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Motorcycle Safety

Humber Training

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The Motorcycle Training and Safety Program offered at Humber College in Toronto had a very strong reputation and was the largest of its kind in the world. In the Gearing Up program, each summer weekend 100 new riders were trained in essential safety skills in the Humber parking lots on motorcycles provided by Humber. The intense comprehensive program took students through an escalating sequence of exercises from walking the bike through slow-speed maneuvers, clutch handling and gear shifting exercises, accelerating and decelerating in curves into emergency collision avoidance, stopping and swerving techniques, and the final riding test.

The Gearing Up (Basic Rider) program covered the transition from M1 to M2 license. Humber also offered an M2 exit course that covered the transition from M2 to full M license, as well as a Prorider course for experienced bikers, a Refresher course and a Motorcycle Maintenance course. Beginning in 2002, a new Intermediate course was also offered, bridging the gap between the Basic Rider course and the M2 exit course, to benefit the experienced rider who needs certification for insurance purposes.

My experience of the course was intense! It was August and the course was full until October, but I had time to do it just that one weekend, so I called frequently to see if a vacancy opened up, and two hours before the course started, one did! Fortunately I had bought my helmet that day, so I could participate. The stress level was high and I didn't sleep much that weekend. Almost all the students drove cars, but I hadn't driven a car for 10 years and had never driven standard, so I had quite a challenge learning about the clutch, and I stalled a lot! Thanks to my excellent and supportive instructors Dave Arkilander and Jim Robinson, and Sasha Soloviov who taught me motorcycle maintenance. Jim said several constructive things that really helped me. In the test I stalled after completing each of the first two exercises and was discouraged. Jim suggested I consider instead that I was still here (still "in the game," not one of those who had already been eliminated) - which was true! It turned out stalling after finishing an exercise didn't matter. Earlier when I was discouraged about stalling, I said it would be ironic if I failed because of difficulty driving standard, since my reason for taking the course was to get a licence for a scooter, which is automatic. Jim said not to look at it that way, but to consider it as another skill to add to my arsenal of skills. He was right! Since I acquired that skill, it opened the door for me to get a motorcycle instead of a scooter, and that's what I decided to do! Now I use my motorcycle for transportation, and I don't stall. Thanks, Jim! :)

After training over 60,000 people to ride motorcycles safely over a period of 40 years, the Humber program ceased operations at the end of 2019.