Reg’s Memorial Day Newsletter

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Face_aboveI hope you’re starting off a fantastic Memorial Day weekend, an excellent time to stop and remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military. I know I’ll keep that in mind as we celebrate here with a nice long weekend.

What a season this has kicked off to be and it’s just flying by! Next weekend is already the 7th annual Fast and Safe Seminar, happening June 2 here at our CLASS HQ at Santa Paula Airport. We’ve got some great guests coming including our good friends from SHOEI Premium Helmets as well as former USAF and NASA pilot and CLASS student: Steve Ishmael to talk a little about high flying and low flying. It’s free to 2018 CLASS students, $25 for non-students, and if you’re within riding distance, I hope you’ll join us. The raffle is fantastic with things like half off a SHOEI helmet and a full set of Dunlop tires, not to mention the hats and tee shirts from DP Brakes and more. And yes, the OMG hot dog guy will be here again and lunch is on CLASS! Pre-register today.

Never Stop Learning is my slogan again this year and I’ve had the opportunity to be reminded…  Many of you know I had a hiccup entering the Corkscrew in March and wound up hitting the ground hard. I fractured 7 ribs and my pelvis in two places. I am happy to say I’m much better now though the recovery has been a little tiresome. But I put down the walking stick a couple of weeks ago and haven’t looked back. I am extremely grateful for my excellent team who, upon my early afternoon departure from Laguna Seca, picked it up and finished the day without a hitch. I’m also thankful for my Shoei X-14 helmet which, though I was out for a couple of minutes, protected me from a concussion, not even a headache.

Left: Reg and Wes Cooley. Right: Miguel Duhamel, Ron Pierce, Ken Greene and Gigi P.

In April we had 3 consecutive days out at Streets of Willow. Our Champions Day, Motor Officers and Women’s Days out at Streets of Willow were truly for the record books. About 140 riders over those 3 days and not one single incident. Wes Cooley, Ron Pierce and Miguel Duhamel joined us on the Monday for a terrific time. Lots of great stories in addition to a fantastic CLASS with plenty of riding and learning.

Motorofficer2018.jpg#welovecops Thanks Etech Photo

On Tuesday the Motor Officers Day had us with 60 cops and every single one of them improved and had a great time. Thank you officers and deputies for continuing to make the Motor Officer Advanced Training days continue to grow. Because of the success of that Spring date, we have added a second MOAT date which is October 9, 2018.  We are approaching half full as of now but if you think you’ll make that date, we need to hear from you now. Thanks for helping us get the word out!

The Women’s Day was off the chart. It was great fun to have Gigi step up to help more than ever with classroom and coaching the ladies. The guys of course did a terrific job as well. Rider Magazine’s Jenny Smith wrote an article and put it on their “Woman Rider” website. Check it out.

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#girlpower One great group of Women CLASS riders! Etech Photo.

Many people ask about Women’s schools, and as of now we don’t have another one planned this season. But CLASS truly is a school for both genders. In fact at D-Day a couple of weeks ago, of 14 students, two were women. Because we teach control and technique in a relaxed, non-competive atmosphere, most women find our standard school to be extremely helpful. If you are or know a woman who would like to become a better, safer, more confident rider, CLASS can help. If you’d like more information, or if you have a group of women riders contemplating their own day, give us a call in the office and Gigi would be happy to talk about coming to CLASS and what to expect.

Click here for the CLASS website

We’re still bubbling from two absolutely amazing days out at Streets of Willow where we had a dozen or so students for D-Day. These schools really do just seem to keep getting better. Perfect weather and a fantastic group of students and instructors really just made it as good as it gets. We received some really exceptional feedback (read one student’s fun accounting here) on those days and my hat’s off to everybody who did such a great job — students and the CLASS team. Thank you for all you do. If you’re interested we have 3 spots remaining for our September D-Day CLASS and bike rentals available. Learn more…

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#ridered Marcus follows student Kenn on the CB500F at D-Day. Thanks Etech Photo.

320Turn2Laguna.jpgWe’ll be back on track in July up at Laguna Seca Raceway, now officially called “WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca”. But it’s still one of our very favorites and I know it is for many of you as well. The dates are July 23 and 24 and we are just about 2/3 full right now. We look forward to a full school there again this summer, so don’t delay in getting registered early for that one. For those of you who might not be “local” I still have a few of the CBR500s and CBR300s to rent for two days — talk to us. Register for CLASS.

Honda250Horiz.jpgSpeaking of rental bikes, huge thanks to Honda who once again has stepped up providing CLASS with a new motorcycles. I just received a couple of new 2018 CBR500Rs which have been a welcome addition to our rental fleet. The CBR500R or CB500F – light, nimble bikes with just the right amount of power to work on all the things we teach at CLASS. We also rent the CBR300 and CB300Fs and find that riders also really take to these lightweight, non-intimidating machines to get around the racetrack at a fun and sporty pace. If you think you’d like to join us on one of our CLASS Hondas, talk to us soon.

