Dec 3, 2005

msf ridercoach screening part 2...

went to the ridercoach screening in asheboro today... although it was slightly colder than i was expecting and threatening rain (later in the day) i decided to ride out there. it turned out to be a bit cooler than i expected. thankfully my wife talked me into getting some heated gloves last night.

when i first took off, i had to get gas, so i didn't plug the gloves in (since i would have to remove them to pump gas anyway). got to the gas station and pumped my gas. my hands were fine, but i knew that i would be happy to have heated gloves for the longer ride - if they worked. i've never used them before, so i didn't know what to expect. i get all suited up, plug in the gloves and take off... as soon as i get on the road, i realize i didn't fasten the strap on my helmet. yikes - not good... go down the road a couple of miles to pull over at a safe place. i pull my gloves off to fasten the strap and the first thing i notice is how much cooler it is with the glove off. wow, i guess these gloves are working!!! i fasten the strap and put the gloves back on - i could already feel the warmth of the gloves!!! but, would they keep my hands, or more importantly my fingers, warm for the whole ride??

the answer is most definitely yes!!! in the past when i've ridden and it's been cold, the only real problem i have is with my fingers getting cold. the rest of my body seems to stay warm - or at least it doesn't get freezing cold. as it turns out, the gloves worked so well keeping my fingers warm, now my toes and knees were getting cold!! i think in the past, my fingers got so cold, i never realized other parts of my body were getting cold as well. now that my fingers aren't a problem, the focus shifts to other parts of my body. i guess in the future, i wear warmer socks and warmer pants. still have to give props to the gloves - they are great!!!

okay, so after enduring the cold ride to asheboro, it's time for the screening. i got there about an hour early, so i rode to the facility to make sure i could find it. the facility is for fire and firearms training. as i approached the lot, i could see the parking lot was sectioned off with cones and you had to follow them around to a specific parking area. when i got through the gates, i could head gun shots. as i looked to my left, i could see a bunch of people lined up at the firing range, shooting away. at this point, since i was an hour early, i decided to head back to a gas station, get some water to drink and call my wife to let her know i made it safely. got to the station, bought some water and called my wife. there were two little tables inside the station, so i sat there, warming up a little and listening to the locals talk about the latest happenings. after killing some time, i head back to the facility.

while riding to the facility i get behind a guy on a bwm. i follow him in, weaving around the cones to a parking area. i stop, unplug everything - okay, only my heated gloves and myself from the battery harness. pack everything into the tour-pak and head inside. when i get inside, they ask for my license. i hand it to dave and he recognizes my name from e-mails and phone calls. i figure that's a good thing. after writing some stuff down, he hands my license and a package or papers to me. i proceed to find an empty spot to fill out the forms. there are more people here than i thought there would be. i don't know how many i was expecting, but it turns out there were twenty-one of us.

so while we were filling out the forms, they told us that we would be selected based on the forms we filled out and the skills test. there was no guarantee on who would be picked. it partially depended on where we lived, where they needed instructors and how far we were willing to travel to instruct. well, those and the skills test we were about to take.

i had two problems with filling out the forms - first, the pen they gave me wouldn't write. so i exchanged it for another one that wouldn't write!! good thing i brought my own. the second problem i had was writing why i thought i would be a good instructor. i put some corny reason about motorcycle safety, blah, blah, blah... i actually thought that there were going to speak to each one of us individually, so i was expecting to talk about it, not write about it. oh well... after filling out the forms, they gave us numbers. these would be the order we went in for the skills test. since there were so many of us, they broke us into two groups. i was number ten in the first group.

we got outside, picked a bike and headed out to the range. in my head, i went through all the fine-c steps, ensuring i turned the gas on!!! one or two people forget - at least i wasn't one of them. as we headed to the range, i could feel the bike pulling as i made my turns. i realized how much more my weight affects the turning on a smaller bike. so we get out to the range and start weaving in and out of two sets of cones to warm up. this is good. i'm getting a good feel for the bike and getting more confident that i can do the box easily on this bike. after about five minutes of weaving, they line us up for the skills test. no practice runs - straight into the evaluation. we don't need it, we're already experienced riders - at least that's the reason they gave us. the first skills test was the box followed by a swerve to miss an obstacle. the second was a quick stop. the final one was a timed turn. i think i did pretty well on all the tests. at least i didn't do the box backwards, lock up my tires on the quick stop or go through the turn too slowly.

now i'll have to wait to see if i get the call. he said we won't hear until january. no big deal. if i make it good. if i don't, that's fine too...

after the evaluation, it was time to head home. i was expecting to stay until three o'clock, but it was only one o'clock. getting out early!!! i was suiting up and started talking to a guy who was from rolesville. i hate it when i do this, but i couldn't remember him name. doh!!! it was really nice talking to him - seems like he would be fun to ride with. he gave me his e-mail address so i should hook up with him to do some riding. i'll shoot that e-mail off later today.

so now time for the ride home. called my wife to let he know that i would be leaving but probably stopping for some food before making the journey home. at least the ride home was warmer - no cold toes or knees. i did use the heated gloves again. why not, i have them, i might as well use them!! the ride home was good - uneventful. no crazy cages or real hazards to worry about today. just smooth riding. another successful ride!!