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Pre-learner course at Clyde

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Keiichisama, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Hey everyone. Just got back home from my second day and managed to stack it in the first ten minutes so the guy sit me out.

    I just wanted to give a quick review of our teacher. His name is Les and if you end up with him, try and switch to another class. As someone who has not touched a motorcycle before this course, he was not a good teacher. I would go so far as to call him a jerk.

    Firstly, he made sure to make us feel like idiots if someone makes a mistake. He also threatened us constantly and would tell us that if we did something wrong again like using three fingers to squeeze the front brake or stalling, we would be made to sit out. I hesitated every time I wanted to ask a question because he would reply with some smart ass comment to make you feel like an idiot.

    So I stacked it in the first ten minutes. I throttled a bit on the take off, panicked, lost my balance and ended up on the concrete and Les follows the stack with, 'That's what you get.' REALLY?

    I definitely will be going for my free two hours but if I end up with him again, I will be walking out right away. I'm interested to know if anyone has had him as a teacher and what their experience was like.
  2. Sorry to hear of your not-so-nice experience with Clyde mate... sometime I think people lose the fact they are attempting to impart knowledge/skills which may be very foreign to the student. Berating students isn't what I would call a useful teaching tool in the non-military world, it's most likely to cause alienation, trepidation and failure.

    When you call up Clyde to book your "free two hours", explain how you didn't gel with the instructor and would like to be grouped with another one. You don't have to go into gory detail about his teaching methodology unless you wish - he may have been simply having a "bad hair day" or his partner knocked back his advances the previous night.

    if you are looking for a different training centre, I can highly recommend HART @St Ives - the instructors are very professional and patient.
  3. Ring the organisation, I assume it was Stay Upright? and ask for another instructor. Having to sit out when you make a mistake is not teaching you the skills you need.

    When you ring ask to speak to the manager and just explain calmly that you did not feel comfortable with Les and that you did not find him supportive and his "verbal style" did not help your confidence. If it was Stay Upright they should be ok with swapping you to another instructor although you may need to change to another date.

    Good Luck :)
  4. geez...if the boys at HART sat me out every time I dropped the bike....

    Its good that your bad experience isn't turning you away from riding. I hope you have a better experience next time
  5. I did my pre-learner's at Clyde with Stay Upright.

    I had Brad I think it was the first day, he was good but I was hopeless. I had Kevinn for the remedial and then asked to do the second day with Kevinn as well.

    On one of the days (I think day two) I heard some people complaining about their instructor, sounds like the guy you're talking about, very similar complaints!

    Personally I think I got more from Kevinn, but they were both great instructors. When you ring up to book, specifically ask for the instructor you want and they should accommodate you. I've mentioned two that I thought were good.
  6. Is Les the short, skinny guy with the beard? Looks like a real old-school biker?
  7. I've done my L and P with Stay Upright at Botany. I never sat on a bike before I came for my pre-L, I have only positive feedback about the place and staff. You've just been unlucky, sorry for you mate.
  8. If you felt too intimated to ask questions then I'd ask to be doing the full course again.
    The Terms and Conditions for Stay Upright mention that they don't tolerate "bullying" and they have a complaints procedure in place. Whether you follow that procedure is up to you. I'm never fussy about complaints being reviewed internally but you could try it.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I'm gonna go ahead and assume Les is the guy I'm thinking of. He was my instructor for my P's test...
    The guy has forgotten more about riding than most people will ever know, but he does have a bit of a gruff exterior - I felt a bit silly more than once that weekend...

    But I'll tell you one thing: if you shut your mouth and really think about what he's saying, you will reap the benefits.

    But if you're chatting up the chick next to you, fiddling with your name sticker on the mirror or staring at the traffic going overhead, you're wasting his time and "mine", and you're gonna cop it from him. I saw a fair bit of that...

    (Personally I don't get why people turn up having never even sat on a bike before either, but that's nothing against you, OP...)
  10. I did my P's test at Clyde and had Les as my instructor (18mths ago). Great guy. Good sense of humour. No issues at all, and I think you're lucky to have had him. I gotta say that if Les (or any instructor for that matter) feels that you are or will be holding up the other class members, then that's a fair call. You'd have 5 other unhappy riders who didn't get enough attention or sufficient time to be reviewed before passing.

