The Art of Riding Smooth – Thurmont, MD

Roan Mt Group lrHigh Elevation Along the Invisible Roads

Includes: 2-way radio & ear-bud rental. Dinner and lodging. Course Syllabus
Fee: $995.00 PayPal or check.
$900.00 Cash
Maximum size: 5
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THE ART OF RIDING SMOOTHLY is a 2-day overland Workshop to Davis, WV. You’ve heard the joke about West Virginia, right? Flatten the state and it’s the size of Texas! 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 emphasis on Day 1 is learning to read a road and developing your “line.” You will be furnished with a blueprint for this line in the form of a short mantra. Students are expected to commit this simple mantra to memory. Click HERE  for the mantra.

The emphasis on Day 2 is on sharpening your line largely by managing momentum. The emphasis is developing precise speed by using brakeless braking, proper gearing, and smooth throttle control as you approach curves. If you want to ride curves well, you have to approach curves with the right amount of speed.

The pace over both days is relaxed, never fast, as riders examine and discard ineffective riding habits in favor of  better ones.  The skills 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 furnished 2-way radio communication. Getting better requires perfect practice. Immediate feedback in real-time fosters perfect practice however perfection is rarely achieved.

The Workshop begins over breakfast on Saturday mornings at 7:30 AM at the Kountry Kitchen restaurant at 17 Water St in Thurmont, MD. (Important: park in the back!)  I’ll give an overview of the Workshop and explain what is expected of each rider. Each participant will have an opportunity to recite the mantra.

We’ll begin the day at a relaxed pace on Invisible Roads geared (pun intended) toward inspiring scenery. The route to Davis is about 260 miles long and consists entirely of good pavement.

Since we’re riding Invisible Roads we can ride at our own pace since there will be little traffic. Lunch is between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock. There are plenty of bio breaks along the way.

We usually arrive in Davis 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.

Sunday morning breakfast is at 7:15 on the premises. Departure is 8:30. The 170 mile route to Berkeley Springs, WV for a late lunch is entirely different but just as scenic. The Workshop concludes after lunch.

The Art of Riding Smoothly Workshop is a motorcycling education that develops your line. By developing your line, you develop ridership and confidence.

By the second day’s end, you’ll have met new friends and be thoroughly acquainted with the skills you’ll need to further develop yourself into as complete a motorcyclist as you intend to become. Book Now

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