Here are some of our latest emails we have received following our customer’s experiences with us.
Please pass my sincerer thanks to your team.
The saying is that you can’t teach old dog new tricks, well I tell you I learnt a great deal from Hank on Saturday and Pet in the assessment cause. There was great insight on cornering (Wide out, tight in Apex point), emergency braking, and looking ahead making sure I am visible to traffic (Be alert to traffic around), U turns. All real good to know and learn about for a beginner like me. Thank you.
I was on a Ride Forever Silver course a couple of months back with Dan, and I wanted to send an email of thanks for the help I received. While my riding is still nowhere near perfect, after the comments he made, I worked really hard on braking, both at high speed and low speed, and feel far more confident in myself and my bike’s abilities. I hope to be back again on another course before I sit my full license test, and have recommended you to a few friends who are considering sitting license tests.
This is an article written by a Ulysses Club member for their newsletter. Thanks Captain Carefree!
You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think. Pardon? Isn’t that a horse to water? Something like that.
From my first rider training day 6, maybe 7 years ago, I have made a point of doing one a year.
Why? Because I need to and like many of you despite having been riding 40 odd years plus change. Hey, I’d never had a major whoopsie and one or two small offs but nothing too serious. I considered myself to be an experienced rider and knew pretty much everything there was to know so what was the point? How wrong was I!
The point is I’ll bet my left nut that you do not know it all and like me you will have unknowingly developed bad habits which have become ingrained, the norm, and that dictates how you ride. It’s worked for you so far so it must be right, right? Wrong! It’s more than likely worked simply for no other reason than you’ve been bloody lucky.
Most of us are in occupations that require regular re-training or refresher courses; ‘up-skilling’ as they call it, so why wouldn’t you think of doing it with your riding.
I know my riding and enjoyment has improved through doing these courses. Contrary to what some might think, I do not ride fast. While Irene and her 1340cc and stump pulling grunt has far more ability than I have, I actually ride slower than I used to.
I find enjoyment in the challenge of maintaining a constant speed with the minimum of effort. Riding slower and smoother doesn’t mean I get to where I’m going later than everyone else; in fact it’s often the reverse. And what it does mean is that I’m less tired at the end of a long ride and I can complete those longer distance endurance rides more safely.
It all comes down to better cornering and breaking techniques and the various instructors over the years hammering home the basics and knocking the edges off those bad habits.
So what did the 8 hours I spent today with Dan Ornsby of RideForEver show me? Practice, practice and more practice.
How many of us practice emergency breaking regularly. What’s a couple of seconds taken as you leave home to pull her up from 50, 60, 70kph? That’s more or less the speed we travel at for much of the week so being able to do it effectively is probably a good idea, eh! It just might mean that the next time the ‘Big Hair’ driving the Prado pulls out you can do something about it. Get the technique right and it becomes instinctive because no matter what speed you ride at you’d better be able to pull her up quickly in a controlled fashion without needing a change of underwear.
How many of you know the correct tyre pressures for your front and rear off the top of your head? When did you last check your tyre pressures? Do you know how to tell when your tyres need changing? No worries Mate; they were alright when I got a warrant. Yeah but WoFs come around annually for most of us and a lot can happen in the meantime.
Counter steering? Do you really know what it is, how it works and why and when you should use it because there’s a lot of myths and misinformation out there. Dan explained it well putting us straight on that one.
I thought I was pretty relaxed when I rode but with Dan following me watching my riding posture, he pointed out that my upper body, my arms and shoulders, were quite tense when I was cornering. Relax, he said, and let the bike take you round. Once again, practice.
This same tension while breaking transfers your upper body weight forward. Instead of the death grip on the bars I should be gripping the tank with my knees and pushing down through my feet. This lowers the centre of gravity and makes the bike more stable under braking. Whether you ride a crotch rocket or cruiser, it’s all the same, give that pelvic floor a workout and squeeze baby squeeze.
Besides having my upper body relaxed will also make a difference to how I feel at the end of long ride.
My slow speed turns need more work too. Doing donuts and relying on momentum to get me round is all very well; what Dan was after was for me to be able to complete a U-ee at less than 5kph, walking speed, and once again, that all comes down to practice.
Choosing the right gear and setting up for a corner was another area where there is always room for improvement. While I could change up and down and without thinking select the right gear for the right entry speed on my VTR, I’m still fumbling and feeling my way with Irene’s box so when Dan suggested I try a lower gear going in and setting up I wasn’t at all sure, I mean she’s got a heap of torque so was it necessary.
I did as I was told and it worked and while it felt like I wasn’t wringing her neck I wasn’t; maybe 500 or perhaps a 1000rpm more, that’s all, but it meant I had far better engine breaking and a lot more in reserve to power her out or react should I need to. Practice, it’s oh so easy.
Was it worth it? Hell yes! With the course partly funded by ACC it only cost me $50 and that paltry amount will be refunded by my insurance company when presenting my certificate! Our branch also has funding available for rider training; touch base with Rob or Bob or any members of the committee.
No matter what level you consider your riding skills fall in; learner, novice, provisional, advanced, I-know-it-all, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
There is a course for you and I guarantee you will come away feeling all the more better for having done it. Instead of being frightened or intimidated by your bike why not learn to trust it and to enjoy it.
So time to eat a bit of humble pie, kick those egos into touch and let your fingers do the walking and check out the websites or stop in at your local bike shop and grab a brochure.
