I went to my first drifting school a long time ago and after that I´ve gone to few more. As with many other things, I came across the first one by accident. It was after I finished the first one for my car, and long before I even dreamt of having a driving licence for a bike, let alone riding one.
My first moto school was in Pachfurt in Austria. To try a kick plate for the first time and get on it voluntarily required a lot of self-control. The second one was a speed-way in Brno with the Sršeň team (www.motoskola-srsen.cz) and then I attended a moto school Sršeň, known as the Šumava ring (no, you don´t drive in a 250km/h circle) but you enjoy driving surrounded by the lovely nature of Šumava.
We all know what we learnt in driving schools and how people with newly acquired driving licences drive (mostly considering safety). Instead of a proper training it is mostly bureaucracy and it´s all considered a kind of starting point since everybody relies on the fact that you gain some experience and skills once you have driven for a while. Experience gained in most cases through a series of minor accidents, and in the worse scenarios even big accidents, though ideally without injuries.
This, of course, applies to cars, since while driving a car we are protected by some kind of shell which can soften the impact or even, thanks to all sorts of technological assistance, prevent damage..
Now we´ll take a closer look at the group often referred to as “voluntary organ donors”. Of course, there are “special” cases who could be called that but we shouldn´t consider all of them the same, equally I don´t consider all driving schools as being useless.
Personally, I found riding a bike very relaxing. I put my helmet on and all of sudden I´m in my own little world. When you ride a bike you have to forget about everyday problems and focus on what´s happening around you, anticipate every move and consider every possible danger. I always feel like an endangered species as everybody around me sitting in a car has a better chance to get out of the critical situation without harm than me sitting on bike.
I hope, I won´t be riding my bike by myself for much longer and that soon I will start to enjoy my journeys together with my wife again. It will mean I become responsible for another person again. The responsibility is even greater since we are both parents of two small children. Maternity leave and two new additions to our family caused my wife to become more cautious and fearful. Regular speed wasn´t regular anymore, overtaking became more dangerous. Her change in perception of reality is truly amazing since my riding style hasn´t changed a bit, if anything I also became more aware of danger whether I´m in car or on bike (yes, I´ve also changed after we had kids and I quickly learnt that being few minutes late is no tragedy). After attending few moto schools, I definitely feel safer since I feel I understand what´s going on with my bike.
The idea to attend a moto school together wasn´t exactly spontaneous. I have been thinking about it for a while. It was important for me to make sure that my guest-passenger understood what´s going on with the bike, learn something about the machine´s behaviour, learn a bit of theory and of course to try all possibilities and see her own reactions to them in the safe environment of a moto school. It was a very good experience for me as well since I found out that your guest-passenger can be helpful and not an inconvenience.
After few trainee rounds around the airport and after my wife completed some theoretical preparation, we started to ride in pairs. It was amazing to watch my wife quickly adopt the theory and apply it in practice very actively (she practically rode that bike for me). I just did what was needed while cutting turnings, leaning on one side and accelerate.
She was even better on the road. She watched her surroundings and the road and actively transferred her body weight when needed. She was really enjoying the ride and the fear of every bigger turning was replaced by pure joy of fluent ride without convulsive squeezing of my torso and constant reminding of my very fast ride and threats that she would go home by train.
I would recommend these schools to everybody. Mostly to newbies like me, who can learn a lot there and get some experience without unnecessary mistakes and falls. It´s also good for old wolves who can still learn something new and if not new maybe something different. They just need to try it and forget about their ego for a minute.
Photo gallery (photos were taken by smartphone Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and Sony Xperia X):