Couple things happening all at once with the MSF gig.  This past weekend I took the Basic Rider Course as a student as per the requirements to become a rider coach, and aside from the cold and rain it was a lot of fun.  My group had all kinds of riders in it - no experience up to riding veterans (myself and another Rider Coach candidate were in there), guys and girls, young and old, people into sportbikes, cruisers, you name it.

I met a couple more of the rider coaches who are already working and gained a lot of insight into how we teach, why we teach, etc.  One of them who works for ADKBMS is also a QA guy for MSF, so what he says pretty much goes, so a nice resource to have.

The good news?  Every person in my class passed the course.  The bad news?  I got dinged 6 points for putting my foot down once and not carrying enough speed through a corner.  So much for being a good example.  At least when I take the test to be a certified coach I'm allowed 10 points off, so I'm still safe and these are easy issues to fix.

I also went ahead an registered a DBA in my county (owning my own business, not a database analyst) with this websites namesake, so I'm just about all set on that front.  Next is to get a tax ID number and figure out exactly what I can deduct.  I'm told, since I opened the business before buying the new bike, that I actually might be able to claim the depreciation on the bike, so we'll see.

So, things to look forward to are the pickup of the new bike and the possible delivery of the Buell to a new owner... stay tuned!
 
Figures that this blog doesn't get updated for days, and now I have at least three topics I want to cover.  I'm going to space these out over three posts, hopefully over three days to keep everyone adequately entertained.

So we'll kick off this little trifecta with an update on my MSF Rider Coach training.  Yesterday was a cold one, but I headed up North to meet with the owner of the school and a handful of other new coaches to learn (in my case) and practice (in their case) the demos that we'd have to run for the students.

I originally wanted to ride the bike up, but while the cold that morning wasn't particularly bothersome, the idea that it would eventually mix with rain was (and it did for the last hour we were on the bikes and for the entire drive home - good call), so I left the Buell on the battery tender and took the car instead.  The demos were harder to ride than I thought they'd be, likely more to do with my needing to break some poor/different habits as opposed to the actual difficulty of the exersize.  What was interesting to me was that one of the first riding demos we did involved weaving through cones, and I found this to be among the most difficult of the courses we ran.  Things eventually setlled in nicely, however, I'm sure in part to getting used to the bike (I was riding a Suzuki TU250 that was just begging for a set of clip ons) which is much smaller, lighter and slower to do anything than any other bike I've owned.  It was also hard to do a demo according to how they want to demonstrate a technique as opposed to how I'd accomplish the same thing using a different, possibly incorrect style of riding if I were on my own.

Overall, I found that I learned a lot.  I don't know that I've picked up any majorly new skills, but there were some little tips and tricks I was shown that I think will work into my personal riding very nicely to make my time in the saddle a little more consistant.  This is going to be a good, fun challenge to master these demos.

Next up on the agenda is a LOT of reading material and then taking the BRC Course (the course I'll be certified for) as a student during the weekend of April 20th.
 
Well, it was an early morning for me for a Saturday.  I headed North today to sit in as guest for the spring company meeting of Adirondacks & Beyond Motorcycle Safety.  This meeting is meant to get as many of the MSF-Certified Rider Coaches together before the 2012 class season to go over changes in curriculum and other general announcements.  The owner, Marc, asked me to come to help immerse myself in the program and solidify my interest in becoming a Rider Coach.

What can I say - it seems like a very good group of people he has working for him and everyone that's there very obviously loves what they do, and that's reason enough for me to still be interested.  As the only person in the room who hadn't received any MSF-based rider training (there was one other guy who was only waiting to take the Rider Coach Prep Course but had already shadowed and taken the Beginner Rider Course), a lot of the material was a little vague to me.  But aside from the intricacies of specifically how the class is taught, I feel I got a rather good idea of the school is run and what will be expected of me.  I'm still very excited.

My next step is to get enrolled as a student in the class I'll eventually be teaching, then shadow the instructors for at least 3 full classes (1 class being Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday).  Then off to the prep course and I'm set to go.

Originally it was expected that the prep course would be offered in late August or thereabouts, but it seems that schedule has been adjusted for this year and it will be offered in late July instead.  This means that I'll need to compress my schedule a bit to get ready, but it also means if I can get it all in I'll have an opportunity to teach some classes before the end of season, working to both ingrain what I've learned into my thick skull and to also fatten my pocket a little bit as well.

I'm truly psyched for this and will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress.  It's going to be a busy year!