Monday, October 12, 2015

Motorcycle Safety Training

I must confess I’m disappointed with motorcycle safety training. I now understand why some riders never take a training class. I understand why some disparage training. A longtime bona-fide rider should be excellent with danger management and technical precision. With that said, I’m stunned with behavior I find in supposedly professional "experts".

Every year I tried to fit in one training class, but some of the trainers the US Motorcycle Safety Foundation is sanctioning are not very good. Nothing is perfect but with all the training happening along with, better bikes, better gear, the accident stats aren’t improving.

I believe training can be better, or more accurately the trainers. In the years I’ve been attending training classes I’ve experienced the following personally or witnessed it happen.

The brand of bike

Making disparaging remarks towards the motorcycle a student road to class, needs to go. Cornering a student and asking, “So, what made you buy foreign?” “Um…I got a good deal on a used first bike?” The response… “I’m a proud union man, and it’s why I ride American.”

The gear

Stopping class to make remarks about a student’s gear; with taunts like “I’m a true American” as a reason to not buy foreign gear. It’s especially puzzling when the instructor rode a Honda to class. Most all gear today is made in China or somewhere close.

The "not in my club" attack

There's all different kinds of riders. There are commuters, thrill seekers, and long distance travelers, etc. I’d place my rider type in the “commuter” category. I’m not into being gansta. An instructor giving favoritism to fellow tough guys or ex-military should go. Sending a person out with an endorsement and the overconfidence that his “brother” helped him pass may put that rider in danger. Especially if they're a new rider.

Anger issues

Visible anger issues with the instructor when a student makes a mistake are not healthy for the class. Instructors asking for post class feedback and training improvements should be charitable with feedback. When an instructor hears something they don't like or agree with, they corner and verbally attacks the student after class. That should go to.

Weird gesturing

Don't do odd and strange out of the norm gestures out on a training range. When an inquiring student asks what’s going on, now were onto the next phase (insert instructor anger issue here) where the student was expected to be a mind reader.

Name calling

Calling students stupid, numskull, etc. creates resistance and builds learning barriers. This isn't a boot camp. Calling competing instructors from other schools incompetent f*cks or other like names is childish.

To you professional "experts" who I looked up to, you ruined my confidence...thanks. I’m done with financially subsidizing this kind of behavior.