This past weekend I had another motorcycle instructor update. This update was for one of the private sites I work. Since I make about 75% of my side income teaching at this site it was very important that I attend. The site coordinator said she’d waive our $50 registration fee which I thought would MAJORLY s*ck if I not only had to shell out $50 but was required to be there. “Here, pay $50 on a nice Saturday to do motorcycle crap that you’re not getting paid for 60 miles round trip from the house.”
See what I’m saying? The whole thing s*cked big donkey d*cks. At least on my state update we got paid hourly and mileage to be there. Yeah, at least $100 to sit and listen to their B.S. Things have changed majorly since we all first started. I think we’re all a little worn down by the whole motorcycle ridercoach hoomp-pa. What-the-f*ck-ever, I think.
When we all first started (some of us over ten years ago) anytime we had to do an update this would only mean opportunity to party down together. Our updates used to be longer, actually. Back then, I think we all needed to party and drink because our master instructors, chiefs, consisted of two b*stards and a royal b*tch. Seriously, they were mean, mean people. The update would start on Friday evening after work. Some of us had to take the entire day off to ride from south Georgia to be there. We all knew each other and back then we all taught with each other despite our geographical locations. I remember riding up to Dalton and Clarksville to teach.
We’d all check in at the hotel up the road from the training facility. Friday night would be classroom sessions with R.B. & Bastx2. Soon as we were out (somewhere around 10) we’d all hit the bar next to the hotel and party down. It would be drinking and “Remember that time we taught that class together in…..” and “Remember that wackjob we had in this class……” and “Remember the time I lost all the keys to the bikes and Bastx2 had to come out…….”
Then, Saturday we’d all come in hung over as hale and Bastx2 would make us go out and ride the skill exam and we had to get a 90% or better to pass and keep teaching. All One of those times I was really hung over and felt like I was going to throw up inside my helmet riding the box. (After that, I knew I’d always be able to ride that box) We’d suffer through class all day and then soon as we were out we’d hit the bar again. This night we’d always hit another bar that had a nice restaurant in it and we’d all eat dinner together and then head to the other bar to party. I remember one year I was walking back to the hotel with K and Bart. The sidewalk was one of those fancy ones that curved. I missed the curve and went off into the grass with the sprinklers going getting drenched and Bart had to come over and lead me back onto the sidewalk.
Before this past weekend I got several messages from this one instructor, Babs. Her and I have been through some stuff together teaching. She even gave me this journal that had a skeleton riding a motorcycle on it that we both later had tattooed on our arms. I always write about my classes in this little journal. She’s teaching down in Savannah now for another company so I never see her anymore until we have updates. I’m leery of her now. She’s always kind of weird – it’s hard to explain. It’s sort of like I’ve grown up and she’s stayed the same or maybe someone I’ve been in high school with still lives in the same town and I’ve moved on kind of thing. Anyway, she was texting me and FB messaging me that she was staying at the hotel Friday night and partying with Rick, K and Jeff coming in what was I doing?
I thought, “Hmm, hanging out with my lovely fiancé.”
I simply replied, “See you Saturday.” Which, is the same reply to K wondering if I was coming up on Friday. K and I have also had a weird dynamic going on. I think it started when I started seeing Charlie seriously. The last time we partied together was one of those weekends I was teaching with him and Jeff was on the other range. The Eagles were playing in the amphitheater behind the training center and I heard Hotel California coming out of class that night. I had also planned to stay up there and party but all the rooms were full so I drove up and had a couple of beers and went home. Later on there was a weekend we were both teaching together and he suggested that Charlie and I get a room up there and party with him. For one, we’d have to not only pay for a hotel room and dinner but we’d also have to pop for a dog sitter. That was an expensive weekend – all to just party with K. If we were going to do that I’d want it to be for something special like an anniversary or something not just party with K. Plus, K can afford that kind of thing – especially, since they pay for his room when he teaches up there – it’s no skin off his nose. So, I turned him down. I mean, I can understand wanting to do something like that if a. I wasn’t with Charlie and b. I didn’t have a dog to worry about getting home to -and really I’d much rather sit on the porch and have some beers with her and the dogs or even go out to one of the joints near the house than be stuck OTP. In short, I’ve outgrown it all – I’ve got better things to do. Now, if he came to our part of town and hung then that would have been a different story but the last 4 times we’ve had plans to do that he’s blown me off. So, in short – he’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine.
