A day in the life of a Rider Coach

Posted: October 5, 2016 in My Life


Some of you know I teach the MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC).  I started in 2004 in Troy Ohio and have taught in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado since.  It’s more of a hobby than a real money maker but it’s my way of giving back to the sport.

Many of you have taken the class but might not know our process or duties.  I thought I’d take a minute to describe the process.

I’m teaching a day one BRC near Denver.  Class room starts at 7am so it’s an early Sunday wake up call!  It’s about a 45 minute ride so I’ll get up at 4am, and leave around 5am.  I prep Saturday by packing my teaching cloths; a long sleeved shirt, light weight pants, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and my teaching materials.  Tonight I’ll pack food and load the bike so I can just take off in the AM.  We are expected to ride to every class.  We also sign an agreement to wear full gear overtime we ride a motorcycle.

It’s dark and cold at 5am but I’m lucky to have a kick ass bike with a heated seat, grips, and vest.  Once I arrive at the “range” I get the keys I need from a lock box, disarm two alarms, unlock a gate and unlock a trailer.  Inside the trailer which is about 150 yards from the range are 12 motorcycles and a cart with cones and a first aid kit.  Job #1 is cone off the range so no idiots park there and its safe for the students.  That takes 20 minutes and it’s the most fun you’ll ever have.  Once that’s done, and it’s still dark, you get to ride 9 motorcycles from the trailer to the range and walk back after each delivery.  I’ll run out of time because class room starts at 7am.

So, the classroom part runs about 4 hours finishing with a written test.  Most people are successful.  After the grades are recorded we head to the range.

Exercise 1 is simply getting to know the bike, the control, and starting it.  Many people have never sat on a motorcycle.  We go slow and make sure everyone gets each part before moving on.  Finally, we end with Exercise 9 around 5pm.  We walk about 8 miles in a class, enough to exhaust most people!  There’s an hour of putting away the bikes, picking up comes, paperwork, and finally the ride home.

Every weekend hundreds of Coaches do this and more to help new riders enter the sport.  10 years ago there was a glut of Coaches, so much so there’s been an effort to force some of the older coaches out.  And they did, and there’s a shortage of coaches in many states now.  Younger men choose to be with their families or go riding rather than teach the weekend.  Not sure I blame them.

I’m not asking for sympathy or encouragement.  We do get paid, a rather small amount, but it’s a job important to the sport.  If you ever thought of giving back to the sport consider coaching.

  1. MotoADVR says:

    I’ve looked into becoming an MSF instructor, I’d really like to do it but it means giving up a riding season to complete the certification. Not quite ready for that yet; Hopefully someday.

    • John says:

      So true. Initial training is about 10 days. Observations can be once a month for 6 moths. Add a practice teaching class and you’re looking at vacation time plus a season of riding.

  2. Good for you for passing on your experience to the next generation.

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