The best way to become a responsible dirt bike rider is by signing up for dirt bike riding lessons with a competent and experienced instructor. While I was growing up, I was fortunate to have my family to teach me proper riding techniques and safety issues from an early age but not everyone has that opportunity. Taking a class will get you up and running with the knowledge necessary to earn the respect of experienced dirt bike enthusiasts.
Local bike shops, community centers and schools are good places to start when looking for qualified instructors offering dirt bike riding lessons. Here are some of the basic things you’ll want to know - inside and out – about the class you’re considering before you sign up.
- You want a class that lasts longer than a minute. Meaning, you aren’t going to learn all you need to know in a couple of hours about how to be a safe and qualified dirt bike rider if all the class covers are the preliminaries of how to start and stop the bike.
- Take lessons that offer both classroom instruction and supervised hands-on instruction. The classroom portion should cover the basics of equipment, maintenance, performance, braking, unforeseen situations when riding and safety techniques.
- Hands-on supervised instruction by experienced instructors should take you step-by-step though each skill. This should include the basics of controlling the bike, operating the bike, optimum braking techniques, maneuvering in tight spaces, strategies for avoiding a collision, and safe cornering techniques.
- Instruction should also include how to ride in inclement weather and how to safely negotiate your way around and through road hazards, road construction sites, loose gravel and sand, water, rocks and any additional situations that require excellent biking maneuverability skills.
- If possible, find a school or shop offering certified bike riding and safety classes that offer a certificate upon successful completion of the class.
- If the lessons you take are only about the mechanics of riding, be sure to find and sign up for an additional course designed for bike riding safety.
Another thing to keep in mind is dirt bike riding, on or off a course, takes a lot of physical endurance and stamina. Getting fit and staying that way with exercise and a healthy diet will give your body the power and energy it needs for all the starts, stops, whoops and loops and jumps and bumps that go along with riding.
Going to school and taking classes may not sound like a lot of fun but if your goal is to become a pro rider, taking the time to do it right from the get-go will keep you on track for a successful riding career!