Entering its 11th season, The Rider’s Workshop is an on-road boutique Appalachian single day “experience” for intermediate to advanced riders who want to develop more confidence on a motorcycle.
Using two-way radios and roadside “chalk talk,” riding coach and Workshop founder, Jim Ford, guides you. It’s never about riding fast. Instead Jim slows you down and introduces – skill by skill – first to confidence and then to The Art of Riding Smooth.
Becoming confident and smooth is a process. Both are the result practicing specific skills to the extent you become them.
Your ability to then handle your motorcycle more confidently over challenging mountain roads will give you great enjoyment and satisfaction.
The “classroom” is Appalachian Invisible Roads. Except for locals on tractors, in pickup trucks, or riding in Amish buggies, Invisible Roads are virtually unknown to outsiders. They offer hills and curves, elevation change, great beauty, and wild, natural surprises! These rural roads run along tilled farmland, pastureland, remote ridgelines, and stretch along shaded creeks of clear splashing water. Best of all there is no traffic!
Finally, and most importantly, The Rider’s Workshop is dedicated to safe mountain riding. Like Zen, The Art of Riding Smooth is the result of an enlightened state of mind.
Here’s what one rider recently wrote about his experience in The Rider’s Workshop:
I started riding in 1974 and have been an active and avid student of the art and science of motorcycling ever since. I have been teaching Beginning and Advanced MSF courses since 1979. I have read just about all of the standard works explaining the techniques for riding “proficiency, safety, “smoothness, and excellence.”
I have evaluated and dispensed MSF and state licensing tests for probably thousands of beginning and self-professed “advanced” riders. However, never had anyone evaluate ME! How am I doing? Where am I making mistakes? Where could I make style or safety improvements? For decades those questions have plagued me. Sure, I thought about doing a “track day.” But, I wanted to ride my own bike and making the necessary modifications like taping my lights and security-wiring various critical nuts and bolts didn’t seem attractive. Riding at high speed around a sterile groomed course (though educational according to riding buddies) didn’t sound like my cup of tea, either.
Alas, I found just what I was looking for – “The Rider’s Workshop” developed and presented by Jim Ford. I have now been on two of them. Jim brings together everything I was looking for: Breathtaking venues led by a master guide, roads chosen to present a wide variety of technical challenges with little or no traffic, great camaraderie, and most important, the opportunity to be coached via radio and earphones in real-time!
Tiger Woods, like all serious professional in their given field, have personal coaches. If you fly, the FAA requires that you take periodic flights with an instructor to demonstrate competence and ensure current knowledge. Motorcycling is no less serious. If you love to ride, what are you waiting for? Just do it! You’ll absolutely love it. It will forever add to your motorcycling knowledge, enjoyment and skill. Think of it as an investment in yourself.
And … who knows, it just may add years to your life as well.
Mike Dale, Maryland