Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Congratulations! Glad to hear you did well and realize the course is only the beginning of a lifetime of learning. A lot of newbies, myself included, don't have enough experience/skill, or haven't learned how much the bike is capable of, and when they get into a (to them) tight situation, tend to freeze up or get target fixation. The bike will take you where you look. If you focus on where you don't want to go, that is exactly where you will wind up. You'll need to develop the discipline of thinking of a solution to get you out of the situation, and then following through with it. This might involve turning more radically, braking, or some other approach.
One thing that Duckster has mentioned, is when you think you've gone into a turn with too much speed, is to shift your weight to the inside of the turn. This will actually stand the bike up a little and allow you to lean it even more, keeping the bike in your lane, and not into oncoming traffic. That's why motorcycle racers lean waaay over in curves.
I suggest that your empty parking lot practice include obstacle avoidance and tight turns at speed as well as other skills. For safety reasons, use a line on the pavement as an "obstacle". That way, if you overshoot, a fall won't ensue.