True, embellished and fictional stories for your amusertainment

Leverage I

When I was in college I took a motorcycle safety instructor course. Before someone could teach motorcycle safety they had to learn to safely ride a bike. That’s what this class was all about.

A local motorcycle shop loaned bikes to the college for use during the class in the hopes that some would be purchased when the course was over. There were a dozen students and thus a dozen bikes.

Most of the bikes were identical except for two that were lower to the ground for people with shorter legs. I wanted to use one of those bikes but couldn’t always get to class early enough to get one.  On the days when I rode a regular (i.e., tall) bike, I would tip over every time I stopped.

After breaking levers on several motorcycles, the instructor finally started to reserve one of the small bikes for me. I would still tip over once in a while but the frequency was significantly reduced.

All of the classes took place in a large, roped off parking lot. We drove around obstacles, encountered stop signs and light signals, and even learned about basic mechanics.

I will never forget our field trip to the motorcycle shop that supplied our bikes. The mechanic who spoke to us mentioned that their shop had been providing motorcycles to the class for many years and they always came back in good condition until this year. The number of broken levers and dents he found on the bikes baffled him.  As he was talking, I slowly worked my way to the back of the room. I think that was the last year they donated bikes to the college.

The most terrifying part of the entire class was driving on real streets with real cars on our way to take our motorcycle license exam. Yep, that’s the first and only time we drove in real traffic.

I had fun getting my motorcycle safety instructor’s license but was smart enough to never teach.

There are probably several lessons to be learned from this experience but the biggest one for me was if you keep falling off the horse (or in my case the motorcycle), maybe you’re not on the right one.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF,


My typical view at stop signs during motorcycle safety class


Comments on: "Leverage I" (2)

  1. Pam ! I think you were right when you did not teach driving…… but I think you start the first and only “Motorcycle RIDING” school!!!!!
    I bet you would be great at that!!!
    It was fun hearing your learning story!!!

  2. Thanks! Maybe I should try a riding school – my students would be safe as long as they never drove in traffic.

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