I just got back from a weekend at Jim Ford’s Riders Workshop. What adjectives best describe the experience? Unique. Challenging. Instructive.  Satisfying.

All of those, and perhaps most importantly, just plain fun.  Like a master brewer, Jim has concocted a blend of insightful motorcycle knowledge, great participants, and some of the best motorcycling roads on the planet into a marvelous product.

Jim doesn’t claim to know it all, but he knows a LOT, and is one of the smoothest and best curve riders that I’ve encountered. He’s spent many years on the “invisible roads” studying the science of riding curves. Participants are screened to ensure experienced, serious riders who are looking to expand their horizons, and Jim limits the number to 5 plus himself, so it’s like taking a spirited ride with friends.

The difference is that the guy out front (or directly behind you when he has each member of the group lead) is talking into everyone’s ear speaker all the while about the line, body position, shifting and throttle control, while reminding everyone to stay relaxed and SMOOOOOOOOOTH.

We all learned a lot from Jim, and almost as much from the each other. Accommodations in the Canaan Valley were excellent, and the discussion at the bar lasted well into the evening.

Thanks Jim (and Brad, Mike, Scott, and Mark) for an experience I’ll not soon forget.

On the first morning, Jim puts a little yellow star sticker on your dashboard, as a reminder to relax and be smooth. Think I’ll leave it there.

Mike Barth