On May 26 I went to St. Petersburg Allstate Center to take my new motorcycle rider class. During the previous class the Wed. before we were told to bring leather palmed gloves, boots OR hightop sneakers, eye protection such as goggles, face shield or sunglasses and a DOT 3/4 length helmet.
When I arrived this moring I was approached by John one of the Male instructors of the class an older man with patches of skin cancer on his nose and face. Very nice guy but a bit gruf, he came over to tell me my Helmet was not a 3/4 size and I would have to use one at the range. I followed him into the building and he sized me with the correct helmet. I thought OK this is a bit disappointing but understood the safety reasons for having me properly attirred.
I continued back outside and our group was told to go and pick out a bike for todays training. I chose a Honda that fit me OK but due to my size could have been a bit smaller, but do able. We were divided into three groups A, B, and C. I ended up with John the old guy with the helmet issues, Pam and a quite ponytailed "biker type" can't remember his name.
We walked our bikes to the proper trainning area and our class begone with turning our engines on and some basic clutch work to get into first gear. We had to release our clutch and walk with our bikes first, heal to toe the instructor had to see your feet to make sure you were doing the activity correctly. We were in Three groups, Pam was incharge of our group and we quickly moved from rocking to walking with the bike to the other side of the range area by releasing the clutch and walking with our feet again in full view of our instructors.
We moved to the OK now your going to pick your feet up and ride stage and I did good for never doing this before. When we moved to moving the bike into faster speeds I started to have trouble after an hour of frustration I realized I was hitting the rear break with my right booted foot. My boots are really thick and I could not feel what was under them, I actually seen my foot on the break and realized that was one of my problems with the putting I was having.
My biggest problem was to come and ultimately caused me to leave the range area (I was told if I did not feel comfortable today I could come back within 60 days and try again so what did I have to loose) I did not want to hold up the rest of the class and I was having so much trouble with my feet after I keep telling the instuctors I don't know what gear I am in I can't feel it was told seveval times.
I went back to the office to return my helmet and get my husband to come and pick me up, he had dropped me off that morning, we live a hour away from the school and the paperwork said 6:45 AM to 5:00 PM. This was 2:30PM.
The other two groups had finished for the day and our group was on the last exersize for the day. I walked out from lack of knowledge for clutch use and my problems with my boots. While in the office the wives told me stories about how some had to take the class over and looked at my boots they all told me my boots were too thick and that was probably my lack of feeling the gear shifter and causing my troubles. They said just take a break and reschedule a re-take in a few weeks just make sure it is within 60 days and you have to call Curtis to arrange this.
I went to sit down to wait my hour for my husband and a few more ladies came over to talk to me, one lady was the one I almost hit when my boot got stuck in the gear shifter. (I went accross the other range that Thank God was empy and she was standing by the bikes I managed to avoid by looking at my options and recovered the bike, I would have killed myself or another rider but I recovered the bike and no one was hurt and joined the group on the line) No instructor came over for the explaination we just took a break and I went back to the tables for a break with the group and thought how lucky I was.
Anyway the ladies were coming by off and on and the last one told me to go home and have a can of beer or a glass of wine and just relax and to re-schedule the next sixty days. Feeling I did make the right choice to walk away and try another day with the right thin shoes I wiped my tears and continued to watch the last of the students leave, instuctors to clean and lock up and was asked to wait for my ride outside the gate because they were leaving and I could not wait on the range site.
I walked to the gate with my helmet, my books and my lunchbag and sat in the grass and waited 45 minutes for my husband to come for me (an hour away). We went home and called Curtis to tell him what happend and to schedule the re-take class and he started to go on the defensive saying, "The woman are just office workers and what they say does not mean anything" Curtis started to speaking down to me like a was some sort of dummy.
Well yes I was and that is why I took the class so I could learn how to ride a motorcyle after all it was Motorcycle Rider Education of Clearwater, Inc. My husband asked why I was not taught how to shift. John did take me aside and put me on a bike and watch my shifting, my boots slipped off the gearshifter and he himself said that he could not figure out why that was happening. I did manage to wedge my foot into the shifter to get to third gear like I said but I could not down shift...my foot would not fit simple as that.
When we told Curtis what happend he got on the defensive and I wanted to fight with my husband and myself, he would not let me talk and ended up hanging up on us. This is an educator, education is communication and if a student cannot explain what happend how are they to "come back until you feel comfortable", "welcomed anytime to practice" what a like of $%#&.
Don't be suckered we spent $250.00 for me to sit in the dirt crying my eyes out and knowing that I could have done better if someone would have taken the time to really do their job and asked the proper questions. We paid until 5pm we got 2:30PM and an excuse by Curtis that it only goes to 5pm on the worse case sinario. When your job is to be an educator and your student is failing isn't it the worse case sinario. I hope Curtis likes the $250.00 I had to work for almost four days to afford this class.