Who Should Attend GCMI?

One of the ques­tions I hear the most has to be, “Who should attend the school?”  That’s easy. Every­one! Though I must admit, we would pre­fer you have some basic rid­ing skill. Our tar­get group truly is the per­son with some expe­ri­ence. When I say “every­one” should take this course, I actu­ally mean every­one should even­tu­ally take this course. It hon­estly isn’t designed for the per­son who hasn’t rid­den at all. Cov­er­ing things such as nomen­cla­ture would slow the school down. The point I’m try­ing to make is there is a great divide between the “basic” school for civil­ians and the “basic” school for police. In police motor­cy­cle train­ing the “basic” school is eighty hours long. Two weeks! That’s two weeks of very intense train­ing, part of which teaches you to take a motor­cy­cle that was designed to turn in twenty-one feet and have you turn it in four­teen. In other words, what we call “basic” likely will be con­sid­ered advanced to most people.

You may think that the more rid­ing expe­ri­ence you have, the eas­ier the school may be. That isn’t the case at all. Many of the expe­ri­enced rid­ers I’ve trained in the past had bad habits which caused them to strug­gle with the tech­nique we teach. They were able to over­come the bad habit and learn; they just had to focus more. Regard­less of your expe­ri­ence, you should look to attend as many schools as you can over time. It’s not always about learn­ing a new tech­nique. You have to prac­tice. Let’s say you heard about a new brak­ing tech­nique. It’s much bet­ter than the way you are doing things now.  You say, “This is the way I’m going to do things from now on”. The next time you are rid­ing a car pulls out in front of you. What will you do? Will you uti­lize the new tech­nique? You know how; but will you? No, you will not. I know this because you didn’t prac­tice it over and over until it became your con­di­tioned reflex. A con­di­tioned reflex is some­thing we do with­out con­scious thought. That is what we intend to give you.

I used brak­ing to make a point. How­ever, that is only one aspect of the train­ing you will receive at GCMI. We intend to bring you the tech­niques used in our police schools. Many peo­ple say, “I want to learn how to turn the way you guys do.” We will show you the secret to the turn­ing. Will you ride the way police do after a one-day school. No. Remem­ber, that school is two weeks long. That’s only the begin­ning. Police motor­cy­cle offi­cers never stop train­ing. It’s up to you to take the infor­ma­tion you get from us and prac­tice. We will show you how to prac­tice on your own. Addi­tion­ally, we will cover top­ics like curve nego­ti­a­tion, brak­ing in a curve, slow speed maneu­vers, pos­ture, sur­face appraisal, road rid­ing and more. I know that you will leave our school more con­fi­dent than when you arrived. You may be a really good rider now. We want to help you become even better.

The biggest mis­take we can make is to allow our pride to get in the way. Recently, David and I attended a biker event. We set up a booth with infor­ma­tion about our school. Peo­ple would stop by and chat, but a few would say “… well I’ve been rid­ing for a while, so I’m good.” After a few hours I told David to notice how dif­fer­ently peo­ple would act when accom­pa­nied by oth­ers. On one occa­sion David noticed a man pass by our booth sev­eral times with­out stop­ping. He looked at us each time he passed. We were some­what pre­oc­cu­pied with other peo­ple look­ing through our infor­ma­tion and ask­ing ques­tions. As soon as every­one walked away, he appeared again; only this time he approached us. He was very inter­ested in the train­ing. He seemed eager to learn. When he left, David said, “That is a per­fect exam­ple of what you were just talk­ing about.” He felt uncom­fort­able ask­ing ques­tions with oth­ers around him. Too many times we allow pride and ego to get in our way. We don’t want our bud­dies to make fun of us for tak­ing a class. This is why women learn faster than we do guys. They don’t worry with ego at all.

Folks, I can’t begin to tell you how many hours of train­ing I have on a motor­cy­cle. Together, David and I have thirty years of rid­ing “on duty”. I try to learn some­thing new every sin­gle day. Why? Because I want to make it home every sin­gle day! Do you think that because I’m an instruc­tor with count­less hours on a motor­cy­cle that I don’t watch David ride? Of course I do. He’s a great rider. Do you think David watches me? You bet­ter believe he does. He’s afraid he might miss some­thing. How do you think we achieved the level of rid­ing we have now? Of course, it’s not like our lives depend on it. Oh wait, they do!

