Like most new riders, I signed up for a rider training course. This one was put on by RTI, or The Rider Training Institute , a national not-for-profit association that offers comprehensive motorcycle licensing and skills development training programs throughout locations across Ontario. There are a few other rider training schools being offered in the GTA region and all fill up fairly quick. If you’re planning on attending, it’s a good idea to contact the school of your choice as soon as you can make the commitment. Preferred dates and locations can be fully booked weeks or months in advance.
The course consisted of an evening in class session outlining some of the theory and basic equipment requirements. This was followed by 2 full days of practical training on school motorcycles in an empty parking lot. The course was a serious dose of reality about riding a motorcycle.. and keeping it upright.
Photo: Looking ahead
Photo: Barely touching the ground on this Honda 250 school bike
This was my first time on a motorcycle. Getting the clutch and gears figured out didn’t take all that long. Having prior experience driving stick helped, it was just a little strange executing the move with my hands instead of my feet. Keeping the motorcycle upright was a whole other story.
Photo: Doh! ..one of many drops
By the end of the weekend I literally lost track of how many times I dropped the bike. It was coming to a stop and staying upright that was the difficult part. Once I got moving I was fine. In fact, once I was moving I was very fine and had a taste of how much fun this was. I had a great time doing the faster moving exercises and was scraping pegs on some of the slaloms… but try to get me to do a slow curve and come to a stop… just a disaster. Made me think about what it would be like to be dropping my bike like that at a red light in front of all the drivers. This experience certainly will be playing into my choice of a first bike.