Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Motorcycle Rider Training can start at any age. I recently received an email with a video attached that showed a proud father with his 8 year old son who had just completed an off-road riding course on his own mini off- road motorcycle. The father, Daniel, taught his son, Gilad the correct way by enlisting him in a recognized off-road riding school. Daniel was concerned about teaching is son the correct riding position. He pointed out to Gilad that concentration is needed to do things right. Daniel made sure full protective clothing and helmet were worn at all times. Modern technology, a helmet camera was used to show Gilad that his riding skills were good but he needed to look further ahead. I was amazed how fast an 8 year old, eager youngster picks up riding on dirt roads, how his concentration never wavered and how proficient he already was in handling sand, gravel and obstacles on his path. Bravo Gilad!
My motorcycle riding training started when I started riding a bicycle. Not a motorcycle, but just a bicycle. I peddled every day for hours until the age of 16 when I could finally ride a moped. It was a big step up, it had a 50cc motor and the moped belonged to my mother. Technically, I just rode her ‘bike’. Training? What training? The rules of the road were self-evident when I rode my bicycle in rush hour traffic in my home town in Germany. The transfer to a motorized ‘bike’ was just that, a faster, easier way to get around.
When I started riding a fully fledged (1100cc Goldwing) motorcycle again, after years of just driving a car, I took the advice of a colleague and started off my motorcycling by attending an MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course in the U.S. It was the beginner course and funnily enough, the first thing the instructor did was to test us on a bicycle by telling us to ride around some cones on the tarmac. He wanted to see if we could ride a bicycle before we were allowed on a motorized version. I passed the MSF course and later obtained my motorcycle licence in the U.S. at the DMV (Dept. of Motor vehicles) test site. To further my skills riding a motorcycle, I took the Intermediate test, and later the Advanced Test, also given by the MFS.
Before Helge Pedersen (GobeRiders.com) takes someone on a long trip, Helge requires that each person knows how to ride on ‘Fire-roads’ so I passed that test as well. Fire-roads are rough roads like that cut by the forest service to help trucks get to log sites. Years of riding since, taking off-road courses on smaller bikes near Barrie, Canada and track days at Shannonville, ON hone my skills further, even today. There is a lot to learn and the learning never stops no matter what age.
Which all sounds great from the rider’s perspective, but how about the people who teach the skills of motorcycle riding? I know what I get out of taking a course! What do they get out of teaching those small details, the tricks of the trade? You never thought about that? Well, let me tell you, I was stunned when I looked deeper into this question. Sure, most instructors get paid for their services, but it is a mere token pay. None of the people I talked to, and I talked to nearly 100 of them, do it just for the money. So what is it that makes them spend hours, days, weeks, years teaching and teaching and again teaching on many summer weekends?
I had the privilege of visiting a School of Continuing Education at a College near Toronto, Canada and witnessed part of their Motorcycle Training Program. This program was developed in Ottawa, ON in the early ‘70s and several years later, imported to the USA to become the state sponsored MSF program. The Canadian version is taught all across Canada and is sanctioned by the Canada Safety Council. All instructors must pass a rigorous, strict Instructor Training Program. Each Instructor Candidate must take 100 hours of classroom courses, learning and practicing Principles of Learning and course content, plus shadow an experienced instructor for 2 weekends (Thursday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday – 20 hours each weekend). In addition, the first weekend in April of every year, every instructor must take a ‘Refresher’ Course. This is mandatory for each calendar year. That is another 20 unpaid hours each year. The total hours, before anybody can teach adds up to 160 hours, or let us say a whole month’s worth of training before anybody can call themselves an instructor. Wow!
Amazed? Well, how about if I add to this that the Instructors have to pay to take the Instructor Training Courses, too?
Yes, they have to pay the College to take the basic courses needed! Plus they even pay for parking, which is not free at the college parking lot. Add to that the travel time, the gasoline to go to school, the hours of homework. All of this is done on a volunteer basis. No pay is received. Just the opposite, it costs money to help others learn needed skills and safety precautions.
I am stunned. Why would anybody do that?
Over the last five years, I have visited this Canadian training program off and on. At random I visited some courses just as an observer. I sat in on a classroom session. I spoke with many of the instructors at length and just had to write this compliment to them by showing in my blog what I saw:
I report to the best of my knowledge, without prejudice or malice intended. Yes, this reporting person is fictitious but true to the cause.
Here are 3 scenarios and while the facts are true, each person is fictitious.
