Christine Douglass: Rider of the Month November 2017
RIDER OF THE MONTH NOVEMBER 2017
Sometimes the best thing we can do is cut ourselves some slack. Even though the word Basic is in the Basic RiderCourse, it doesn’t mean the course is void of challenges or simple. While the course introduces the basics of riding, it can also reveal the value of not putting a ton of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
Riding in general is very much the same. We can learn a lot by taking our time and growing into the sport of motorcycling. Christine Douglass, our Rider of the Month for November 2017, is ready to share her experience of letting go to move forward.
Christine took the Basic RiderCourse from us at our Prescott Valley location. As we suggest at the beginning of the course, all riders develop at different rates. Some catch on quickly and others need just a bit more time to develop. The latter was true for Christine. She joined us for two riding sessions and passed the riding test the second time out. Right away, she learned an important lesson from her initial experience:
I learned some good lessons the first 2 weeks of having my Rebel; like patience with myself. I soon learned everything is fixable and I didn’t care I was damaging a brand-new bike. Every time I looked at the mark on my muffler, I remember, “Do not move your bike in flip flops,” and “stand your ground when uncomfortable”. A scratch on the arm of my mirror reminds me not to target fixate. Ultimately, it’s progress not perfection.
Absolutely. There is no rush to motorcycling and we certainly shouldn’t let other people dictate how fast our journey proceeds.
GROWING THE SKILLS
Often times in class coaches will jokingly state graduates of the Basic RiderCourse should practice A LOT in a church parking lot next to a hospital. The point is obvious: the skills you learned still need refining and development on YOUR motorcycle. Christine listened well:
Only practice will make your skills better and the muscle memory of the four paws. Build up that confidence for when you are ready to get on the highway and then deal with traffic. I practiced around Cordes Lakes for what seemed like forever because I was building my confidence and practiced the skills that needed to be built up. This paid off later when I had to emergency brake at a stop light on a green arrow. A truck decided it was going to go at the red light. I was beginning to make my turn following behind 2 vehicles when she appeared in the intersection. So, I straightened the bike up and emergency braked in the intersection. Fortunately, I was not a hood ornament that day. By practicing and building my confidence my body reacted like it should with the bike.
Outstanding. We often talk about what tools riders have in their toolbox. Braking is one of the four pillars of motorcycling and can save a rider’s life. Well done, Christine, and we hope to see that shiny, cool Red Rebel on the road!
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Let’s have some serious FUN with this gang! There are some great stories out there and we don’t want to miss them, so tell us about yourselves!