It’s the start of the motorcycle riding season and a great time to learn or refresh riding skills. Starting April 26, Lake Superior College offers beginning and intermediate motorcycle courses through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Center.
Spring and early summer offer challenges in riding, including roads with gravel and debris from winter, rusty riding skills and unpredictable weather. Failure to yield the right of way by the other driver remains the most cited factor in all motorcycle crashes. Most of the fatal crashes occur in rural areas, especially the single vehicle crashes where riders fail to negotiate curves and where deer collisions are high. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, about one-third of single vehicle motorcycle crash fatalities are riders running off the road with a curve. The Motorcycle Skills courses at LSC place an emphasis on cornering, clutch control and new rider skills.
“The most common mistakes I see new riders make include stalling their engine when starting out, looking down instead of keeping their head and eyes up, being surprised by a curve in the roadway, overdriving their headlight, and getting used to riding in the wind and rain,” said Senior Lake Superior College Rider Coach Marty LeRette. “Since the riding season in northern Minnesota is short, local riders don’t get as much time to practice their skills and other drivers aren’t as accustomed to seeing motorcycles as they are in warmer climates. Most experienced riders will tell you that they are a better rider at the end of the motorcycle season than they were at the beginning of the season.”
“We know drivers are a lot more distracted on the road these days so strong rider skills are critical for all motorcyclists,” said Tamara Arnott, Lake Superior College’s executive director of workforce development and community education. “Our motorcycle classes provide basic and advanced riding skills taught by a group of experienced Rider Coaches who give the students the best chance for safety on the road.”
Lake Superior College’s Motorcycle Safety Training Courses start April 26, 2018 and run through September. The courses are organized through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Center with registration and information available through Lake Superior College.