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Old 10-10-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
mrh
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Things you need to know about training

As a motorcycle safety provider, we face issues almost weekly, mostly due to an honest lack of understanding of some basics we, as providers, are required to observe.
Providers of motorcycle training in TX are either licensed through or contracted with the state DPS to offer training. We are required to agree to Rules of Professional Conduct and strict terms outlined in our license agreement/state contract and we cannot vary from those terms. Penalities for doing so range from suspension to outright revocation of our agreements with the state, which means we're out of business.

To that end, here are some things all students need to know:

1. You cannot be late for your class. In order to qualify for your completion certificate you must attend ALL sessions of your class. That means showing up on time each day.

2. You must successfully complete each phase of the class. We are bound to provide the training as stipulated by the state and licensing agency connected to the curriculum, as well as our insurance providers. We cannot guarantee you will be able to meet the objective of each exercise. It is your responsibility to do so. Fear, lack of coordination, etc. may be valid reasons why you cannot achieve a result, but such reasons do not change the fact that we cannot allow you to continue if you have not successfully met the objectives.

3. You will be required to pass both a knowledge test and a skills test. The state allows only one chance at passing the knowledge test. Failing it means you must re-take the class, usually at your expense, unless your failure is as a result of a language difficulty (e.g. non-English speaker, dyslexia, illiteracy.) If you have any of those issues you must tell your instructor/ridercoach at the beginning of class so they may work with you. In such cases, the knowledge test can be given orally or a translator can be used (usually at your expense).

Skills test re-dos are at the discretion of the instructors/ridercoaches and are on a case-by-case basis. The state allows one skill test retake within thirty days of the end of the original class.

4. As a student you must provide basic articles of gear. Sites will generally provide helmets to borrow, but students must wear long sleeves, sturdy long pants, over-the-ankle boots. Some sites may offer gloves and eye protection, but many do not. In those cases, it is your responsibility to bring full-fingered gloves and something to protect your eyes. If you show up without the necessary gear, we are not allowed to let you ride.

5. The state requires that we can verify your identity. You must bring a valid photo i.d. with you. Things acceptable include a driver's license, a student photo i.d., a passport...anything that would be accepted as proof of your identity. If you do not bring that, we have to send you home.

6. Sites can accept only a certain amount of students, based on the size of the riding ranges. Providers cannot exceed that limit, per state license/contract and insurance limits.

7. Classes have time constraints that must be followed. The state does not allow more than 8 hours of training per day, not including breaks. Because of that, we cannot drag exercises out excessively for the benefit of those who cannot/will not meet objectives of exercises. While we do everything we can to help people succeed in a class environment, not everyone is able to achieve success within necessary time constraints. Private/remedial training is often available at extra cost for those unable to meet objectives in a timely manner.

Training providers in the state of Texas are, for the most part, private entities, in business to help new riders and existing riders. Most work hard, with little profit, to help students achieve their goals and dreams. Texas provides no supplemental income to training providers, so any complimentary classes or redos must come at the expense of the providers. Students that are late, fail to attend all sessions, fail either skill or knowledge test, or are counseled out due to their inability to successfully complete a class objective should not expect tuition refunds or free redos. Requesting/demanding such things shows a lack of personal responsibility and an expectation that someone else should bear the cost of student mistakes/failures.

Hope this helps. As always, folks with questions should call their training provider. You'll find them reasonable and eager to help.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:15 AM   #2
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Very well put!!! I've noticed 2 main things students often do that prevent them from being able to start/complete a class which fall squarely on them:

1) Failure to show up on time. Can't tell you the number of times we have them show up after class has started because "I over slept" or "traffic was bad" or "I got lost". I firmly believe a lot of folks nowadays don't want to accept personal responsibility. We ask them "if you were late for a flight at the airport, would they hold the plane for you?" We can't wait for a late student to show up because they may never do so and that's not fair to the ones that were on time.

