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BEFORE THE MSF COURSE

by SPEEDSLUG & FROGBIKER

Okay, you've signed up for your Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. What can you do to prepare?

If you have one, start wearing your helmet, say while watching TV, etc to develop your neck strength. All of a sudden, wearing a helmet for even a couple of hours gets very tiring. On the ankle covering footwear, if possible, any kind of sole except leather. Don't forget to tuck in the laces. Take your raingear or a change. Start squeezing a tennis ball or one of those hand grips during TV commercials. Hands not used to gripping and twisting also tire very quickly. Not making any assumptions on your conditioning, just that it does get physical out there. Take your favorite gloves, i.e. broken-in, yard gloves, whatever.

If you have access to a bike. Just sit on it and start getting familiar with the controls. One less thing to learn that day. Even then it will be information overload, but that's ok, it's just exposure to new concepts.

If it's been a long time since you've ridden a bicycle, go out and pedal till you don't have to keep your balance. At that speed, do some simple turns and leans. You'll find if you turn the wheel to the right, at speed, the bike will go left. They will explain it to you in class. For now just get a feel as to how it works. I think that knowing how a two wheeler feels during a turn is even more important than knowing/learning how to shift the darn thing. (you only use one or two gears in class).

Get plenty of rest before and during the course, this is not the time to start a new job. Remember to ask questions no matter how simple they may seem to you. Bring the right clothes for the weather. The classes are held rain or shine so bring rain gear.

If the temps are getting cool in your area, be sure to bring a warm coat to go OVER your long sleeves (if it warms up and you want to take the coat off, you will still need long sleeves).

If the temps are warm, be sure to drink lots of water or other fluids during the breaks. It's easy to overheat. Fatigue and dehydration can cause more errors - and we all know we don't want that!

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SPEEDSLUG is a frequent contributor to the Women Riders International (WRI) Forum and has generously allowed us to post his tips at here at RideMyOwn.com
FROGBIKER is a frequent visitor to the Women Riders International (WRI) Forum and took the MSF course at age 54 (and WAY out of shape!).

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