Technical Two-Wheel Training

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Safe Stop

Hello adventure-loving friends. I have a really short and sweet blog post for you all. Between training, racing, and general fun-having with Deanna, it’s a wonder I ever find any time to try new things around here. However, much like trying my hand at snowboarding this winter, I have also decided it was high time to pick up a new summer activity as well. Any guesses? Well, I suppose the picture sort of spoils the surprise, doesn’t it? Yup! Motorcycle riding! The idea has been percolating in my noggin for some years now, but upon learning Deanna was also keen on the idea, we went ahead and pulled the trigger on this new pursuit. And as with all my activities, I don’t just dip my toe in the water, I dive right in. Before the snow had even fully melted, I had a helmet, jacket, gloves, and even secured my first motorcycle! All without even knowing how to ride a motorbike. For some pictures of my new ride, as well as some shots of me in training, head over to my flickr folder. Then, read on for a very brief summary of the process of getting my licence in Quebec, and where I’m at.

Part of the reason we opted to get the licences this year was the challenges of getting a licence in Quebec vs. Ontario. Deanna still officially lives in Ontario, so she’ll be doing her training and licencing in Ottawa. Here is her process:

  • Step 1: Write a test, get beginners. With it, she is free to hop on any bike and ride anywhere. Limited to daytime, no passengers and no alcohol
  • Step 2: Take (optional) weekend. At end of 2 days, get tested on site and you have a full licence. She can ride anywhere, with passengers, day or night, just no alcohol
  • Step 3: Basically, there is no step 3. She’s good to go.

In comparison, here is the long, torturous method in Quebec:

  • Step 1: Enrol in (mandatory) course
  • Step 2: Take 9 hours of theory
  • Step 3: Go take written test at DMV, get learners, but ONLY valid for closed course training
  • Step 4: Take closed course training, 4 days over 2 weekends on a parking lot, PLUS 2 days of 2-hour on-road instruction (during WORK hours!!). Get certificate if they think you are good enough
  • Step 5: Take closed course test back at DMV, get full learners, but with limits
  • Step 6: For next 11 months, can only ride alone on bike, and ONLY if there is ANOTHER rider on THEIR OWN motorbike with you, who has AT LEAST 2 year’s of experience as a fully licenced rider
  • Step 7: Next year, take a road test, and FINALLY get a licence that lets me ride on the roads alone

So, just how asinine is that? On the one hand, the Ontario system seems a bit lax, on the other hand, the Quebec system seems overly harsh. Honestly, I’m okay with everything except the final clause that for a full year, I need to find other people to ride with me. Not easy when you live in an area where you don’t know any motorcycle riders :-(. On the plus side, it will ensure that as of next year, Deanna and I will be able to head off on bike touring trips, either on motorized bikes or on road bikes. We likes that. We’ve even done digging into how we’d bring bikes along on our motorbikes. And you know what? The products exist to do so! Sweet, eh? Don’t be surprised if you see us out with these rigs. Ha ha.

At any rate, we’ve now both got our learners. I’ve completed my first weekend of training, and next weekend, we are both finishing our courses. After that, I’ll do my 2 practice rides during the following week, and hopefully get tested. If all goes well, I’ll have my new ride in the garage by mid June! I’m very much looking forward to actually trying it out. I must admit, I’m a tad nervous about it now. After all, I’ve tried a few motorbikes at my course now, and can tell you that I don’t like them all. I just really hope the one I bought is as sweet as I remember. After all, it is a 2009, ridden only a year, and with under 5,000km on it. Sharp looking rig, and felt pretty sweet. Happy birthday to me, right?

Well, that’s it that’s all for this post. Short and sweet. See you out on the roads!

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