I completed your basic course this weekend. This was a repeat for me as I had previously completed a weekend training course with Calgary Safety Council in 2012 but felt I needed a repeat as I am transitioning from a 150 cc scooter to a much larger street bike.
Instructors: Martin & Rebecca. Extremely competent. Firm yet encouraging: a great balance. Within the first hour of training they were able to point out some of the mistakes I was making that will change the way I ride. Specifically, I improved the position of my body on the bike in tight corners and learned how to use a lot more of my peripheral vision so that I can keep my head up. I also learned how to use my clutch, rear brake and throttle more effectively to keep the bike upright at slow speeds. I appreciated their expertise.
Course/Class Size: The small student ratio and large amount of space on the lot means that there’s both physical and mental space for beginners. The instructors had time to answer all of my questions. This was very different from my previous experience and it made a difference.
Road Ride: The road ride in my previous class was 30 minutes maximum in a low-traffic area around CrossIron shopping area. Martin’s road ride took us through city streets, traffic lights, 4-way stops, congested areas, traffic circles, high speed merges, gravel, poor pavement, grooved bridges, and one ridiculous uphill hairpin turn. We also completed the most important maneuver for bikes, navigating a Tim Horton’s parking lot! This is all important because these are not situations that I would normally seek out as a beginner and being able to ride them with an instructor gave me the confidence to try them and succeed. This will significantly lower my stress level later on when I run into them on my own.
Bonus: I appreciated Martin’s demo of the difference between ABS and regular braking. This really brought the point home. Technology makes the sport safer and I realized that ironically, new riders should choose newer bikes (even though they may lay them down) because of the safety features to help riders recover from mistakes.