Motorcycle Mentors Ensure Safety for Riders
August 7, 2014
FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted a Motorcycle Safety Ride Aug. 1.
The ride started at the Motorcycle Training Range for inspections and riding drills before heading to Victorville, Calif. This allowed mentors to assess each motorcycle for street legality, its mechanical integrity, and the competency of the riders.
"I think that the check ride was fun and helpful, because it made sure that my bike and I were ready to ride," said Spc. Keely George, a motorcycle rider with the Horse Detachment, Regimental Sustainment Squadron, 11th ACR. "The inspections that we did today made sure that my bike is in working order and that I will not be a danger to other riders or motorists around me."
Army regulations mandate that motorcycle inspections be conducted every quarter. The ride is voluntary but encouraged.
"I want to stress the importance of attending at least one check ride per quarter," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carl J. Schimpf, a Squadron level Motorcycle Mentor with RSS, 11th ACR. "It is important, because some people who have just gotten bikes or haven't ridden for a while might not be as comfortable with riding in a group or by themselves. These check rides give them the chance to get that experience in a safe environment."
As Troopers consider purchasing motorcycles, the Army also mandates that Soldiers complete riding courses within the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The MSF is a non-profit organization that 'makes motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by ensuring access to lifelong quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment,' the mission statement of the MSF program.
I strongly suggest going to the Basic Riders Course through the MSF program before you buy the bike, said Sgt. Alexander Etesami, a rider with the 51st Tactical Interpreter Company, RSS, 11th ACR. By learning and applying the things taught in that class, you become a safer rider.
To register for one of these classes, go to https://apps.imcom.army.mil/AIRS and schedule a class.
"The Army could say that no Soldier will ride a motorcycle while they are in the service," said Command Sgt. Maj. Carl A. Ashmead, the 21st Command Sgt. Maj. of the 11th ACR. "Instead, they have setup the MMP training program for Soldiers to get the practice and knowledge they need to be safe riders."