Wow. I've just returned from Calder Park where we had the HART Advanced 1 rider training course. Talk about tiring... I left home at just before 7am and arrived back here just after 6pm, and spent most of the intervening hours riding either my ZZR (to/from the course) or their CB 600 hornet (during the course itself).

HART supplied us with the bikes, on the understanding that if we binned them, we'd pay the insurance excess. Fair enough As it was, only one person dropped their bike on the day, and that was on the grass. (No, it wasn't me, but I'm not going to point fingers at the guilty party just in case I drop it next time...)

The course was centred around road-riding skills - i.e. not hooning around a race-track at 200km/h. Funnily enough, we spent most of the day in first gear - and we were all absolutely buggered at the end of it. The course is only open to people who are on their open licences, so the standard of riders was pretty reasonable, but those instructors really put us to shame.

Probably the hardest thing for everyone to do was the tight turns, at full steering lock, using just the throttle (no clutch) in first gear. The number of people (myself included) who had to prop their bikes up with their feet was pretty embarrassing... The witches-hat slalom was cool, though. A couple of times, I had the bike cranked so far over that I tagged the hats with my mirrors1. That was very cool

All in all, it was an excellent day. I learnt heaps of ways to practise old stuff, and discovered that I don't have too many bad habits yet I'm seriously looking forward to the next course...

  1. The mirrors on the CB 600 are mounted on the handlebars, 'cause there's no fairing. In other words, they're much higher than the handlebars...