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Rider's Edge Class Recap

by Carla

I've been wanting to take a rider course ever since I sat on a bike for the first time. My friend was a mechanic, cars and bikes, and had a little 50cc dirt bike that someone gave him. He fixed it up and taught me the basics on it: throttle, brakes, gear shift. I did first and a little of second gear up and down the rows of airport storage (where his garage was), but that was it. That's all it took for me to catch the bug. This was 10 years ago. I lived in Daytona Beach at the time and went to several Bike Weeks and Biketoberfests after that, always dreaming of the day I'd ride my own in, but money has always been a luxury.

About a month ago I finally got my rear engaged and paid my money for the Harley Rider's Edge class. See, I had heard stories of the state-run MSF. Others had taken it, including my sister, and they all said that Ed was a rough fellow. Apparently Ed doesn't teach the course, but you have to get through Ed (pay him your money) in order to get to the course. Another friend ended up having his course payment "lost" by Ed. So, already I was a little biased against the state-run course. I decided to spend the extra $75 and check out Harley.

The moment I walked into the Harley dealership, I felt better about that decision. The course manager here, Greg, is an extremely friendly guy. He is the epitome of customer service, in my opinion. He answered every question I had, patiently and calmly. He gave me all my materials, introduced me to a couple of students who were just coming back from their range ride, and overall made the process very friendly and easy. He explained the class schedule (5 days vs. state's 3 days) and the gear I would need for range days. He explained a little of what would happen on the range days. And then he gave me my homework.

Last night was spent on said homework. He gave me the MSF Handbook that has 4 pages of questions in the back. I'm supposed to read through the book (which incidentally is very easy to read and follow, unlike the DMV book) and mark down the pages where the answers to those questions can be found. The state course doesn't give you anything before you actually get to the class, so you're going in cold. I like that Rider's Edge gives you the book ahead of time, so you have some knowledge before you even get into the classroom. It seems a little less intimidating that way.

So that's where I'm at so far. I need to finish up the homework tonight. Thursday night 6-9pm is my first class night. Then I'll go back Friday 6-9:30pm. Range days are on the weekend, both days, 8am- 5pm. Then back to the classroom on Monday night 6-9pm to wrap up. If I successfully pass the driving skills test at the end of the second range day, then I'll only need to take the written test at the DMV to get my endorsement.

I'll try to remember to take notes and give everyone a lowdown of what happens for the rest of the course. Good luck to anyone else out there about to take a class! I'm excited about mine!  >> DAY ONE

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From Carla:
"I just started riding, about 4 days ago! I took the Harley Rider's Edge course after years of wanting to ride. I'm definitely hooked. I'm a member of the Delphi Women Who Ride forum and was asked to repost my
Rider's Edge recap here."

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