The winter was harsh and the cold is still in the air. Snow still covers the edge of the parking lots and some residual effects of thaw and freezing left areas of the tarmac wanting for repairs. It is Thursday and I had a tough day at the office where the work load was stressful and never ending. This is the first weekend of April and for me that means the beginning of Motorcycle Training here in Canada.
I am an Instructor, my name is Dan, and each year this refresher course signals my calling. I am looking forward to meeting my colleagues tonight. I get a lot of hugs from everybody. I came a little early tonight to be able to chit chat with some close friends and just shoot the breeze. I do like these guys and gals around me. All of them seem to be a bit like me, they have the urge to help others. We talk about what we did all winter, where we intend to spend some time this summer and what is new in our lives or with the bike we ride. Some of these people I saw during the winter at Motorcycle Shows where they stood in a booth advertising this course we are teaching. I smile when they talk about sore feet from standing all weekend at that booth and kid them about it now, knowing quite well what it feels like to stand in one spot for hours on end. We are having a great time getting together here and I really cherish this little bit of together time before we get serious about the program we are teaching.
It is great to greet my like-minded friends but there is so much to do before we can begin our practice teaching that the time seems too short. The Chief Instructor, John, asks for quiet and now we are paying full attention to the proceedings that take place each year. Everybody is accounted for and the official meeting begins. Annie reports that all the stored bikes have been serviced and repaired and are up to the tasks ahead. I remember helping last fall to winterize the bikes. We have about 85 bikes to take care of and it is a lot of work. But with all the camaraderie it was also fun spending time cleaning each bike, greasing the chains, removing batteries, changing oils and filters and giving each bike a thorough check. I feel it helps me get to know my own bike and teaches me some proficiency in dealing with mechanical things. It is just a great get- together and while we work, we chat, too.
I took my First-Aid course during the winter as required, had my driving record printed out from the MTO office showing that my driving record is clear, studied my manual again to update myself with course content and in general prepared myself for this year’s teaching as an instructor. I am glad we have email; it makes things easier and really helps to stay up on the latest changes. It is so much better than years ago, when we had to call from a landline to coordinate everything. I look back some 30 years now and I am still as enthusiastic about helping other riders as ever.
I hand in all my paper work to Shelly or Brian and put myself on the roster. The atmosphere around me tonight is like in a frantic University Classroom. The professors (the Chiefs) report on the latest news and give us details on the next 2 days in the field. We have to spend 2 full days on the parking lot where we practice teaching and demonstrating each exercise. We go through the same course as the students and are out on the parking lot all day Saturday and Sunday. Each Instructor must complete this weekend and must pass the” MOST” (Motorcycle Operator Skill Test) at the end of the weekend. It is the same test the students must pass. Past performance means little. This is serious here tonight, it is a new season and we, the instructors, must know our subject and must be competent before we can pass on what we know to the incoming students.
Early registrations already show that there are many new riders this year that want to learn from us. The first three courses are totally sold out and Spring fever has not even begun. It is hectic, but fun! The camaraderie with my like-minded fellow Instructors is like an adrenaline rush. I love the feeling of being useful and able to help students evolve from a total novice to a reasonably competent beginning rider. I take my responsibilities seriously and will make sure that the new students get a good foundation on which to build their riding skills. That is why I am here, that is why I teach.
“Judy”, a Senior Instructor, reporting from a wet Saturday Training day
Today, Saturday, is my day off from my regular work, yet I got up at 5:45 AM to be here, at the riding range at 7:15 AM. The heavy rain makes this a dreadful day. It pours down in buckets at the moment. The weather forecast gives me intermittent heavy showers with light rain on and off all day. I inspect the parking lots where we teach and determine that yes, it is ok to go ahead and let the students ride in such conditions. There are no big puddles, just wet surfaces and that is ok and safe for our exercises today.
A lot of work needs to be done before the official start time. I unlock the trailers that hold the bikes and make sure that in general, all is well. We have a make-shift ‘office’ with the very basics inside one trailer; first aid kits, fire extinguishers, helmets hanging on the walls, some gloves, raingear in different sizes, files and instruction sheets, two desks and chairs to sit while doing the paper work and that is about it. Today we will most likely be selling the raingear we have at our basic cost of $15.00. Rain gear helps but also makes one hot and sticky. It is the middle of July and the air is already humid and hot. I see my instructors walking towards the trailers and after greeting them, give instructions as to how many bikes we need for the day. They begin to line up the bikes on the parking lot and check each one out. Instructors will insure that the students hand in their take home test, are properly clothed for riding, and have added their names to their helmets so that we can start punctually on time.
