Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Traffic Skills 101 Follow-Up

We had a dozen + students for the Traffic Skills class.
Ken Picard from Seven Days was there and wrote this article.

Student feedback indicated that the parking lot drills were not well organized, the on-road part was also not long enough or well-coordinated. There was a lot of standing around in iffy weather. It rained during lunch, so we decided to stay indoors and watched a video until the rain cleared a bit.

The three lane change to a left turn from the LTO lane was not pure. A light pulsed the auto traffic and several bike riders would wind up at the next light so they couldn't produce an independent set of lane change maneuvers.

Also, we offered to teach how to change a tire but only discussed it. Next time get a real wheel, tire and tube.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Motorcycle Skills Test Failed

It couldn't have gone worse. The weather was changing. I found the DMV CDL and Motorcycle Test Course at Fort Ethan Allen to be much smaller than I expected.

View Larger Map

I had an early lunch and made sure I had the registration, insurance paper, my license, motorcycle learner's permit and passport (for identification) and headed out to the Fort on the Triumph Bonneville I borrowed from Bruce Cunningham.

There was a steady stream of young men there to take their skills test.

I walked out in the parking lot to see what the course looked like, but the inspector cautioned me back to the grass. The guy ahead of me took his time and asked for clarification. Good moves.

The course was much smaller than the parking lots I have been using for practice. It would have been a good idea to measure out and create a copy of the course for myself.

The first exercise was to ride right around the first pylon, weave left and right, and exit the last one into a U-turn back to the other side and stop in a box. Well, I started left and so by the end of the pylons I was on the wrong side. The inspector let me take it again. This time I put my foot down in the U-turn. But I stopped OK.

The next exercise was to go 12-20 mph from a standing start, and after passing a line, stop quickly. I slowed the bike and didn't do the exercise in the time limit. So the inspector let me try again. This time when I stopped I forgot to pull in the clutch and stalled the Bonnie. When I went to start again, the box was still in gear, so it lurched and fell over. I don't think I could have made more mistakes.

Now my left leg is sore from where I tried to hold up the falling motorcycle. No damage to the bike, Bruce.

The wind started up and blew papers all around. The inspector told me I could reschedule and comeback. I think maybe there are good reasons to test rusty motorcycle riders.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Traffic Skills 101

Preparing to teach Traffic Skills 101.
This used to be called LAB Road I.
I'm teaching with Nancy Schulz of the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition.

Google Presentation works like Powerpoint. This may not work for you.