A Little Encouraging

Century College is one of the biggest MSF/MMSC training centers in Minnesota and the Cities. The college had a down year in 2015, with a total of 542 students enrolling in the Century Motorcycle Safety Classes for the year (slightly over half of previous stronger years). Some of the demographic breakdown is interesting, though.

  • 15-19: 13%
  • 20-29: 37%
  • 30-45: 27%
  • 45-60: 19%
  • 60-up: 3%

There were years when more than half of our students were 60-up. Harley and Polaris’ golden years, I suppose. It is dramatically easier to teach physical and mental skills to people who are still in school or only recently left an environment where they were expected to learn something occasionally. More fun, too.

30% of our students were women. I don’t really have much of an opinion about that. Too often, women are taking the class because a spouse or boyfriend insists they “need to know how to ride.” That rarely works out well. It is a terrible motivation. And often leads to an often-dropped-motorcycle and tears.

About 85% of the students who enroll in a course pass it. You could blame that stat on good instructors, which Century has plenty of. I tend to believe that the course is far too easy. Many people who should not pass, do. Occasionally, someone who rides well screws up something simple and fails, but that’s rare and easily remedied with a “Skills Retest” card. The bigger problem is the much larger group who pass, barely, and on their only decent ride of the weekend. They have been marginally trained to ride a motorcycle slowly, in a free-from-traffic parking lot, with an instructor providing moment-by-moment instruction. Real world traffic will overwhelm them.

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