Call me Mister Six Million

4 10 2011

The last two hectic weekends have been fine examples of low-cost, high-value entertainment. I spent this past Saturday and Sunday in Chicago for the Students for Liberty Midwest Regional Conference (total cost to me: $20 plus whatever I ended up spending on Chicago’s overpriced booze). The week before that, I caught the season’s last Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course.

The weekend-long course, taught at Washtenaw Community College, cost a grand total of $25. That included an evening of classroom time followed by two days of hands-on motorcycle training and range riding. The instructors were approachable, helpful, and above all, patient.

I can’t recommend this course enough. It’s taught basically everywhere; many community colleges in Michigan seem to offer it nearly every weekend, spring through summer. If you’ve ever considered a motorcycle, are mystified by the culture that has sprung up around something that is often considered a two-wheeled death machine, or just want a weekend of cheap but rigorous entertainment, you owe it to yourself to check out the program. There’s a course-finding tool on the MSF’s homepage.

Of course, the Basic Rider Course isn’t much of a secret at this point. The weekend after I completed the program, the MSF announced that it had educated six million students–a testament to the program’s popularity and success. To me, the implication here is obvious: I am that six millionth new rider.

I have no way of knowing whether I am actually the MSF’s six millionth graduate (you’d think there would have been balloons falling from the ceiling, or an oversize graduation certificate or something), but I’m going to run with it. Or rather, ride with it–I can’t wait to get a cheap motorcycle, hit the road, and put my training to the test.

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