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Risk Hierarchy: Information - Rider Ed - Driver Ed - Conspicuity - Bike Defect - Ultra-Defensive Riding - Crash Avoidance - Injury Mitigation - Crash Scene
MSF Basic Rider Course - Test format
Control Skills Assessment
The final evaluation for the Basic Rider's Course is in two sections, a range-based assessment and a multiple-choice exam.
The range portion is done right after the final range session, in this case Sunday around noon. The testing continued for about an hour, which each student being assessed separately.
The test consists of a box-u-turn exercise, a swerve maneuver, where the rider is instructed to swerve to the right or left around a car-sized obstacle marked out with cones and a quick stop where the rider is instructed when to stop by a coach with various turns between the set-pieces.
The skills test scoring is complex.
The focus is on the critical skill of cornering, which is an issue in the majority of single bike crashes, and on the accident-avoidance skills of swerving and quick stopping. Deficits in these areas are penalized most heavily.
You lose points for improper technique such as traveling too far in the stop, riding too slow for the time standard, not using both brakes and failure to downshift to 1st gear in the quick stop, putting your foot down or crossing the boundary in the figure 8 box. Riding too slow or braking in the swerve costs points. In cornering, looking down at the lines and cones, deceleration, riding too slow, hitting a boundary and not using both brakes to slow upon entry are cause for deduction. If a student accrues 21 points or more that is a failure. Putting a bike down is also an automatic failure.
The box penalty points are three for breaching the boundary or putting a foot down the first time, five for a second time, maximum eight. This is scored the least hard as it is not one of the vital safety skills of stopping, swerving and cornering. You'll lost more points on these in a complicated equation involving speed and timing. Crossing the line on the corner will get you 15 points.
Two riders scored zero points, one scored five, one six and two riders had eight points each, meaning that everyone was performing well within the satisfactory level.
It was clear that even the one woman who had no previous riding experience at all had come a long way in the two days of riding.
Classroom knowledge test.
Students took lunch and convened a little after 2 PM for the final knowledge test. The material consisted of 50 multiple-choice questions taken from the 126 example questions given at the back of the manual. The students had no access to their textbooks during the test.
A passing grade is 80 percent, or 40 of the questions answered correctly.
All six of the students passed.
After all the students had completed the test, grades were computed immediately and certificates were handed out.
A final session included acknowledgement of the course sponsors, who were mostly local bike businesses, and they are listed in the cyclesafety.net site.