Remember, pride comes before a fall…literally!
Dear Dan and Hank,
I would sincerely like to thank you for the great training day you put on for us yesterday.
LADIES CORNERING COURSE FEEDBACK
I had a brilliant day today – it was really worthwhile. I learnt lots and I was very pleased I attended.
It was a great opportunity to develop cornering skills in a controlled environment which eliminates the other factors usually present with open road riding, and the participants on the “Ladies” course were friendly and supportive, all contributing to an ideal learning environment and getting to know your bike better.
I found there were lots of benefits of training on the track and none of us found it too repetitive in the slightest, as the track provides a variety of corners and combinations. On the track we were able to experiment with different gears, speeds and positioning at various points and make comparisons as to what worked best for each person and their bike. Initially we were able to follow Dan’s lines on his bike and then he followed from behind to individually assess and provide constructive feedback. The use of cones to identify specific points around the track was very helpful for checking the positioning and speed in order to corner smoothly and safely.
I liked the idea with this course focused on cornering so that we were able to dedicate the entire time to focus on this crucial skill and as a result improved performance.
I thoroughly recommend this course, especially for those learning to ride or lacking confidence in their cornering skills or feel it’s an aspect of their riding they would like to improve.
Dan is a great instructor with an experienced eye to identify each individuals areas for improvement and what adjustments are required. All levels of skill and riding experience would get a lot out of the course. You can notice the difference in the performance quite quickly once the adjustment is implemented consistently.
The Ladies Courses caters for those women who might feel a bit intimidated in a mixed group and feels more comfortable in the presence of other female riders in the motorbike training situation. I find this is usually more conducive for the less experienced or more mature female rider, like myself.
With each training course I have attended, I have come away with improved skills and increased confidence and enjoyment.
Thanks again to you and Dan for the great professional service.
Karen – very satisfied customer.
I recently spent a couple of sessions with Hank trying to push along through the license route. I have seen many different coaching styles in my time both professionally and personally and Hanks is second to none. Empathy, sympathetic criticism, humour and patience is often missing. Hank has all of this in spades. . . . . . . .
Just wanted to say thanks for the great course on Saturday, really enjoyed it and think I got heaps to take away from it, especially in terms of safety.
Dan is a great trainer and I look forward to doing some more courses with him in the future.
All the best,
Hello there and especially Dan,
Thank you for a great day yesterday. I learnt a lot and you motivated me to work on improving my riding skills and not just accept the status quo.
Enjoyed the course I did with you and got real value out of it.
Motorcycle design has changed so much since I rode as a young guy and traffic density has increased so much that anyone coming back to riding as I have would be nuts not to give these courses a go.
I am an older bloke who always wanted to get a vintage motorbike. I got myself a bike and set about getting my licence. I managed to get my learners licence after about 30mins of riding around my small back yard. From that moment I could then set foot on the road. In hindsight I had so little actual riding experience and knew very little about what I was doing. Fortunately a friend suggested that I should do the Ride Forever (Learners) course. This was a very good, hands on day. I got so many simple tips on parts of riding that I had never thought about. Even the fact that we spent several hours out on the road, which was something I hadn’t done, gave me a real boost of confidence.
This is a course that I would strongly recommend to any novice rider. The bike will come out again as the weather gets warmer and with the knowledge I learnt on the course, I shall continue to ride without crashing or being crashed into.
Thanks for your time and patience today. The whole day was an excellent intro to what is possible quite quickly with the right training.
I felt a lot more confident on my ride home with much better clutch and throttle control and road positioning.
Will definitely be returning in the future and will recommend your courses to any others.
Cheers and safe riding
Thanks for the course on the weekend. I really enjoyed it, even if the weather didn’t totally play ball.
Just wanted to tell you i have reset all my suspension to factory and found a huge improvement in handling. The front was set really hard with an uneven setting between forks. The rear was set right spring but no rebound resistance. Been to Little River and back this morning and had a smooth easy ride.
Thanks again and have a great Christmas!
Thanks for yesterday. I felt the course was just the right mix and most importantly I learnt a lot.
Great to meet you and congratulations on your business and the way you run the courses.
I’ve also been in contact with Chris and Carl so at some point we will go for a ride together.
Cheers and safe riding
Dear Dan and Hollie
Thanks for the great Silver course on Saturday. It was really enjoyable from “wo to go” and I found Dan very helpful and good at giving feedback. This has greatly boosted my confidence as a returning rider – thanks so much. I will be enrolling for Gold at some stage.
Trust you have made it back to Chch ok.
I would just like to say thank you for the training day.
Nice and relaxed with a small group and a lot of great info.
I have been practicing my cornering and although they are not much of a challenge on the way to work I am getting into the habit of getting the bike into the right place on the corners.
I hope there are more courses down this way in the future.
Just a quick note to say hello and tell you after doing the days training with you, I got busy and sorted out my Ducati suspension…What a difference. One ride into the changes and it’s like riding a new bike. Looking forward now to hitting the track on one of those have ago days.
Hope all is well, Regards Marty’
Thanks again for the great training session yesterday. I learned heaps and was reminded of a lot. You are a fantastic trainer with the patience of a saint! How you managed four novice, middle-aged, women riders for a full day of motorbike training is a commendable feat indeed 🙂
I wish you all the very best and hope to see you again in the future.