In 9 days, I taught five twenty hour motorcycle classes. 7 of the days were conducted in what felt like boot melting heat. The last two days were in the 90's and happened to be on black asphalt. There was a moment of beginning to feel the effects of heat exhaustion. Lucky for me, it was at 1:00 p.m. when the morning class was ending and we spend the first hour of the 1:30 class inside. I needed that time to cool off and pump up the fluids. I did consume roughly 6 liters of water a day and 2-3 Gatorade's.
Now for the encouragement. For the Monday -Friday 6-10 p.m. classes, I was blown away by Dave, one of the students. 8 of 9 had passed the class and the class was a lot of fun to work with in spite of the heat. We sell shirts and hats to assist with the funding for an end of the year banquet. As we were wrapping up the class paperwork with the students, Dave wrote a $20 check for a long sleeve t-shirt. Dave asked me to step outside with him for just a moment. Once outside he pulls out $160 and I immediately thought, time to give the speech my pay is plenty. However he quickly send there are 8 students in the class and give them all a long sleeve t-shirt courtesy of him. His only request is that I let him leave a few minutes before the others so that he didn't get all kinds of thank you's. We went back in the trailer and Dave left a few moments later. The fellow students were wowed by Dave's generosity as I told them they all get a shirt courtesy of Dave. In these tough times, such acts of generosity will leave an impression on the riders and myself.
Two days later at the end of the morning weekend class, Kevin, another student comments on our tools. We replaced a clutch lever that morning. He asked if he could donate a small tool box to make repairs a little easier. No problem we said. A half hour later he shows up with a 260 piece Craftsman Mechanics tool set in a self contained toolbox with drawers still wrapped in the box. It was more meaningful to him that picking up some t-shirts.
So there it is, lots of generosity that I have to believe is a slight indication to the quality of our instruction. Even though I have taught over 20 classes so far this season (many to go still) I remind myself at the beginning of each class that this is often there first experience ever with a motorcycle. And what an honor it is that I get to be a part of it. Just as important, when remembering that it is such a blast to do what we do in facilitating people to ride a motorcycle for the first time!