I've been wanting to take a rider course
ever since I sat on a bike for the first time. My friend was a mechanic,
cars and bikes, and had a little 50cc dirt bike that someone gave him.
He fixed it up and taught me the basics on it: throttle, brakes, gear
shift. I did first and a little of second gear up and down the rows of
airport storage (where his garage was), but that was it. That's all it
took for me to catch the bug. This was 10 years ago. I lived in Daytona
Beach at the time and went to several Bike Weeks and Biketoberfests
after that, always dreaming of the day I'd ride my own in, but money has
always been a luxury.
About a month ago I finally got my rear engaged and paid my money for
the Harley Rider's Edge class. See, I had heard stories of the state-run
MSF. Others had taken it, including my sister, and they all said that Ed
was a rough fellow. Apparently Ed doesn't teach the course, but you have
to get through Ed (pay him your money) in order to get to the course.
Another friend ended up having his course payment "lost" by Ed. So,
already I was a little biased against the state-run course. I decided to
spend the extra $75 and check out Harley.
The moment I walked into the Harley dealership, I felt better about that
decision. The course manager here, Greg, is an extremely friendly guy.
He is the epitome of customer service, in my opinion. He answered every
question I had, patiently and calmly. He gave me all my materials,
introduced me to a couple of students who were just coming back from
their range ride, and overall made the process very friendly and easy.
He explained the class schedule (5 days vs. state's 3 days) and the gear
I would need for range days. He explained a little of what would happen
on the range days. And then he gave me my homework.
Last night was spent on said homework. He gave me the MSF Handbook that
has 4 pages of questions in the back. I'm supposed to read through the
book (which incidentally is very easy to read and follow, unlike the DMV
book) and mark down the pages where the answers to those questions can
be found. The state course doesn't give you anything before you actually
get to the class, so you're going in cold. I like that Rider's Edge
gives you the book ahead of time, so you have some knowledge before you
even get into the classroom. It seems a little less intimidating that
So that's where I'm at so far. I need to finish up the homework tonight.
Thursday night 6-9pm is my first class night. Then I'll go back Friday
6-9:30pm. Range days are on the weekend, both days, 8am- 5pm. Then back
to the classroom on Monday night 6-9pm to wrap up. If I successfully
pass the driving skills test at the end of the second range day, then
I'll only need to take the written test at the DMV to get my
I'll try to remember to take notes and give everyone a lowdown of what
happens for the rest of the course. Good luck to anyone else out there
about to take a class! I'm excited about mine!
>> DAY ONE
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