An Introduction



The Rider’s Workshop is an on-road boutique Appalachian 2-day workshop for intermediate to advanced riders who want to develop more riding confidence and expert road riding skills. The Workshop is a thorough study of East Coast mountain riding shared with like-minded enthusiasts, in groups no larger than 5.

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 –  layer by layer - skill by skill – The Art of Riding Smooth. Being smooth means heightened awareness, and a relaxed presence of mind. Being smooth means safety and fun at any speed especially through curves. Essentially The Rider’s Workshop is a study of confidently motorcycling mountain curves.

Afterward, your ability to confidently handle your motorcycle with newfound skills and expertise will give you great enjoyment and satisfaction, since what you have largely done was to develop YOUR LINE.

The “classroom” is miles of Appalachian Invisible Roads. Except for locals on tractors, in pickup trucks, or riding in Amish buggies, Invisible Roads are virtually unknown to outsiders yet offer compelling riding conditions, great beauty, and wild, natural surprises! These rural roads run along tilled farmland, pastures, remote ridgelines, and stretch along shaded creeks of clear splashing water. And there is very little traffic!

Finally, and most importantly, The Rider’s Workshop is dedicated to safe mountain riding. Like Zen, The Art of Riding Smooth is an enlightened state of mind.

Here’s what one rider recently wrote about his experience in The Rider’s Workshop:


Now that the adrenaline rush from riding those incredible roads is subsiding and the true value of the workshop is becoming clearer and clearer I wanted to write to say “Thank You!” for a great 2 days of riding and a very worthwhile learning experience.

I came into the workshop with almost 10 years of riding experience and approximately 100,000 miles under my belt.  My previous riding included some of the well known roads in the Smokies, in Vermont, in Colorado and elsewhere, both paved and dirt.  However, as I said to you after the first day of the workshop, the roads we followed for the workshop made me feel like a novice again. But I learned to follow you and the others, find the right line and listened to your coaching through up’s and down’s, around curves and hairpins, sometimes on roads barely one lane wide.  At the end of the workshop I felt like I knew how to approach such challenging conditions and have the tools now to ride them with some degree of confidence and the expectation that continued practice will lead to continued improvement.

Thanks for putting together such a first class riding and learning experience! Dan Cogan, Ann Arbor Michigan

 Posted by at 4:28 pm