I just spent one of the most fun weekends of the year down in Hood River, OR. I attended the Adventure Sidecar S/TEP training course. This is an Evergreen Safety Council sanctioned event. There were seven students and two instructors. The training was incredibly well set up; Friday evening was spent going through motorcycle fundamentals. Saturday morning found us in a field sharing three sidecars, four actually. Two of the students, a father and son team, brought their Ural and used it throughout the weekend. The other hacks were composed of two KLR's and a Suzuki Bandit! We spent a big part of the day getting used to driving and riding in hacks. The afternoon was spent finishing up rules and regs of sidecar driving. On Sunday morning and early afternoon, with Mt. Adams basking in the background, we drove the sidecars without a monkey. The techniques taught became more complicated and the driving situations more complex. The afternoon ended with the seven students being tested on their driving skills. Everyone passed!

Throughout the three day event, Vernon and Monica, our two instructors, kept us busy and upbeat. Their ability to pass on the knowledge and skills needed to be a competent beginning hack driver is unsurpassed. Vernon has posted some pictures of the event at: www.adventuresidecar.smugmug.com . If you want to see a sampling of the fun we had, I recommend you check out that site. I'm the handsome fellow in the neon yellow jacket.

I took advantage of Vern's offer to spend the weekend in one of his tipi's. It was just an incredible time! And as a special bonus, the food Vern cooked up was delicious! listening to the rain drops strike the sides of the tipi was very soothing after a hard day's work learning how to handle a hack. The place was like Camelot, it rained during the night and was (mostly) dry during the day. The sun came out totally on Sunday to make that the perfect test weather for the weekend.

I strongly recommend this kind of training to anyone considering driving a hack. I came home ready to start driving it around and having fun. I am now confident that i have the skills to be a safe, good beginning driver.