Today I have 8 Instructors and we will be teaching 40 students all weekend. I will coach individual students who need extra help and will move between the groups all day and help out Instructors where needed. I have already decided which Instructors will be grouped together and which students they will have. I have grouped students by level of experience so that the Instructors can spend more time covering the basics for the Novice Group and the Experienced Group can have more challenging exercises. I want this day and tomorrow to run as smoothly as possible. I want the students to have a wonderful experience and truly learn the best way to ride their bikes. I know I am laying the foundation for most of the students and I am aware that the basics we teach here are fundamental and life lasting. I am in charge today and I will work to make sure our combined motorcycle riding experience and expertise will be handed down to this new generation of riders that are due to arrive soon. I see to it that while we are very serious about our commitments, our groups also enjoy the weekend and have fun.
My load of paperwork is huge. I need to track the students’ performance for the College and the Ministry of Transportation. Last Thursday evening, two other Instructors prepared those information sheets with all the details while I taught the theory portion of the program. There was not enough time during the four hour class to complete all the paper work, yet it is my responsibility to ensure that it is complete and correct. I took the paper work home after the Thursday class and reviewed and completed it on Friday night because I feel better when I know nothing has been omitted. The devil is in the details.
The first students have arrived and it is not yet 7:45 AM. Good thing they are early, because if they come after 8:10 AM, I cannot let them continue as they are already behind in the lessons. Each lesson builds on the previous one so must be done in sequence and it is impossible to catch up on missed lessons. So I warned everyone on Thursday night, no late comers, I need everybody to be on time and have the proper riding gear. I do not mince words, I tell all students what is expected of them and that this weekend is a very serious affair. It could be life-saving so I insist that they listen and comply.
Our routine has been practiced and honed over many years. Each Instructor knows what needs to be done but I leave it up to them to volunteer for the specific tasks during the weekend. Some tasks are at the beginning of Saturday; some are at the end of the program. The training the Instructors receive and their enthusiasm is so great that I can truly say it is excellent team work.
Our rider training in the field begins with the very basics, like putting on a helmet the proper way, and walking the bike to make each student aware that a bike needs to lean slightly when being walked. Each student will apply the handbrake to stop while walking it and put the bike on the side stand and/or the center stand. Each part of the exercise is explained and demonstrated by an instructor. Students are encouraged to ask questions to clarify instructions. We do not take chances by assuming simple things are known by each student. After this getting acquainted with the bike exercise, the large group of 40 is divided into smaller groups and the students walk their bikes to their respective learning areas that I have already assigned. These smaller groups of about 12 - 14 are now strategically distributed across the large exercise area so that there is no interference with each other.
This is the moment, when the smaller groups are formed, that each instructor introduces him or herself and gives a little personal background. Then each student states their name, riding experience and bike(s) owned. It is at this point where we try to make all feel like a small family that hopefully will have fun and learn together. From now on, most of the course work will be done in the smaller group. Each lesson will be first explained and then demonstrated by Instructors. Students will then practice the lesson and be individually coached. Nothing and no one is left out.
The practices will go on all day. Getting on or off the bike and proper sitting position will be taught. Each group will form ‘pairs’ that push each other on a bike to learn how to stop on a designated spot using the front and the rear brakes together. Shoulder checks are required every time the student starts any exercise. The list of things to learn goes on and on.
At some point, after each student learns the basics and the feel of a machine without the motor running, we teach them how to start the motorcycle engines. Each student will start riding the bikes slowly with an Instructor beside them until they are safe to “move off” and come to a full stop on their own. We do this over and over until they can do this smoothly since this is a major part of any riding. We cover gear shifting up and down, hand signals and more practice on shoulder checks and then move into slow riding skills. All the time the instructors watch each student carefully to see who needs extra help, who is good in their balance and who might need special instructions. The Senior Instructor, me, will walk from group to group to observe but also to talk to students and give them advice and counsel if needed. In this way the program developed by the Canadian Safety Council progresses ever forward, hour after hour. Our program is a constant building of new skills that teaches fundamentals and builds confidence. The exercises are designed to practice new skills but also to strengthen mental abilities and attitudes. Motorcycle riding is, after all, a very mental exercise and attitude is everything.
The rain forecaster was correct, intermittent showers with occasional heavy downpours on and off. The day is cloudy and humid and wet. Not the nicest way to learn how to ride a motorcycle but we teach, rain or shine. We are prepared for this kind of weather and it is a good lesson for the students too, to be at the mercy of the elements is part of motorcycle riding.
