NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. - All across America, the number of motorcyclists is rising. In the last decade alone, the number of registered motorcycle riders has doubled. Which means that every day, new riders are hitting the road in hopes of finding their next big adventure. It also means that many new riders oftentimes forgo learning one of the most important elements of riding a motorcycle ... safety.
So, to combat any unsafe riding practices in its ranks, members of the Security Assistance Command in New Cumberland gathered together for their first ever Motorcycle Safety Ride, May 22.
The USASAC Motorcycle Safety Ride was made up of two parts. First, the group sat down with the most experienced motorcyclist in USASAC-NC, Michael Casciaro, deputy chief of staff for logistics, G4. They discussed the route of their 66-mile trip, and had a class on motorcycle safety.
The comprehensive class covered safety topics like: how to ride in a staggered formation, what to do in the event of getting cut off from the group, how to properly inspect your bike, and the do's and don'ts of safety gear. These were topics that Casciaro said he felt were necessary to discuss due to the environment each rider will experience on a day-to-day basis.
"Pennsylvania is fourth in the nation in motorcycle fatalities, so motorcycle safety is a pretty big issue here. We felt it necessary to have a day like this to make sure our employees had the knowledge necessary to be safe out on the roads when riding," Casciaro said.
After the official portion of the class was completed, everyone rounded up their bikes. Before they hit the road for their 66-mile trek, they discussed what they had learned from the briefings.
Another experienced rider in the group, Brian Keefover, USASAC-NC building manager, added that experiences like the Safety Ride are unique because of who you are riding with.
The diverse group of motorcycle enthusiasts from USASAC were not just made up of Americans. Two of the riders in the group were security assistance liaison officers from Canada and Australia.
"I've never rode with SALO's before, but honestly there was no difference," Keefover said. "Personally, I feel like this helped build camaraderie, as it created a lasting memory in my mind, and I hope that the officers remember this event fondly as well."
All in all, the riders said the ride was a great success, and many of them said they hope that another safety ride would be planned for the near future.
"As long as there are motorcycles in the parking lot, I think it's not only something I want to do, it is something that is necessary to do," Casciaro said.