Featured Riding School: Sharp Rider
April 8, 2019 by
Lee Parks interviews Donna Skinner of, Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training, located in Ontario/Canada.
Hi Donna, please introduce yourself to us: I am one of the owners of Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training. I’m a long-time rider, a passionate and dedicated instructor and the site administrator to all the learning and fun at the school! I own and ride a 2006 Suzuki Katana and my husband Randy, also an instructor for Sharp Rider rides a 2012 Honda CRB600RR. Besides all that, I have a business partner and we own GTAmotorcycle.com which is a motorcycle enthusiast’s online community which we established in 1999. All our businesses can be found on several social media platforms and that’s how we get the word out about classes and other motorcycle information into the community. My life is immersed in the motorcycle industry, I love it, and wish to give the best-of-the-best to my students and customers!
How did you start riding? I was the middle child and only girl. My oldest brother had a dirt bike when he was 7 or 8. When he outgrew it I thought it would be passed to me, but it skipped right by me to my little brother. “Girls don’t ride motorcycles”, was the answer I got when I asked why. As I got older, I was a passenger from time to time. Then, my boyfriend at the time loved to ride so I spent a great deal of time on the passenger seat, which was about as comfortable as a 2 x 4 wrapped together with a brick. Any time I complained, his response to me was always “well, you can always get your license and your own bike”. So that’s what I did. Signed up for the motorcycle licensing course through one of the colleges and I haven’t looked back. Getting my motorcycle license was the best thing I ever did.
What inspired you to establish Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training? Well, sadly I lost quite a few friends to motorcycle accidents. We started the “Fallen Riders Forum” on GTAmotorcycle.com to offer condolences and best wishes to fellow friends, family and motorcyclists that we lost. Seeing the threads in that forum always make me cry, so when I was present with the opportunity to teach Total Control and bring it to Canada, I just couldn’t say no. I decided to become a Total Control Instructor and opened the school in 2011 with my business partners Paul Rogers and Nancy Mayer. Our first class was June 2012 and we’ve been teaching every season since.
What classes do you offer? We teach the Lee Parks Total Control Training curriculum: Intermediate Riding Clinic (TCIRC), Advanced Rider Clinic I (TCARC1), Advanced Rider Clinic II (TCARC2) and Skills Day Clinic. We are the only school that offers the Total Control curriculum in our area and its series of classes.
What do you love about Total Control Classes? I love to see the change in the students riding from early morning when they begin, to end of class. Most of all I love to be able to experience, what I call the “AH HA” moments with my students. The very moment that the exercise “clicks” for them. The Total Control Training system of classes is perfect because it allows the instructors to push each student to “their” next level, giving them the control of how much, how fast, how far, they want to go. I’ve had some students that come back and take the an ARC class again because there’s just so much to learn and you are always picking up more things to continue to push your riding skills to that next level. Many of the students come back and take the Skills Day Clinic as a refresher or just for fun each season.
How many instructors on the Sharp Rider Team? Currently, we have 3 instructors and we’re looking to expand our team and open another school.
What else can I tell the readers of the Total Control Blog about your school? I wish to invite every single rider in Ontario/Canada to come to our classes as I want to make sure I never see them in the “Fallen Riders Forum.” The year 2017 had the highest number of motorcycle fatalities and we don’t want that ever again. I want to get the message out that the Total Control Training classes have the life-saving techniques built into the curriculum and that all riders are welcome and wanted to come join us here at Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training.
Closing remarks from Carolyn/Interviewer: It was a pleasure to speak with Donna Skinner, about her Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training School! Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport, and training for all riders, comes straight from the heart. She’s all in! We wish you a great season next spring, Donna Skinner!
Check out her website(s) and Face Book page(s) which showcase the school, the riders group and the GTAMotorcycle Forum. These platforms are so much fun and have great photos too! So, if you’re in Donna’s neighborhood or close by, call ahead and drop in for a class or just to say hello! You will be warmly welcomed and if not put into a class maybe, you’ll be off with Donna to see some of the beautiful scenery!
Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training
Location: Hershey Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga/Ontario/Canada. (Mississauga is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Situated in Southern Ontario, it lies on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s part of the Greater Toronto Area and is to the west of Toronto.)
Facebook Sharp Rider Riders Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168636183232989/
Facebook Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training: www.facebook.com/SharpRiderMotorcycleTraining/
Sharp Rider Motorcycle Training: www.sharpridermotorcycletraining.com
GTA Motorcycle: www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/