A lunch break from noon to 1.30 allows each of us to not just eat but also to think about what we have accomplished and to reflect and even anticipate what more is to come. I use part of this time to recheck the paper work and to get some feedback from the instructors.
Again, we start the afternoon program at exactly 1.30 PM. late comers are not allowed to continue. Now that I have a good idea of the progress of each group, I can fine tune some student’s needs. It is essential that each part of each practice becomes so ingrained that it becomes second nature. The shoulder check for example, is very important but some students need reminders. I talk to those students, pointing out that a shoulder check can be life-saving.
We spend another 4 hours after lunch teaching and practicing riding over and over in the parking lots. The groups continue building their repertoire of skills. The list is long and demanding. Learning curves covers many techniques, outside-inside-outside tracks through a curve, and acceleration and stopping in a curve.
By about 5 PM I notice the enthusiasm usually starts to fade and the realization sets in that this is hard work. We are very vigilant at this point to make sure the students will not make painful mistakes due to fatigue. We will suggest to all students to stop if they are tired and will even make this suggestion to some individual students. The students have learned a lot of new skills up to this point but start to get weary, but for sure the instructors feel the full day on their feet, walking for hours, too. Being on one’s feet all day long walking around from student to student, setting up and removing pylons, interacting without even realizing that one is standing and walking does have its toll at the end of the day. My feet hurt. While the instructors walk within each group, I am required to walk from group to group, too. My daily walk is a little longer and farther than the normal instructor. I learned, by using a pedometer for one weekend that as a regular instructor I would walk 42,943 steps or 29.63 Km over the 2 days of teaching in the field. As a senior instructor I can add even a few more KM to that count. Did I say my feet hurt?
It is at this point, but latest at 5.30 PM that we stop the practice for today.
I still have to make sure that all is secure here before I can go home and soak in a bathtub with Epson salts; each bike needs to be put back in the storage trailer, the helmets need to be neatly hung back on the wall, notes need to be left on bikes requiring repairs, the office must be left neat and all of our equipment, cones, signs, etc, will be locked up and secured. Only when all is done does my day end at the practice range! A bit weary and yet satisfied that I did the best I could to make the next generation of motorcycle riders better, safer riders and in the hope that I might have even saved a life down the road, I smile and will be back tomorrow morning, early !
Sunday forecast is for more intermittent showers with heavy rain on and off. Yuk! Good night!
Ken, the new kid on the block!
Howdy, I am Ken! This is my second year teaching folks how to ride a motorcycle so I am considered a Newbie Instructor. No, there is no official title like Newbie but I have the least teaching experience on this weekend. My dad was an Instructor and I have followed in his footsteps. I have been riding bikes since I was little and you better believe that my Dad made sure I learned the right way and instilled into me all the safety attitudes and skills needed. My Dad is a good guy. He loves motorcycles, just like me. Or should I say I love motorcycles just like my Dad?
Anyhow, I am here today, hot and hotter on this Sunday to get all these folks to understand that motoring is not just a joy ride, but a serious, sometimes even difficult way of exercising a sport. I have developed good muscle memory because I was taught correctly. I can ride any of the practices needed here perfectly. The senior instructor loves for me to demonstrate because I do it right, I do it well, and I do it without errors. I always shoulder check. I use the brakes properly as needed; I ride the curves with my eyes up and in a fluid style without ever losing control. Like I said, the others love for me to show how it is done. Not that they cannot do it, just the opposite. Those guys and gals here are great riders themselves. Some of them have ridden for years and have honed their skills along the way. I know of a few that rode worldwide and I have seen them ride and I can tell you, they awe me. Nobody is ever perfect but those guys are good.
It is so hot here today that some spots on the tarmac feel soft under my feet. Add to that the humidity and then wear a helmet and long sleeved jacket and boots and riding pants and you can understand that the students today are in for a hot day. Yes, everyone brought lots of water and we encourage the riders constantly to drink and stay hydrated. We do not want them to get ill but want them to love this sport. Yesterday we did the basics and started on the curves, but today we need to get them a good feeling that what they leaned is useful.
We start off today by gassing up all the bikes and then assist the students to do a 10-point safety check on their bikes. Some have never checked air pressure and often we need to add more air to the tires.
