|That's not too far!|
1... Track Days: Grand Bend Motorplex does beginner track days at various times throughout the summer. I'm going to make a day where I can go down there and give the Ninja a workout in a track environment. It'll be an early start, but if I can time the weather right it'll be a great opportunity to develop more fluid riding and gently get a feel for how the bike handles in more extreme conditions. A hundred bucks doesn't seem bad for a full day of track time.
If not Grand Bend then there are other options. Cayuga is $125 for a day and an hour and forty five minutes south through Hamilton. Mosport and Shannonville are both venues for Riderschoice.ca, who offer track days there. I haven't been to Shannonville since I did the Nissan advanced driving school in the 1990s, it'd be nice to go back. Shannonville does their own track days, for $145 a day. Calabogie is way out Ottawa way, but it ain't cheap, though the track is supposed to be fantastic.
2... Off Road Training: Yamaha Adventures is a lovely hour and a bit ride north of where I am. The full day package on their bike isn't cheap ($329), but it would give me a chance to get a feel for off-road riding without the equipment overhead.
Trailtour also offers trials and dual-sport courses, both of which are cheaper alternatives, and they happen to be under an hour south of the family cottage. Trials riding is very technique intensive and would do a lot to improve my balance on any bike.
As many different experiences in as many different circumstances as I can manage, that's the goal this year.