Through the years David and I have had many con­ver­sa­tions about rid­ing. Our poor wives have sat patiently while a movie was paused, or din­ner was get­ting cold, sim­ply because one of us sud­denly had an epiphany about train­ing. We don’t allow ego to sab­o­tage our desire to become bet­ter rid­ers, or instruc­tors. Don’t let it keep you from enhanc­ing your own abil­ity. Do it for your­self, your pas­sen­ger, your kids, or any­one that cares about you. Don’t let self­ish pride keep you from being better.

We are very con­fi­dent we can help you, regard­less of your cur­rent skill level. The ques­tion is; will you allow us to help you?

One Comment

  1. I just fin­ished the advanced course and thought I would make a few com­ments. First of all, David and Hay­den are both top notch instruc­tors. Not only are they excel­lent rid­ers, but they can impart their knowl­edge to not so excel­lent rid­ers, such as their stu­dents. There are a lot of great rid­ers out there, but only a few have the abil­ity to suc­cess­fully com­mu­ni­cate what they do to those they are try­ing to teach.

    This course is tai­lored to the skill level of the indi­vid­ual stu­dent and pro­ceeds at the pace of the student’s abil­i­ties. As soon as one skill is mas­tered, then off to the next one. There is no get­ting bored in this class. Even for the expe­ri­enced motor offi­cer, I guar­an­tee there are exer­cises that will chal­lenge his/her skills.

    My biggest chal­lenge was the key­hole to the right–The Big O wasn’t too easy either. To the left wasn’t much of a prob­lem, but to the right proved dif­fi­cult. What David did was to break the exer­cise down into its com­po­nent parts, one step at a time. Mas­ter the first step, with­out wor­ry­ing about the next steps, then pro­ceed to the next step. What a sim­ple con­cept, but it is really effec­tive. The smile on David’s face as I finally got the key­hole to the right was worth the price of admis­sion! He did this with other exer­cises as well–master the first com­po­nent and then each suc­ceed­ing com­po­nent in turn.

    I was glad to see they had an exer­cise on brak­ing. Few rid­ers, unless they have been through the motor offi­cer course, know how to prop­erly brake a motor­cy­cle. It is a skill that can save your life, or if done improp­erly, can take your life. Most rid­ers don’t think there is much to brak­ing a motor­cy­cle, but they are the ones who have never had to exe­cute max­i­mum effort emer­gency brak­ing. I had this train­ing in the past, so this was a refresher that came pretty easy for me. Plus, I prac­tice max­i­mum effort brak­ing about once a week. But if you haven’t had it, max­i­mum effort brak­ing is cov­ered in the advanced course. It too, is worth the price of admission.

    Pos­ture is a very big part of skilled rid­ing. I found I didn’t really know much about the proper pos­ture on a motor­cy­cle to allow max­i­mum con­trol over the machine. What I learned will be prac­ticed over the next sev­eral months as I work on the other new skills I learned in the course. In fact I am prac­tic­ing it now as I type this blog. As David said, “Proper pos­ture is the key to rid­ing suc­cess.” How true.

    So, what I sug­gest is to prac­tice the skills you learned in the basic course. Once you learn proper head and eyes, throt­tle, clutch, and brake con­trol, you will be ready for the advanced course. If you can main­tain good throt­tle con­trol, and the other skills, on the inline cone weave, then you are prob­a­bly ready for the advanced course. Of course noth­ing is easy in that course. I had been through the inline a few times, and they took my brake away from me. I went from a sim­ple exer­cise to a dif­fi­cult one just because I had mas­tered the sim­ple one. David and Hay­den will con­tin­u­ally chal­lenged the rider.

    If you are local, and I imag­ine most of you who have had the basic course are local, then there is no excuse not to take the advanced one. I drove a lit­tle over 1000 miles round trip for the course as a motor offi­cer friend of mine highly rec­om­mended David and Hay­den as instruc­tors who could help me improve my rid­ing; he was right. I will now prac­tice what I have learned and will be back down there next year for more train­ing. It was a great course. Thanks, guys.

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