We next set up a pretend road system with intersections, stops, curves and a lane change. The Senior, Judy, will explain the exercise. All 40 students will pretend they are in real traffic and will use the proper lane position, hand-signals and shoulder checks. There are stop signs, one way ‘Streets’ and two way roads. Students may NOT pass each other. Shifting gears up and down is called for and very moderate speed is encouraged. After each stop the shoulder check must be performed. We teach them to look where they go. It is fun for each rider but also a way to find out how they are performing. Not only will each student evaluate them self, but we Instructors can see which student has a weakness and will be calling them aside to explain what they need to work on.
After that exercise we will do curves in every aspect. Students learned Thursday night that most motorcycle accidents with no other vehicle involved happen in curves so the students practice over and over until we see that they can do it correctly. They must be able to get up to 30 kph and stay within the curve to have mastered this lesson.
It is a lot of walking for me, but I am fit. I make sure, though, that each student has a correct mental picture of what they have to do and then it is up to them to do it. The Sunday morning flies by, the hours tick away fast and it is noticeable how the confidence of each rider increases. It is like watching someone crawl, then walk, then start to run. Amazing how fast new skills can be learned if taught the correct way.
The suns shines on us, we have been walking around this hot asphalt for hours already. Suntan lotion and sunglasses are a must. I even put a cover over my neck because I can feel the heat of the sun beating on me. I do feel badly for the riders in full outfit but it is a must. Somebody just made a wrong move, and fell with our training bike. No big deal, but it proves that the protective clothing is needed. The guy just got up, dusted himself off and with a smile did the same curve again and this time, nailed it perfectly. Never the less, I walked over to him and asked him if he is ok, checked the bike and told him to drink some water. Hydration is important to riders. We are exposed to the weather. It is not like sitting in an Air Conditioned car.
By now the students have learned the basics of motorcycle riding and it is time to work on some emergency manoeuvres. We will teach them how to stop quickly and smoothly and how to swerve quickly around an obstacle. Students are usually surprised how quickly a motorcycle can stop but they will learn that swerving is often the best choice because it gets the rider away from the problem.
The training has been good this morning, I predict that most if not all will pass the test that is coming up this afternoon, but then... what do I know. Some people are very good in a group, but when they have to test they somehow freeze and try to over compensate. Nerves get in the way. But that is for later.
Right now, my stomach tells me it is lunch time and a respite from the heat and sun and a place in the shade sounds really ‘cool’.
I take my boots off during lunch. While I have good feet, standing on the hot asphalt is like standing on a stove top. It feels good to just cool off a little and eat something light and drink lots of water. Phew it is hot! The humidity does not help at all.
After lunch, we start to prepare the students for the tests that are due in about an hour or so. They have practice time now and we continue to coach them giving them help and correcting anything we see that might develop into a bad habit if they continue to do it wrong. I saw a girl put her right foot down instead of the left when stopped. I got her to use the footbrake when stopped. That fixed that. It is impossible to put the right foot down when it is on the brake. She will be ok in the long run; it’s just better someone tells her now before she starts this bad habit. Another rider I noticed, rode with his toes pointed down toward the ground. I talked to him as well. I made him understand that he could really get hurt if his foot gets hung up someplace especially at higher speeds or in curves. He was aghast and I noticed later made the corrections when riding. Good for him, good for me to be able to help him understand. Those small things matter. Besides learning the in and out’s of the bike, body position is very important on a bike.
I watch our group very closely and our Senior Instructor comes by and talks to some people, too. She has the hardest job, if you ask me. Not only does she have to coach but also handle all the paper work for the course this week. One day I might be on her level. She has been riding a bike for many years and has been teaching this course almost as long. Every year she has helped people and some instructors even learned under her tutelage. Awesome! I know a lot about her. Her late husband, taught as well. He even taught the Police Department how to ride their bikes. Awesome! I wish I were this good.
It is now about 3 PM and after a break, it will be time to do the testing to see if each student passes this course and with that gets an upgrade on his license from M1 to M2. Canada has Graduated Motorcycle Licences, not like in the U.S. Anyhow, the testing starts and a lot of people are a bit nervous. But I notice, too that a lot are smiling because I can see they have learned during the last 2 days, they KNOW what they can do. They have confidence and are ready for this test.
The test is formal and rather regimented. Each student must do the exercise according to the instructions or will get demerit points. Each “mistake” is worth a few demerit points and too many demerit points will result in a failed test. Yes, they can retest a few weeks later by appointment but I leave these details to the Senior Instructor to sort out.
