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.
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:
I want to thank you again for a transformative experience over the two days of riding the invisible roads with you. I have been riding for 50 years and have logged a lot of miles and these two days sit at the top of my list of best motorcycling experiences–even with some rain. When I got back and tried to convey what it was like, I found using a skiing analogy a good way to have people understand the uniqueness and impact of The Riders Workshop experience and your unique brand of teaching.
I tell people to imagine that they are at their favorite ski resort and they have hired a great ski instructor to ski with them for two full days. The ski instructor is a very good skier, but more importantly he is a very good teacher. You wear headphones so he can talk to you while you ski–giving you in the moment, while you are doing it coaching. He skis ahead of you so you can see what the right form looks like and he skis behind you so he can provide corrections, tips and encouragement while you are in the act of trying to apply the new form and techniques. And he is fun to ski with. You find yourself skiing more smoothly and loving it. Its about the joy of skiing at the top of your game and not a collection of micro techniques. Now imagine that your ski instructor seems to know how to find a wide variety of perfect trails with great vistas and no one else is on them (“invisible trails”). You have the trails to yourself and you go from one to next for the full day without getting back on the chair lift. And these are black diamonds and bump runs but he shows you how to ski them in total control. You are in heaven.
And speaking of being in control, I have taken Lee Parks Total Control clinics–both basic and advanced–and while they are helpful and provide some useful techniques, they pale in comparison to what you teach in The Riders Workshop. In the Lee Parks clinics and in track days, the focus is on micro skills in an unnatural environment and it is left to the student to figure out how to apply what they have learned to the road ridding they really do. By contrast in The Rider’s Workshop you learn and apply the techniques while actually riding on real roads and the focus is on integrating the techniques to create smooth and seamless riding with real control. And it works! I left our riding feeling I had made a breakthrough in my own riding with a renewed passion to go beyond being an adequate rider to become a great rider. I am already looking at schedules to see when I can return for more.
I could not recommend The Riders Workshop more highly. It is unique, it is fun, it works and it is a great value. My already high expectations were greatly exceeded and I really enjoyed our time together. You are a class act.
David Bliss, Wilton Connecticut