IMG_3063My hand was aching while I took feverish notes.  I did not want to miss a thing. This was more than a formality to me.  I really wanted to learn.

Our instructor threw in a humorous anecdote.  The one place that you really don’t want to ride your motorcycle is to Costco.  Everyone laughed.

It made so much sense to all of us newbies to motorcycle riding.  Who comes out of the big box store and does not need a pick-up truck?  Two saddle bags that have a combined capacity of a few gallons does not fit the average trip to this store known for quantity.

That little quip many years ago came to mind.  I stopped at Costco with my pick-up truck.  Of course I was checking my wallet to make sure that I had enough money for the adventure.  Then, I laughed when I saw the motorcycle parked in the Costco lot.

The national motorcycle standard for safety is embodied in the certified safety course taught in most states around the country.  When I enrolled in the course, I was living in Oregon.  The waiting list stretched into at least three months.

We were welcomed to come to an earlier class and wait to fill in a “stand-by” slot if someone who did not show up left an open slot.  I tried that one time but their were five others ahead of me. There were four “no-shows” for that class.

This was a popular offering.  People wanted to earn their safety endorsement.  The statistics were clear.  90% of those who were in a motorcycle accident did NOT take this course.

Insurance companies supported this avenue of training.  They offered a discount policy for anyone who successfully passed the course.  The incentive is very attractive.  Paying less for the privilege or riding has a strong appeal.

This course taught me the right way to mentally enter the wonderful world of riding.  It also taught me the basic skills to handle my machine on the road.  Constantly my mind was focused on the instructors and the introduction to new ways of thinking and abilities.

In the classroom we went over the laws and the advice to keep riding safe.  We watched videos and heard from lifelong riders.  A helpful workbook kept us on track.

Life is a blessing when we can laugh at the small things in life.  God has not forgotten us.  Even a little laughter is a gift from above.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography