Every other year or so, the OSC looks to invest in an instructor development activity for the volunteers of the Motorcycle Training Program. In part, this is to provide some recognition of the significant contribution of these volunteers, but it is also intended to improve instructors’ ability to deliver the motorcycle training programs. In past years, instructors have participated in FAST Riding School courses at Shannonville; Trail Tours dirt bike training at Ganaraska Forest and at Limerick Forest; and Turn2 rider courses at Calabogie.
Our instructors are expected to be excellent riders and teachers of safety, but not everyone has extensive experience of various motorcycling nuances (such as dirt or track riding – though quite a few do). By being placed in an unfamiliar situation, and taking on the role of student rather than instructor, professional development experiences can contribute greatly to understanding the novice student’s perspective of getting on a motorcycle for the first time.
2017 is planned to be an instructor development year. No choice has been made yet, but the objectives are clear. In a perfect world, the activity should A) contribute to the instructor’s riding/coaching skills; B) build a sense of comradery, teamwork, and cohesion; C) be FUN; and D) be motorcycle related.
The challenge is to find an option that meets these objectives, falling within a reasonable budget, fitting the varied experience and skill levels of the instructor cadre, and is geographically within reach. Beyond what has been done before, different options are being reviewed, including flat track riding – as a skill set we have yet to explore as a group. An early decision of upcoming professional development plans will allow the most flexibility and the opportunity to coordinate our calendars.
Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated and can be emailed to Ridesafe@ottawasafetycouncil.ca
By Keith McIntosh, Acting Chief, Immediate Past Chair, OSC Board of Directors