By Lara PoirrierNovember 9, 2017
Fort Huachuca, Arizona -- As part of the commanding general's motorcycle safety program, the Fort Huachuca Installation Motorcycle Mentorship Program conducted a motorcycle safety event Oct. 27.
Approximately 50 motorcycle riders from Fort Huachuca participated in a motorcycle safety demonstration provided by the Tucson Department of Public Safety motorcycle team. The event included individual motorcycle safety checks, a safety brief by the Installation Motorcycle Mentorship Team, and a group ride out the West Gate through the Sonoita Foothills to the American Legion Post 66 in Green Valley, Arizona, for lunch. The group ride concluded at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Moore, one of three senior mentors for the Motorcycle Mentorship Program, explained this Department of Army program is designed to help monitor and ensure safety regulations are being adhered to for military motorcyclists.
Moore, who has been riding since 2003, has been involved in the Fort Huachuca program since July and previously served as a battalion level mentor where he organized rides similar to this event.
Every event includes a safety component in addition to the group ride. The Tucson DPS safety demonstration showed riders "how to ride your bike up if you end up on the ground," Moore said. "[They also] reviewed braking and escaping procedures and how to safely negotiate a turn."
While the motorcycle safety event was installation wide, Moore explained that each unit has a motorcycle mentor responsible for monitoring their riders. Sharing experiences, training, tips and tricks are all part of the role of a unit mentor in addition to coordinating safety rides.
Moore said one of the driving forces behind these group rides is to heighten awareness about the program and motorcycle safety for other drivers and riders.
"One of the mantras we have is that on a motorcycle we are invisible to the person in a car," Moore said explaining that drivers tend to look for other cars and tend to ignore motorcycles. A group ride with a large amount of riders helps increase awareness of motorcycles being on the road, he added.
Motorcycle riding is popular in Arizona with access to year-round riding. For those who want to start riding, Moore said the first step is to get their Motorcycle Safety Foundation Certification.
Motorcycles are available for new riders who might not own a motorcycle yet to take the basic rider course, Moore said.
Once they have earned their certificate, Moore advised that a rider should "coordinate with either their unit commander or their mentor about buying a motorcycle."
The safety rides are for all skill levels. Experienced riders can offer mentorship to those with less experience, and one of the main benefits of the Motorcycle Safety Ride is the socialization.
"This wasn't just a training event, it's a group ride," Moore said. Most motorcyclists like to do group rides for the destination or the scenery."
It is a great way to meet other riders outside of your normal social circle, he added.
The next Motorcycle Mentorship Program event is scheduled for May 2018.