to nothing about riding to passing the skills and written tests. I actually feel somewhat comfortable on a bike now ... but not TOO comfortable. lol :D

I did feel stressed over the test, as I was the first to take each part. Nobody else would go first, so I did.

Here's the cool parts:

1) I HAD A BALL zipping through the slaloms ans weaves and the swerves.
2) Heck ... all the riding was fun! :)
3) I was actually getting APPLAUSE from the instructors after perfect practice runs. lol They really are great guys.
4) I HAD a perfect score going into the last practical section of the test. By then I was tired and a little nervous and I made a small screw-up. What annoyed me was that during practice I did it perfectly each time. What can you do? I think I'm better of for it in the long run. I know I can do it right. But the deductions will keep me from getting cocky.
5) I got a perfect score on the written test. :)
6) The three students who had little to no gear and had to borrow helmets were the best three riders in the class. lol
7) Some people made DRAMATIC improvements from the start to the end of the course. That was cool.
8) The instructors thought I rode before and even were asking me what kind of bike I had. At the end, they both told me I was a good rider, and told me (and another guy) that I could ride with them any time. :) :)

Here are the not-so-cool parts:

1) Even with 2 instructors and 11 students .... we had to WAIT and WAIT and WAIT for other people A LOT.
2) I wish we could have RIDDEN more and waited for others less .... but that's how it is with a bunch of noobies.
3) I know they need to be strict, but I thought that sometimes one of the instructors was unnecessarily or erroneously so. He "got on" a couple people a few times, and I just didn't see the justification (they were confused) or he had given ambiguous instructions. Don't get me wrong, he is a helluva nice guy and was great and friendly at the end. I know they have to be strict and there can be dangerous situations, but I think we had a lack of communication or understanding a couple times. (No, it wasn't me.)
4) On the practical test, they didn't TELL US how much we'd be penalized for different types of mistakes. So, we (and I presume everyone else) goes in blind, not knowing the best "strategy" to employ if they're weak on something or they want to recover from a mistake.
5) IMHO -- and I'm obviously no expert -- it was too easy for folks to pass the practical. We had ONE person fail, and he seemed to just be scared to death to ride faster than about 10 mph. We had other people who were pretty weak, and I am honestly concerned about them being out on the road. NOT MY CALL, just MY opinion and observation.

All in all, it was an EXCELLENT experience. One I would recommend to others without a moment of hesitation. Worth every penny I paid ( $150 at a local CC).

So now I go take the written DMV test soon and get my endorsement. One of the guys e-mailed me ... he ALREADY did it ! lol

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Re: Finished my MSF BRC !!!!!!

#2 Unread post by jstark47 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:12 pm

Congrats on passing your course! :kicking: Sounds like you had a great time.
Greg . wrote:5) IMHO -- and I'm obviously no expert -- it was too easy for folks to pass the practical. We had ONE person fail, and he seemed to just be scared to death to ride faster than about 10 mph. We had other people who were pretty weak, and I am honestly concerned about them being out on the road.
Just remember the old saying - passing the BRC..... qualifies you to ride in 2nd gear around parking lots! :laughing: It's a funny saying, but there's some wisdom there too - continuous practice and self evaluation is still necessary.
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#3 Unread post by Greg . » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:26 pm

Yep. I just hope for their sakes that they DO ride the parking lots until they feel comfortable. They really looked 'shaky' out there.

We had a great group of people. A lot of fun, joking around the second day, cheering each other on after each took the practical. We're keeping in touch. :)

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#4 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:03 pm

HORRAY!! Congratulations!!

Glad you had fun.

"Getting on" students is sometimes necessary for safety reasons. Things can go scary in an eyeblink. We can get "snappish" when surprised by something a student does. My apologies.

P
Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity - Alice Paul

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#5 Unread post by Velocity » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:26 pm

Greg:

Thanks for the report. It's always nice to hear how these things go for someone else.

How was the weather during your course?

What kind of bike were you riding, and what perspective has that given you on what you might buy?

Good for you for stepping up to be the first through the test.

In the course I took, they did not provide specifics about penalties for mistakes, but they did give us two pieces of advice.

One was not to quit. If you don't think you did well in a particular portion of the test, keep on going anyway. It may (or may not) be a failure - but it's a guaranteed failure if you quit.

