I plan on teaching you automatic-car-driving sissies how to not kill yourself on the road. You can call me Mr. King if you would like, but I prefer you just call me King. Since I already introduced myself, I would also like to inform you this is no “ride my Vespa from Starbucks to the office by 9” course. After rigorous drills of swerving, dynamic braking, and emergency maneuvers, God help me if you think you can join Hell’s Angels. Maybe you will be able to pedal that 5 cc toy you mistake for a bike to the park for a Sunday picnic while I ride downtown to pick up some real women.
First, hop on your bike. I said get on the bike, no ballet dance required. OK, now turn the fuel-injection switch to “On.” Turn the ignition. Can’t find it? Let me guess, your Lexus has remoteless key start? Switch the kill button, put the choke on, and press the electric starter, and did you just try to start the bike from second gear? If we didn’t have to wear helmets out here, I swear certification would solve itself.
Now let’s begin our first exercise. I call this the West Texas roll. Maneuver in the first-gear friction zone between the orange cones and then shift to second gear on the straightaway and through the turn marked by the green cones. Act like you own this practice parking lot. I want a little James Dean look on your face, but not too much. You aren’t ready for that much cool yet. There you go, downshift to first and stop the bike. You actually might not be mistaken for a man with a midlife crisis if you keep this up.
Before you go home and pop Easy Rider in your DVD player, first learn how to stay on your bike without falling off while in the Target parking lot. Not much to a tight U-turn, just a little counterweight steering while looking behind you. Excuse me! Don’t go Euro on me and pretend you’re making courier deliveries on your Stella. Roll back on the throttle before entering the curves!
You see that bike over there, that 1,000 cc of man with all of society’s sensitivity stripped from his metal body? (Apologies to the ladies in the group, but we just didn’t have your kind when this machine was invented.) He doesn’t pay child support, he doesn’t go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and he doesn’t take crap from his boss. He just knows how to ride. I hope someday you will release yourself to this untamed beast. But before that happens, you have to first learn to not crap your pants just admiring his beauty.
Your final test, ladies and gentlemen: the supercourse. First, you will tightly weave the lime-green cones while using the clutch. Then, you will enter a large turn with the slow-look-roll method (without the clutch!), and finish off the straight with a quick-stop brake (if you even think about dropping that rear braking foot to the pavement, your certification paper is mine). The easy part is done. Now, I want you to do two U-turns in a figure-eight fashion through those cones. May God have mercy on your bike-riding abilities.
You showed a little gusto out there today. I judged you folks wrong. I am not going to hold it back: It makes me somewhat teary-eyed to see so many qualified cyclists in one place. It reminds me a little of my family reunion. Or the county prison. I want you to remember that what you learned today can not only save your life but, more important, can keep you from looking stupid on your bike. Let’s ride.