Saturday, I showed up at the center and pulled all my crap off the bike and carried it in. I registered with Pete. “Long time no see, dude.” We’d just taught together the weekend before and I felt like I’d just been there. I started talking to Paula because Charlie and I are going to double date with her and TC at the shooting range on Thursday. We immediately started talking guns.
“I have my heart set on a Sig Sauer.”
“Well, you’d better come out and shoot some stuff before you buy.”
“Oh, girl – you’ve mistaken me for someone who just has $650 laying around to spend on a gun.”
I went into the break room to refresh my coffee and saw K talking to Tom. I cannot stand Tom and had no intension of going over to him while he was talking to him. I nodded at K and went out. Then, Rick came in and we went outside to look at our Triumphs together.
“Does your Thruxton always sputter when it’s cold?”
“Oh yeah, these carberated bikes will always do that.”
“I’ve had the carbs cleaned and use fuel enhancement. Hey, you need to think about getting new coils. Over 10k miles and you need new ones. I just had mine done.”
Someone came out and said it was starting so we moved inside. This guy lectured for 2-1/2 hours on the new curriculum that was still in testing mode. I was yawning through the whole thing. What’s the whole point of sitting here if we’re never going to teach this stuff? Then, the next lecture was on cognitive and perception – I can understand if someone were a new rider coach they would find this to be fascinating in applying it to the range exercises and teaching. But, us veterans we feel like we’ve been beaten over the head with this sh*t for years and just want to get the f*ck on.
I mean, really – teach me how to get through 17 exercises and 4 book units and 126 questions more efficiently when you have people who can’t seem to figure out the clutch, read or
are 80, had a stroke have physical limitations and you’ve burned all your time doing remediation and you’re in the weeds now. Teach me that. Or –
-how to keep peoples spirits up and fear down when it’s pouring down rain in their braking exercises or their skill evaluation . Teach me that. Or –
-how about getting rid of some of these redundant exercises like using a turn signals and the whole exercise on initiating press (which they are unconsciously doing in ex 3 anyway) and spend more time in braking and cornering since everyone seems to s*ck at that anyway?
-and, why not make them read the book and take the written test online before coming to the class and we can go right into the range exercises? How about that? Why do we have to hold their hands through 126 questions? These are adults, here. You’re going to give them a license to operate heavy equipment on the road around everyone else but you can’t trust them to do 126 questions and take a test that could be administered online on their own? That doesn’t make any kind of sense, now does it?
In short, give me something, a tool that I can use. Don’t just lecture me on stuff that may never come to flourishion.
Finally, it was lunch and K came over and asked if I wanted to ride over to the roll with Babs. Sure. I went and got in the car and Jeff scooted in beside me. K didn’t even ride with us.
“Did you all party last night at Sage?”
“Oh, it was low key. We had a couple of drinks and dinner and then back to the hotel.”
This was Jeff. I had already asked Rick earlier when we were looking at bikes how it was. Same story. At lunch sitting across from K I got the same reply in addition to “I’m not staying tonight like I was, I’m heading back just after class.”
“Guess I didn’t miss much.” I thought.
Today, I got a call from K who was returning a text I’d sent him after the thing asking what he thought of it.
“Oh, it was ok. Friday night was kind of a bust. Babs just seems tired. Like she isn’t in to it anymore. Rick was just getting over his pneumonia (who, I might add had ridden there all the way from SC) and Jeff was entertaining as always but we all were headed back to the hotel by ten. Guess we’re all just old and tired.”
Old & tired or have better things to do? Could be a little of both.