Gigi and I head off to Norway the middle of next month for a two week motorcycle tour of the mountains and fjords. It’s our fifth trip to that wonderful place and we’re looking forward to spending time on the bike and with many good friends. We’ll take lots of pictures!

I’ll leave you with a little fun from the Motor Officer Advanced Training Day. At the end of lunch we asked the officers to participate, and they obliged with lights and sirens. This time it was the #Hamburglar they were after…


As we head into Summer, we wish you all the best, Ride Safe, Think Fast.

Cheers,

regsiglg

Reg Pridmore
(805) 933-9936
reg@classrides.com
Click here for the CLASS website
Click here for the 2018 CLASS Calendar

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Simply Amazed – A student’s review of the CLASS D-Day Event

Motorcycle riding is an art form. With each passing year and every mile behind in my rear-view mirror, I appreciate that observation with increasing gravitas. As a lifelong guitarist, playing both professionally and simply for fun, logging thousands of hours practicing and polishing my playing, I think I can safely say that the similarity between attempting to master a musical instrument and attempting to master riding a motorcycle has far more similarities than differences. Here’s the thing: in the best moments, playing a musical instrument or sailing through a corner on a motorcycle take you to a place where thoughts, distractions, and ego simply disappear and there is only the moment, a convergence of experience and being that meld into moments I like to call the “eternal now.” If you’ve experienced it, it needs little explanation as it is a place of total bliss in which you simply disappear into the moment. Some call it nirvana.

Getting to these moments doesn’t come for free. The universe requires your effort, your care, your love. With each hour spent in the studio or on the track, more is revealed to you, more of the secrets open up, reveal themselves to you, and then the second bliss washes over you – the exhilarating “aha!” moment when you truly “get it.” But where to learn the secrets?

Enter Reg Pridmore, three-time AMA champion, Jedi master of the art of motorcycling, and owner/operator of the legendary CLASS motorcycle school, who along with wife Gigi Pridmore and a cadre of highly experienced and talented instructors make it their mission and passion to help you become a better motorcyclist. I only wish I had found them sooner in life rather than later, I would be a much better rider today.

I first heard of CLASS when I read Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s book “The Perfect Vehicle.” I had never even thought about taking a course at a motorcycle school, that was for the aspiring Nicky Haydens, Valentino Rossis and Casey Stoners of the world. Not me. What a mistake. I took two days of CLASS instruction at a glorified go-cart track in Colorado. Long story short, I learned more in two days at CLASS than in all my prior “experience” riding on the street. I had never considered things like foot position on the pegs, using the lower body to steer a motorcycle, looking through the corners, using high RPMs to control speed, relaxing on the handlebars, and a long, long list of wonderful things I learned at CLASS. It was a revelation and I was instantly a better rider.

After a close encounter with a deer this last summer, I realized I needed more training and signed up for CLASS’s D-Day experience at the Streets of Willow Springs racetrack in Rosamond, California, a two-day camp limited to twelve riders, with a ratio of one rider to one instructor. I had high expectations for D-Day based on my previous CLASS experiences and not only were they met but exceeded. More than a few times I came off the track with a big smile only to be met by big smiles from the other participants. Many times, I was disappointed to see the lights come on Reg’s scooter indicating the session was over, I didn’t want to come off the track!

I can’t say enough about the great instructors that are part of the CLASS team. Not everyone can teach, it takes empathy and great communication skills to impart understanding in a way that a student can grasp. I think it is especially hard when the subject – like motorcycle riding or playing a musical instrument – brush up against the limits of language to describe the feel and subtleties so essential to translating words into action. Well these guys are masters at it and they obviously love what they are doing and are deeply passionate about it. They WANT you to succeed, they WANT you to get it and translate their guidance into results on the track. Not once did I feel talked down to and not once did I feel the weight of an inflated ego. Like other truly gifted and talented I’ve met, they simply don’t care what anyone thinks of them, they care about the thing they are doing. Reg likes to say the instructors are the “best.” It is hard to see it any other way having had the privilege of their instruction over the course of two days.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Gigi Pridmore, who keeps the whole thing running like a clock and does it with grace, empathy, and poise, so much so that it is easy to miss what she does. CLASS just flows from activity to activity and before you know it, the day is done, and you leave with a big smile on your face and lots of new skills in your trick bag. Gigi Pridmore is a big part of why CLASS runs like a machine.

There are many reasons to attend CLASS and if the art part of the equation doesn’t grab you, consider this: becoming a better rider, understanding the physics of a motorcycle, and learning to control the machine can literally save your life. If the only thing you learn in CLASS is how to control your lines and make good decisions going through corners, you will have spent your money well. If you get to sail through those corners and experience the eternal now, consider that ice cream on the pie.

-Tim W.

Out from Colorado, Tim rode our rental Honda CBR500R. Thanks for the photo Etech Photo