A line of Harley-Davidson motorcycles waiting for students to learn to ride.
A year ago, the mere mention of swinging my scrawny leg over a massive machine was a rather unconscionable thought.
My interest in these two-wheeled apparatuses has always been high, and my curiosity has only been further driven by the motorcycle-friendly surroundings of Southern California.
But, to be entirely forthcoming, initially mounting up on a motorcycle requires a colossal leap of faith, centered on accelerated motor skills, pinpoint control and vision, and sound judgment the moment your brain begins to race.
While, admittedly, my hand-eye coordination is more adept at hitting a baseball or knocking down a jumper on a basketball court, I decided to defeat all doubts and head out to a Southern California Harley-Davidson dealership to take part in the much-heralded Riding Academy New Rider Course (http://www.harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_US/home/learn-to-ride/new-rider-course.html). Needless to say, I quickly jumped all over the opportunity.
The detailed course is available at authorized H-D dealerships around the country, each offering lessons based on rider experience. These include the New Rider Course, the Rider’s Edge Skilled Rider Course and the H-D Motorcycle Boot Camp. To join the New Rider Course, the requirements are simple and straightforward. You must possess a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit and have the ability to ride a bicycle. For the range riding portion of the course, participants are requested to bring the following: a long-sleeve shirt, sturdy jeans and footwear, full-fingered gloves, and a motorcycle helmet that meets D.O.T. standards.
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle used for the New Rider Course.
My three-day course, housed at the iconic Riverside, California, H-D dealership, combined classroom work wherewithal with range readiness, while also granting students a detailed tour of the venerable dealership. We were first provided an…
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