2) Failure to wear proper gear. This one is spelled out at time of registration and in the reminder notification before class, yet some still show up with short sleeves, tennis shoes, no gloves, or sneakers (haven't had anyone show up in shorts.... yet). Usually this can be fixed by having the required gear brought to the student during the class portion, or the student going to get the gear during the lunch break, or loaning the student gear IF available. But, other than the bikes or helmets, its still the student's responsibility to have the required gear for class.

Granted 'life' occurs and does cause some to not show up on time and usually the school will work with them, but when you hear the same excuses over and over you wonder if they expected to just show up and be given a certificate.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:58 PM   #3
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:09 AM   #4
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Riding Class Weather Issues 101

This time of year it can be chilly and wet, and students who do not take the proper precautions to protect themselves against the elements often find motorcycle training a less than pleasurable experience. Here are some ways to be sure you're ready for riding in your class:

1. Classes are almost always held rain or shine, warm or cold. This is a business, after all. Exceptions include active lightning and conditions under which riding could be considered dangerous, such as hail, sleet, high winds or blinding sheet rain. Usually these conditions pass relatively quickly, in which case class can resume.
2. Watch the weather forecasts. 24 hours prior to class is usually a good indicator of the conditions in which your training will take place.
3. If temperatures will vary throughout the day, layer up! It may be 39 when you start to ride and 70 by lunchtime. What feels good in the cold will be a problem as it warms.
4. It's a good idea to always bring some kind of rain gear to class. This is Houston, after all, and rain is always a possibility. If rain seems inevitable, you may wish to bring along a change of clothes. Don't forget a spare set of undies, socks and footwear, too!
5. Cold hands cause big problems on motorcycles. If you don't want to spring for waterproof riding gloves, prepare by bringing something to line your inexpensive class gloves. Latex rubber gloves, such as those available at drug stores, fit well inside of regular gloves and will keep out water and wind and cost next to nothing. Just be sure your hand movement is not restricted.
6. Students don't get to decide under which conditions the class continues. It is the instructors' responsibility to determine whether conditions are safe enough to proceed. Of course, a student may decide he or she does not want to continue, which is their right, but quitting a class due to personal preference will almost always result in forfeiture of tuition. That means no rescheduling without payment.
7. Don't forget nourishment. Under cold conditions your body needs fuel to stay warm. And water intake is a must, even when you're not sweating.
8. As always, take the time to communicate with your training provider prior to your class to ensure you bring all necessary, and suggested, gear. You'll usually find everything you need to know on their website and in the confirmation letter/email you receive upon signup.
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:32 PM   #5
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Very well put!!!
My take on your points....
1. It's Texas, wait 5 minutes and the weather will change!
2. Double check the day of the class (as #1 applies).
3. Again #1.
4. Still surprises me when it's raining and they show up with no rain gear. Frog Toggs are pretty cheap to get you through a class.
5. Great tip! I carry sets of these in my bike just for this purpose.
6. We instructors will not endanger the students, but like as mentioned, we will decide if it's not safe. If the student expects 70's and sunshine every time they ride, then motorcycling may not be for them.
7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!
8. PLEASE!!! If in doubt, ASK!!!
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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Addendum:
One class doesn't make you an expert rider. There are multiple opportunities for continued training after your basic ridercourse. Lots of books exist (most are available for Kindle/online), videos are legion online, advanced courses of all kinds are offered to TX riders and track schools and track days are at many locations throughout the state. Yes, they cost a few bucks, but if you're serious about riding, they'll help you improve your skills. It always amazes me that folks will spend $200 for a farkle for their bike or a bit of chrome, yet balk at spending that much to improve their abilities. Regardless of the saying, chrome don't get you home.
Bottom line: you can always be a better rider. If you're worried about taking an advanced class because you're afraid you'll drop your bike or look like a fool in front of the rest of the class, you really need to take a good hard look at yourself and realistically assess your skills.
Be the best rider you can be. Ride safe.
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