When my buddy, Bubba, turned 14, he became a licensed driver. Or, maybe I should say licensed “rider.” It’s still a matter of debate as to whether he should be referred to as a “driver.” But at 14, he became authorized to be in control of a motorcycle.
Back then, you had to wear a helmet. Good thing. Bubba played kissy face with the pavement on more than one occasion. And a few times he straddled the seat, popped the clutch as he twisted the grip and watched the motorcycle leave for a short distance ... without him.
So when he mentioned recently that he wished he had had some formal motorcycle training when he first started, it brought back memories and a few chuckles. Somehow, he survived the next two years before he got his Class D driver’s license. Luckily for him there were no real serious accidents during that period.
It just so happened that within the week I had received an update from Oklahoma State University-OKC about its motorcycle rider training classes. OSU-OKC, which also has a successful driver training program, offers the Basic RiderCourse as a “safe, effective and enjoyable training event for participants who have little or no riding experience.” The program involves learning “the physical and mental skills important for operating a motorcycle.”
For $190 (which includes course material), the participant gets a two-day class (motorcycle provided) offering instruction in street strategies to avoid trouble and stay safe; effects of drugs and alcohol on driving; how to maneuver your motorcycle; avoiding obstacles (collision avoidance skills); and other areas. There are five hours of classroom time and 10 hours on the motorcycle. Sessions are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
The classes began in May, but as of last week when I spoke with the staff at OSU-OKC, I was told that interest was so good that time slots began filling fast. So much so that the next available sessions are in August. All sessions through the remainder of this year are Saturdays and Sundays.
Dates listed are: Aug. 23-24; Sept. 13-14 and 27-28; Oct. 11-12 and 25-26; Nov. 8-9 and 22-23; and Dec. 13-14. Call 945-3208 for more information or to enroll. OSU-OKC is at 900 N Portland Ave. and the driving courses are right down the street.
Various police and other law enforcement agencies offer motorcycle training from time to time and I wouldn’t want to leave them out. Call your local law enforcement office to check on such programs in your area.
Safety and expertise could help you to learn to avoid the on-his-face training Bubba got. It’s a lot easier on the body.
By the way ...
This course requires the participant to have proper riding gear, “which includes helmet, eye protection, full-fingered rider gloves, long-sleeve shirt or jacket, long pants and over-the-ankle footwear. Gear must be worn at every session. (Shoes or boots with leather soles are not recommended.)”
If you have questions, call the number listed with the course dates.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.