We give the ‘Motorcycle Operator Skill Test’ (MOST) to each student. It is designed to evaluate their performance on several exercises that put together all the skills they have been taught all weekend. It is sanctioned and approved by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and can only be administered by a Senior Instructor who has been granted Signing Authority by the MTO. The rest of us Instructors will help by demonstrating the exercises, recording the comments from the Senior, lining up the students in order and putting away the bikes as the students finish the test.
My job now is to note carefully what the examiner comments about the student’s performance. I am not an official Tester, I can only assist. I cannot make the decision if one fails or passes. That call is up the Examiner, in this case our Senior Instructor, Judy. With that in mind I volunteered to be the Recorder, writing down all the comments being called out for each student that just did the exercise. Judy calls out the seconds it took (she uses a stop watch) for the student to ride a measured distance followed immediately by an “OK” to show the exercise was done properly. From that we know that the student had a certain minimum speed and made no mistakes (went outside the lines, put a foot down, stopped properly etc.). I just write down what I am told.
The actual interpretation of the numbers I leave to the Examiner to call out. Each student must perform the exact same exercise. Each student is given the same test. Each student totally passes or fails as their skills dictate. All are tested under the same conditions; one student at a time, same test. We instructors take on a neutral position, we just record what we see and measure. All numbers and times are passed on to the Examiner.
Pass all of those and you pass the test.
The feelings of the students are palpable. A call out of “good job” here and there calms nerves down and like always in motorcycling, it is the mental strengths that make all the difference. The mental focus needed to stay strong and the interaction between what has been leaned and now needs to be applied is measured. Not passing this test does not mean the student is not capable of riding. Some just need a little longer to let the newly learned skills sink in. They just need more practice. Like I said before, they can retest at a later date. But for today, we progress, one test at a time, one student at a time. Everyone is on edge in a way. Adrenaline pumps through the students veins. We instructors have to keep them calm and just report. Do each test according to what we have been taught and not make judgement calls, just go by the numbers.
After the last student has performed the last exercise a definite relief pulses through the groups. It does not take the Examiner too long to see who passes and who failed and complete all the paperwork for the MTO and the College.
Today we did great, all of the students passed and the mood shifts from anxiety to elation. Grins are seen on many faces, a wonderful feeling to see how much effort was put into this course, how much it has meant to each student and how emotional everybody is about passing. It is wonderful to see the happiness on each student’s face and how they cannot wait to tell their family they passed. Some are already on their cell phone to call ‘home’
The course is over! We have new motorcycle riders in our midst. We taught them! We taught them how to ride safely; we taught them how to survive out there in the streets, on the highways in the years to come. No, I taught them! I helped make them better riders, make them live and enjoy Motorcycle riding.
I am the one that can truly say: “Welcome to the riding experience, buddy!”
And he or she knows what I mean when I say: “Keep the shiny side up”! See you on the road!
32 years and still going strong
Meet Carol, she rides, she teaches, she fixes and she loves motorcycles.
She is the Canadian Ambassador for the Motorcycle Clubs of Mexico.
She is the High Mileage Winner in 2007 for the BMW MOA club with almost 50,000 KM ridden on a BMW in a 6 Month time period.
She made her “Iron Butt” ride with a certified 1000 Miles ridden in under 24 hours.
She rode a bike as far North as Alaska and as for North as you can go in Norway, all the way up to the Nordkap.
She slept inside the Polar circle in a tent while visiting Norway in cold October days and spent days in better comfort on an exhibition vessel in Antarctica while visiting the penguins.
She collided with a teenage moose while riding her bike, killing the moose. Carol never even went down.
Carol has seen many parts of the world; mostly via Motorcycle.
She can be proud of her accomplishments.
Meet Carol, a smart but also tough woman who knows about Motorcycles.
Of all her achievements, too many first prizes and accolades to list here, she is most proud to have been an Instructor to new students.
Carol is one of those instructors listed above. She started teaching with her late husband Norm. She was in her 40s when she started but has taught every year since. She never failed a year without passing on her skills or knowledge to new riders. She felt the physical pain to teach, ruined her feet from standing on asphalt for long hours in rain or broiling sun to pass along her safety instructions.
I cannot thank all of those instructors that teach each week, teach year after year.
I give Carol as an example but really mean to thank all of you instructors.
Carol is just an example of your dedication and commitment.
Thank you very much from all of us motorcycle riders for teaching us how to ride the correct way.
I am standing here with my helmet off to you all, held at my side and my head low,
Thank you! God Bless you!