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Paul B + RawHyde = Priceless Education

Tuesday, January 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barry Downing #152220

I have to take the time to thank the MOA Foundation for my Paul B Scholarship which I used to attend a RawHyde off-road training course. I attended RawHyde’s Intro to Adventure Camp, which they say is “an introduction to dirt riding techniques.” Base Camp Alpha on Monday and Tuesday isn’t part of the formal training, but it was a great two days to put my newly learned skills to use.

The Camp started on Friday with “Intro to Nomenclature,” about a two-hour overview of the GS and GS Adventure electronic controls and systems. We learned how to set up the bike to fit each rider properly for height and weight, and how to change the programming for suspension and ride modes. I recommend this, as there are many tricks of the trade to learn that aren’t in the owner’s manual.

Following that, we did the “Pre-Training Clinic.” This four-hour session focused on throttle, clutch and brake control, with an afternoon spent working the motorcycle through its paces with multiple exercises like how to balance the motorcycle with one hand, walking the motorcycle up a hill while standing beside it, and how to pick up the motorcycle. I rented one of RawHyde’s GS Adventures for the event, and it was an excellent time to get a feel for the bike and get it dialed in for me. I recommend this clinic because it’s a good opportunity to let the body clock adjust a bit and get to know the folks you’ll be riding with. It’s also a chance to get in some early work on skills.

The formal training took place on Saturday and Sunday. We did a lot of off road riding with hills, sand, figure-eights, whoops, mountain climbs to the cell tower, digging the bike out of the sand, and more.

The instructors were excellent--patient, friendly and very professional. The instructor/student ratio varied by the different stages, but there was usually one instructor for five or so students, and they were all excellent coaches. The staff is very friendly, accessible and professional. At the end of each training day we did a recap of what our highs and lows were and found most of the group faced similar challenges and accomplishments.

The facility created a great atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie, especially with the open bar after training to add to the atmosphere. First class refreshments and hors d’oeuvres were served as well as excellent meals, which were accompanied by some of Jim Hyde’s wine selections. Jim is a great host, and he and his team made us all feel part of the family. There was even Live entertainment provided by The E&O Medicine Show—two of the instructors with guitar and electric violin!

While I have been riding motorcycles for 40 years, I have no off-road experience, and, wanting to do some adventure riding, I picked up a 2014 GSA to complement my ’15 RT. I took the BMW road course training in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and wanted to get proper training for off-road riding. RawHyde exceeded my expectations for training, and I now have a great tool box to practice from to put the skills I learned to their proper use.

I unconditionally recommend RawHyde Adventures for anyone looking to learn how to properly ride off road or to just take a couple of days to play in the mountains. There are some things one cannot put a price tag on, and this training is one of them. It’s priceless to learn skills to keep my hide intact! That I could offset the cost of the training with the Foundation’s Paul B Scholarship is an added bonus to the whole thing.

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