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Re: MSF Advanced Rider Course

I had taken the beginner MSF course with a couple of really cool instructors in upstate NY a few years ago. At the time it was purely the "quick" way for me to get the motorcycle endorsement, but now several years later I recognize it as being one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

In the riding months I usually commute the bike to/from work (about a 40 minute ride) for fun and to save on gas. I can't even begin to tell you how often I've had near-collisions with drivers that simply do not pay attention. There's this one section in Poughkeepsie near the bridge where exits come at you from the left and the right, and several times I've had to get out of the way of someone ignoring the YIELD and STOP signs (from both directions even). The last couple of years it seemed that there were more of those "fast and furious" types with modded imports on the road as well. I think they lower the seats down to the point where they barely can peek over the dashboard anymore. But anyhow, that's a different rant.

As for the bits about straightening out before braking - think of it this way -- you're not racing against someone. You just want to come to a safe stop. If your choice is between slamming into something and sliding on your leathers in the dirt, I'll take the dirt 9 times out of 10. Most roads have plenty of space between the edge of the road and "foreign objects" (unless you're in a metropolitan area). Also, keep in mind that the training is only a few hours long. They don't have weeks and months to reteach your reflexes. They just have a dozen tries or so, and then it's on to the next lesson. If you are leaned over and break hard, you WILL highside. Even if you had thighs of steel you will not be able to keep your butt on the seat. The front will give you a small wiggle, and the tail will give you a kick in the pants. Just watch those famous racing videos with the rider being flung 16 feet in the air. It's physics. And now your choice is between a highside on the road with the bike possibly flipping on top of you, or a low side in the dirt. What would you choose? It's the lesser of two evils, but heck, you're about to buy the farm in a couple of seconds anyway.

It's like a near-ambush drill. Toss the grenades, and jump in after them with guns blazing. That's all you can do. And with a bit of luck and skill, maybe they won't send a letter to your next-of-kin afterwards.

Hooah! and "Keep up the Fire"

C Co, 1/9 Inf Ft Lewis, WA (93-96)
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