The other was a sad story about a student in a prior class. The final test, she rode perfectly, got off the bike, tripped on a shoelace. Down she went, down went the bike, and automatic failure for dropping the bike. So they had us all check our shoelaces before we started the test.

Oh, and regarding the weaker students in the class - the one who failed, and the several others who were marginal? It could be that they will never go on to ride - and that's OK. The BRC is a good way to get some exposure to riding without a big investment. The weaker riders may decide that riding is not for them, and that may not be a bad decision for them.

I hoped that the whole class I was in would do well and pass. At least one in my class did not, but he was determined to improve and come back to retest.
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#6 Unread post by MTexile » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:23 pm

Glad you went through the test relaxed, makes it a breeze. Don't get too relaxed on the road after 500 or so miles. That's when Murphy will get you..well, he got me around 700, but that's another story...
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#7 Unread post by Greg . » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:50 pm

Velocity wrote:
How was the weather during your course?

What kind of bike were you riding, and what perspective has that given you on what you might buy?
The weather was warm (mid 80s F), dry, and sunny. It got hot with a full face helmet when I wasn't moving - even opening it up.

We were riding 250 cc bikes, mostly Honda Nighthawks and Rebels, but a Suzuki or two were mixed in there. Those poor bikes were pretty beat up, and I must commend our lead instructor for keeping them running in spite of all the abuse from us students.

The bike was physically too small for me, and (not bragging) I (and a couple other guys) could very easily handle the power from these bikes. I have concluded that I want something bigger with more power. Nothing crazy, but a twin in the mid-size range.

The thing about the marginal riders is that they have their gear and most already have their bikes -- and they are big bikes ... a Suzuki 1000 and I think a 900 and I think the rest are Harleys! I think they are all from "bike families", so I'm not so sure they will give up riding. But who knows? And it's their decision. I just hope they are safe.

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#8 Unread post by Velocity » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:10 pm

Those were some of the surprises for me when I took the BRC.

There were several students who already had bikes, and several who had been riding for years and years and were taking the BRC to learn how to ride more safely. Then there were those had been riding unlicensed, and who were taking the BRC as their preferred route to getting legal.

You have to wonder a little about the riders who already have bikes, and what led them to the choice they made. Just because you already have a bike doesn't mean that it's the right bike for you.
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#9 Unread post by PioneerUrban » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:58 pm

You have to wonder a little about the riders who already have bikes, and what led them to the choice they made. Just because you already have a bike doesn't mean that it's the right bike for you.

Exactly! I made some poor choices when it came to buying bikes. This time around, I have the perfect bike for me!

Congrats on passing your course! :)
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#10 Unread post by zeligman » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:07 pm

congrats greg! glad to hear you did so well!

I also had a perfect score on the written, but didn't do quite so well on the practical.

I needed another day on the bike to put all the pieces together more smoothly - or at least an hour or two to practice before the class.

since it was all new to me, coordinating all the parts took a great deal of my concentration. In terms of score, I was smack in the middle of the class.. some did better, some did worse. I met with the instructor after to discuss the areas where I needed work, and those stay with me as I ride every day.

but after 5 days of riding (finally got my bike) all the pieces are coming together, and I am feeling capable and confident in my ability to improve the skills i am developing.

every day I have 3 routes - one for cornering practice - (slow, look, press, and roll) a route for stops and starts for smooth shifting and quick stopping, and a route with right and left turns from stoplights at intersections - to practice placement, etc.

every day I get stronger in each of these areas, and it's AWESOME to feel those skills developing, not to mention the feel of riding itself.

I've also spent some parking lot time - doing slow figure 8's, cornering, and quick stopping.

wish i had a partner to do that with - working on that now. But when I started this, I suspected it would be an adventure, and it is - a wonderful one - occasionally scary, adrenaline filled, and actually difficult at times, but simultaneously rewarding as hell!

Have fun Greg! wish we lived closer!

-Z
still recovering - back to crutches, then walking with a stick, then running - then hopefully riding again!

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#11 Unread post by dean owens » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:17 am

congrats greg. it only gets better. now you get to shop for a bike. :wowza: and then some gear. and then, you get to go ridin'. it only gets better.
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#12 Unread post by Greg . » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:17 pm

Thank you, EVERYONE, for your advice and support.

I got my license today. :)

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