The Art of Riding Smooth – Floyd, Virginia

Roan Mt Group lrHigh Elevation Along the Invisible Roads

Includes: 2 days of full instruction. Course Syllabus, GPS files of Magical Mountainous Tour
Fee: $600.00 cash.
Maximum size: 5
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THE ART OF RIDING SMOOTH is a 2-day overland circuit Workshop from Floyd, Virginia. The Workshop is for intermediate to advanced riders who are interested in developing their on-pavement riding skills AND who are looking for a great ride!

The Workshop begins over breakfast on Saturday mornings at 7:30 AM at Tuggles Gap Restaurant. It’s located at the intersection of the fabulous Blue Ridge Parkway and Route 8. (You can’t miss it.) Over breakfast, I’ll give an overview of our 2-day Workshop and everyone will have an opportunity to introduce themselves.

Day 1 has several objectives: First is to develop good riding posture. All sports have proper postures. Sport-touring does to. Second is learning to use your eyes in ways that perhaps you have not used them before. A rider must read a road efficiently and effectively for issues of safety and fun. It all has to do with seeing well. The third skill is to develop your “line.” The purpose of the mountain line is to place your motorcycle on the pavement for continuous safety. I have engineered a mantra which is the blueprint for this line. Your goal before your workshop is to commit this mantra to memory. Click HERE for the mantra.

We usually return to Floyd around 6:30, so it’s a full day’s ride. Dinner is scheduled for 8 PM. A good night’s sleep is practically guaranteed.

Day 2 breakfast is at 8 am at the Poor Framer’s Market. This is a farm fresh market in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. It’s located at the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Rt 58. Take the exit toward Stuart. Look for a Marathon Gas Station.  Departure is 8:30.

The emphasis of Day 2 is to sharpen your line. Motorcycling in such a mountainous environment with continuous elevation change, a rider must manage momentum. The skill is to develop precise speed when approaching and entering curves. The skills are proper gearing, seamless shifting, brakeless braking, and smooth throttle control.

The pace over both days is relaxed; it’s never fast. Riders examine and discard ineffective riding habits in favor of better ones. (Out with the old! In with the new!) Each skill required for reading a road, developing your line and managing momentum are broken down and detailed during roadside “chalk talk. Then these skills are repeated, reinforced, and repeated again using 2-way radio communication. Getting better requires perfect practice. Immediate feedback in real-time fosters perfect practice however perfection is rarely maintained until you learn it cold.

Since we’re riding Invisible Roads with very little traffic, we can ride at our own pace. Lunch both days is between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock. There are plenty of bio-breaks along the way.

The workshop will conclude in Floyd, Virginia in late afternoon. At its conclusion you’ll have met new friends, learned hundreds of miles of new roads, and be thoroughly acquainted with the skills you’ll need to further develop yourself into the motorcyclist your aspire to become.

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Here are two reviews from past years’ workshops:

I’ve been a student of motorcycle riding for several years now. I’ve read a lot of books and taken numerous parking-lot-oriented classes, but I’ve never had any real road-based training. Jim’s classroom is a continuous series of open, twisty roads, and he does a great job of equipping your mental toolbox with everything it needs to safely and proficiently negotiate them.

On my return home, I made a point to take roads locally renowned for being twisty and ones I’ve never felt comfortable riding. These roads were now straightforward and fun – in the rain.

Jim took a passion of mine that I spend a lot of time doing, and he showed me how to do it really well. It would have taken years for me to arrive at this place on my own. This was truly a transformational experience for me!!  Michael Wadsworth, Palmyra NY


I can’t thank you enough for the Rider’s Workshop last weekend.  I hope you don’t mind if I go on a bit here with a few specifics that you can share with others who are thinking about taking the course.  Please also feel free to pass along my name and number to anyone who would like a “live” testimonial.

I am an experienced rider of 30-plus years and well over 100,000 miles.  This is just some of what I learned or improved in your two-day workshop:

  • Choosing gears more effectively for better control, confidence, and smoothness in curves
  • Reading a road better, looking to the “vanishing point,” and taking in the full picture of the environment
  • Using my GPS to anticipate curves beyond visual sight
  • Using a trailing rear brake in a curve to enhance stability, particularly in descending terrain
  • How to get a tactile feel, while riding at speed, for the traction of the road surface under varying weather and surface conditions
  • How to up- and down-shift more smoothly
  • How to ride with more precision, attention, and awareness
  • How to identify and seek out the countless lightly trafficked “invisible roads” that are outstanding for motorcycle riding

But the whole of the workshop was much greater than the sum of these parts.  The experience reinvigorated me and my love for riding.  By taking your approach toward riding as an art with a focus on precision and smoothness, every road and curve, no matter how familiar, becomes new and fresh to me.

Ten years ago, I paid about $700 for an Aerostich riding suit (they are $847 today).  The suit was a good investment, because it makes riding safer and more enjoyable in varying weather conditions.  For about the same money, your workshop is an even better investment in riding safety and enjoyment.  I know that it will pay me dividends for many years to come. Tom Callahan, Alexandria Virginia