Learning to ride

So I signed up for motorcycle riding lessons yesterday. I didn’t end up going with Calgary Safety Council, but instead went with Too Cool Motorcycle School. Despite how the name sounds they come with an excellent recommendation from Dargie who used to teach riding himself. He says the school is run by a former partner of his and a former student of his, and the course material is based on what he once taught but with some improvements over the year. I’m going to go with that.

Much to my delight they’re actually starting classes in March and I was able to get in on one remaining spot for the classes starting March 19th. I can only hope conditions will be favorable, and given the way the weather has been lately I think my odds are pretty good. Plus, as Ronya said, if you learn in the worst conditions then you’ll be prepared for better.

Today I signed up for a motorcycle maintenance course at SAIT, which starts April 10th. I actually found out about it yesterday morning but didn’t sign up for it because the main prerequisite was that the student own and ride a motorcycle. I figure they’ll probably have you use your own bike to learn from, else why have the requirement? Anyway, I was initially a little disappointed about the timing since I didn’t think I’d actually get to take my riding class until mid-April as it was, but now I can take them both in order. Yay!

Now I just need to make sure I get my learner’s before March 2nd, which is the one day of in-class learning prior to the actual on-bike learning.

I tried my old leather jacket on this morning, just before leaving from work. It’s a little tight in the shoulders but otherwise serviceable. If I lose a little weight I’m sure it’ll be perfect. Or at least good enough for the class. I’ll also need some ankle high boots. I do still have an old pair of combat boots, I think, but their heels are so worn they’re a risk to my ankles when I wear them. I’ll have to take a look at some of my other boots. They expressly exclude cowboy boots so I don’t think they’ll accept my wedding boots. True, they do have a rubber sole, but they may have some other reasons for excluding cowboy, or “cowboy-like” boots and so I suspect it’d be best not to risk it.

They didn’t mention anything about a helmet so I believe I will have to provide my own. Not a big deal as I will eventually need one anyway. They also say they’ll provide gloves but past experience has me thinking I might want to try and get a pair of my own before hand. Most common gloves just don’t fit me.

I forgot to mention in my previous post just what kind of bike Ronya bought from her father. I believe it’s one of these, with what little I remember of the look of it making me think it’s the 550 E from either 1979 or 1980. Either way it’s in excellent shape from what I can tell.

I can’t believe how much I’m looking forward to this.

18 thoughts on “Learning to ride

  1. I’m actually a little jealous! When I was……14 or something, I really wanted to be able to ride a bike!! I think now I’d be too chicken. Heh.

  2. I’m actually a little jealous! When I was……14 or something, I really wanted to be able to ride a bike!! I think now I’d be too chicken. Heh.

  3. I get dibs on a ride when you are comfortable with passengers! 🙂

  4. Nah, now you’re more level headed and much less likely to take the risks that you would have when you were younger.

    At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 😉

  5. Nah, now you’re more level headed and much less likely to take the risks that you would have when you were younger.

    At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 😉

  6. Sure hon. We’ll have to make sure we have a spare helmet on hand. 🙂

  7. Sure hon. We’ll have to make sure we have a spare helmet on hand. 🙂

  8. Good luck on the motorcycle course! Bring your own gloves (and helmet), you’ll need them and they won’t have any that fit you. And a broken wrist sucks, which is what you get when your palm skin sticks to the pavement if you crash.

    Nice find on the bike also. The Suzuki GS series are BULLETPROOF. I had a GS500E as a first bike and rode it tons. Gas and oil and tires was all it ever needed.

    Summer is gonna be fun…………….

  9. Good luck on the motorcycle course! Bring your own gloves (and helmet), you’ll need them and they won’t have any that fit you. And a broken wrist sucks, which is what you get when your palm skin sticks to the pavement if you crash.

    Nice find on the bike also. The Suzuki GS series are BULLETPROOF. I had a GS500E as a first bike and rode it tons. Gas and oil and tires was all it ever needed.

    Summer is gonna be fun…………….

  10. A little late to post, but if you get a helmet, go for a full-face one. Prevents grit and dirt from getting into your eyes and nose/mouth. Also helps cut down on noise. My Dad has one like this and swears by Shoei:
    http://www.shoei-helmets.com/road/helmets_road.aspx?h=3

    They probably say no cowboy boots because they’re so easy to get pulled off — catch on something, and PHHYYEW — boot’s gone! Laced-up boots are also less-than-ideal because the wind gets in there. Same with zipped-up leather coats that have no “flap”, the air gets in there and they balloon up, behind.

  11. A little late to post, but if you get a helmet, go for a full-face one. Prevents grit and dirt from getting into your eyes and nose/mouth. Also helps cut down on noise. My Dad has one like this and swears by Shoei:
    http://www.shoei-helmets.com/road/helmets_road….

    They probably say no cowboy boots because they’re so easy to get pulled off — catch on something, and PHHYYEW — boot’s gone! Laced-up boots are also less-than-ideal because the wind gets in there. Same with zipped-up leather coats that have no “flap”, the air gets in there and they balloon up, behind.

  12. I figured they would be against cowboy boots because there’s no rubber sole on them and your foot would be slipping all over the pedals. What I don’t understand is their recommendation *against* steel toe boots. *shrug*

    As for the helmet, I fully intended on getting full coverage. I’ve had bugs hit my arm at highway speeds and I have no desire to find out what that feels like on my face.

  13. I figured they would be against cowboy boots because there’s no rubber sole on them and your foot would be slipping all over the pedals. What I don’t understand is their recommendation *against* steel toe boots. *shrug*

    As for the helmet, I fully intended on getting full coverage. I’ve had bugs hit my arm at highway speeds and I have no desire to find out what that feels like on my face.

  14. Oh yeah, definitely the rubber soul thing, too, you need your feet to be firm on those pedals. You need at least one of your toes (to shift, I think?), so that might be why no steel-toed. You can’t feel the shifter through those, and whatever you have to do with the other foot, too. I always found it interesting that on a motorcyle, each hand and foot is doing something — brakes, gas, clutch, gear shift. Sounds kind of hard!

    Mike was telling me about your motorcyle dreams, it sounds very exciting. 🙂 I’ve been around motorcycles for a long time!

  15. Oh yeah, definitely the rubber soul thing, too, you need your feet to be firm on those pedals. You need at least one of your toes (to shift, I think?), so that might be why no steel-toed. You can’t feel the shifter through those, and whatever you have to do with the other foot, too. I always found it interesting that on a motorcyle, each hand and foot is doing something — brakes, gas, clutch, gear shift. Sounds kind of hard!

    Mike was telling me about your motorcyle dreams, it sounds very exciting. 🙂 I’ve been around motorcycles for a long time!

    <img src=”http://www.taehahime.com/abouttaeha/photos/littlelisaharley.jpg”></img>

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