I apologize, for some reason; probably operator error or some technical difficulty Saturday nights blog didn’t get posted. This is my entry for Saturday August 28. 2010. Tonight’s blog will be posted later. Blessings, Tom
The good news for me is that I feel better tonight than I did last night. I’ve run 14 Marathons and I don’t know how many half marathons and I can’t remember feeling as bad as I did last night. I was totally exhausted both physically and mentally. When you are trying to learn rules and new motor skills while balancing on two wheels in 90 plus weather for hours, it takes it out of you. To be honest, at the end of the session last night I was wondering what in the world I was doing. Sure it was exciting, but I was sure tired. But I did get a good night’s sleep.
Today was much better than yesterday. We started on the range at 8AM while it was still cool. We were on the range until 3PM with a lunch break included. That means we were learning and riding for over six hours. That’s a long time in training. It really didn’t start getting hot until after 11AM, and it never was as hot as it was yesterday. We were all drinking PowerAde and Gatorade at every break to stay hydrated. Although the exercises were much harder today and the skill set that was required was much more detailed, I did much better. I was wrong in the fact that I thought we would review. We didn’t. We just started off on a new module first thing. I really picked up better than I left off yesterday. I must have been really tired yesterday afternoon.
Most of the day went very well. We were doing weaving through cones; ninety degree turns between cones, simulating driving in very slow traffic. Then we spent time shifting up and down going fast, breaking and practicing maximum breaking. All that was pretty good and the day was going great then we had the exercise that pretty much ate my lunch. We had a box, probably about 60 – 70 feet long and around 30 feet wide. In that box we were supposed to drive in, make a u turn, cross over and make another u turn then exit the box. So it really was like a figure eight in the box. Then we drove to a sharp S curve and then to a very sharp and narrow 90-degree turn. Then we entered and crossed the range and did it again on the other side in the opposite direction. It’s to learn to maneuver in close quarters. The hard part is staying slow enough and counterbalancing in the turns to stay in the box. If you get two slow, you stall out, too fast and you can’t stay in the box. Well, we get to practice it again tomorrow. I didn’t stay in the box a single time. I came close some, so maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to do it. The rest of the exercise was hard, but I was able to do it pretty good. Anyway, tomorrow we have the test and I feel pretty good if I can just continue to improve it should be OK.
The last part of the afternoon was spent in the classroom going over the handbook and discussing various safety factors and how to avoid excess risk. Obviously, riding a motorcycle has more risk involved than riding a car. You can’t avoid all the risk, but you can reduce them significantly by doing the things that we are learning in class. I guess the question everyone who rides a motorcycle has to ask themselves is this: Is the risk worth the rewards of riding? That’s why I really wanted to take this course so that I could truly evaluate whether I wanted to take the risk or not. What I’m learning shows me that I can ride safely and avoid much of what could happen. Does it take away all the risk? Of course not. Am I willing to accept the risk, knowing that I will do everything in my power to be a safe rider? Yes, I think so.
So, tomorrow I will find out how good I am, and hopefully I will get the certificate that will give me my license. I’m glad I took this course. It is really one of the most challenging things I have done in years, both mentally and physically. So, two down and one to go. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.