Friday, January 30, 2009

The MSF Basic Rider Course Part 1

I had gathered up the absolute minimum riding equipment needed to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundations Basic Rider Course. I had bought some riding boots and mesh backed riding gloves. I already owned a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I planned on wearing a long sleeve t-shirt; after all I live in Texas. Another critical piece of riding equipment is a helmet. I did not want to purchase a helmet yet for several reasons. I wanted to wait until after I bought a motorcycle because I might want it to match the bike. I needed some time to save up the funds. I also was unsure which type of helmet I was going to get. So, I planned on using one of the MSF course loaner helmets.

Now it was time to pick a weekend to take the class. A co-worker was also interested in taking the course in order to get his license so we picked an agreeable weekend and booked it. The class was about three hours Friday evening, eight hours Saturday and a little over half a day on Sunday. The website stated they hold the class rain or shine and to have proper attire for the weather conditions. The weather forecast for the chosen weekend was good, but this is Texas. The only good weather report here is by looking out the window and that is only good for about 30 minutes max.

As fate would have it, the closer we got to the weekend of the class, the worse the weather became. My co-worker backed out due to the inclement weather, among other things. Inclement, as in rain was forecasted all weekend. My thought was that motorcycling is like dancing with the elements and if I was going to ride I had better get used to it now. I did not plan on being a fair-weather rider. I wanted to ride every day that I could.

When Friday rolled around I had my gear packed in my car and was ready to go. I snuck out a little early from work to get to the first class on time. I ended up being the first to arrive at the small office complex where the class training was to be held. The riding part of the class would be held a couple blocks away at one of the local school stadium parking lots….

Ride on,
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gearing Up For The MSF Basic Rider Course

On my quest to get a motorcycle I had done a lot of research on-line and off-line. There is a deluge of information available out there. I read books, magazines, forums, blogs and websites. I also talked to a lot of other riders. As with anything, don’t take everything you hear or read as absolute fact. There is a lot of misinformation out there to.

One of the first things I needed to do if I was going to get into motorcycling was get my license. I already had my spouses’ approval, now I needed the states. I also found out some riders don’t have a motorcycle license but continue to ride anyway. I wonder if they have insurance? For the most part I have always been a law-abiding citizen. No need to change that now.

Everybody’s consensus was the easiest way to get the license was first to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation safety course. That way I would not have to take the riding test at the Department of Public Safety office. I would be able to just go in and take the written test to get my license. Either way, the MSF course was already on my things to do list before getting a bike.

I went back to the MSF website and found a local class held close to me in my city. There website has a wealth of information and I recommend it to any rider, old or new. The website listed several requirements including some riding gear, boots or shoes that covered your ankles, gloves and at least a long sleeved shirt. If you did not have a helmet they would provide one for you. So now I needed to start collecting some riding gear.

I picked up a pair of Motoboss Airflow Gloves, (mesh backed motorcycle gloves, this is Texas), from the local Cycle Gear store one day at lunch. A couple weeks later I had enough saved up for some riding boots. I was looking for a black biker boot that looked more like a cowboy boot than the regular engineer boot. One day at lunch I was browsing a local bike shop in Grapevine Texas called Biker Alley, which has since closed, and found what I was looking for. They were Harley Davidson brand and were a cross between an engineer boot and a cowboy boot. The price was reasonable; I had been looking for a while. I even had the funds to purchase them, so I did.

Now that I had the minimum amount of gear I needed it was time to plan and set a date to take the MSF course….
Ride on,
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Introductions and Purpose

Let me introduce myself. I am Torch. I ride a motorcycle named Mistress. I am a very inexperienced rider and have only been riding her now for about a year. I live in the D/FW, (Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas) Metroplex and commute a short distance to work almost daily on her. As of yet, (Jan. 29, 2009) ,I have not been on any long trips on her, but I plan to in the future.

The musings on this blog are for several reasons:

One is to document my experiences of picking up motorcycling in my middle years.

Two, is for shear entertainment. Humorous things happen down the road of life. Sometimes they are not very funny at the time and can even be downright frustrating. However, looking back in retrospect they can be hilarious. After all, if you cannot laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Three, is that others may benefit from my experiences and learn from my mistakes, failures, and successes.

Lastly, it let’s me hone up on my writing skills and someday, maybe, I could put them into a book one day.

Ride on,
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

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