    Sorry to hear you didn't get along with him. Hope it all goes well and hope to see you out there on the road soon!
  11. I think i had Les? Is he skinny? Did he tell you about him growing up in Singapore or something?
  12. Thanks everyone for the feedback and for the advice. I don't think we're talking about the right person. He is actually tall and doesn't have much of a beard. He never talked to us about his private life. He didn't talk much at all. It was more like, "This is what's in the book now do it."

    I also don't think it's right to assume I wasn't giving him my full attention. I was very attentive during the class. There was only four of us. I gave him my full attention because I am or was very keen to get my bike. I had an experienced rider in my class and even he agreed Les was a jerk and a shit teacher. He taught me more than Les did during our breaks. As a matter of fact, the whole class agreed with me.

    Anyway, he has really discouraged me from getting my bike license now. I've decided to give it a while to see if my heart is still in it and to do the whole course again if I feel like it again. I will be emailing the head manager on their website after this post.
  13. I reckon it's the same guy and my memory of his height is faulty...
    I didn't assume, and neither did I accuse you of anything. I was stating my observation.

    Think hard.
    Because if you let one bad experience make you reconsider riding, best pack it in now. This one didn't even hurt...
  14. I did my P's at Clyde, I have no complaints. Pretty much any instructor at these motorcycle training places are no bullshit, fat, cranky old men who intimidate students at the slightest wrong, even when talking and asking about signing up etc.

    The point is, you can't please them, so grit your teeth and try to get your license. This will be the least of your worries, I've been riding less than one year and I've had my foot ran over by a Holden Commodore, and cut/bruised my leg and thigh coming off on a U-Turn, and numerous dropped bikes.
  15. I did my Pre-learners at Clyde. Our instructor was strict but very fair and helpful. Better to learn good habits from the start.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I did my pre learners at Clyde. There was a guy in my class that dropped his bike twice but the instructor just let him keep on going. Our instructor was good, nothing negative to say. Taught us what we needed to get going. LOL I remember a guy turning a corner and kept putting his foot down as he couldn't keep his balance.

    Did my P's with a mature guy, he was very good, he was straight in the teaching but easy going. He was teaching us things the right way, no short cut.

    I can't comment much on your instructor or what you had experienced. When I was there I did get the impression that they want to teach good habits and good foundation first. They taught me stuff which I use everyday. They are there to teach people to ride and to do so in a safe manner and with the right mentality. When I was there I did feel that I had learned a lot and covered the good ways to riding. Safety first to yourself and to others on the road. Anticipate all possible dangers and to think ahead.

    Look at all the bad drivers out there. I see lots everyday and sometimes ask myself how were they taught to drive, how can they drive so bad. As a rider only you can reduce the risk of dangers around you and to avoid them.

    Keep trying, we all started off as learners.
  17. It's a pre-learners course, what would you suggest?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Easy, tiger...

    It's the course to assess your ability to control the bike enough in traffic. Get your paper here, pass a basic road rules test and you're away, all on your own.
    To me, it's not the course to go and "try out" motorcycling and see if you like it. You should already have tried it, loved it, and be determined to get your license.
    There are numerous commercial courses available to give you the opportunity to sit on a bike, press all the buttons and see if you're really cut out for this caper.

    No wonder the instructors get grumpy when people crash all over their range.
  19. NiteKreeper, I actually agree with you that the learners' training and test is a joke, given that it allows you to take to the road solo with no previous driving experience (in Victoria, the only prerequisite is having passed the car learners' permit test.

    However, the pre-learners' training and test at upright is clearly aimed at absolute beginners. Just look at the other beginner-level courses they offer (edit: http://www.stayupright.com.au/vic.htm):

    Practice Sessions
    Leaner Permit Road Craft Course

    The Learners' Roadcraft Course is "designed to fine tune the skills learned in the Learner courses." The Practice Sessions are "limited to our previous customers only," which implies that you would already have needed to do the learners' course and test.

    So whether the licencing system is bad or not, the instructor in the op's course really needs approach his job expecting to be dealing with people who have never touched a motorcycle before, and not get grumpy when someone drops a bike (that's why they have huge crash bars).
  20. Yeah, and screw the other 4 or 5 people on the range, right? I mean, it doesn't really matter if they have to stop practising every 5 minutes while your sorry arse gets picked up again, does it?