FORT CARSON, Colo. –Some of the strongest bonds reside within motorcycling. From the rallies in Sturgis, South Dakota, to the local race tracks and adventure rallies, these communities define the true passions of motorcycle riding.
For the riders within the formations of 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division these bonds of friendship are made stronger through mentoring and leadership from the more experienced Soldiers. On May 1, 2020 they participated in a brigade level safety check ride.
“These motorcycle mentorship check rides are a very important tool for leaders to be able to make sure everyone is operating their motorcycles correctly, they’re properly trained, and that the riders have the right personal protective equipment,” said Maj. Jeff Hamer, brigade motorcycle mentor, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. “Our program is making it mandatory for the riders within our formations to attend a mentorship ride at minimum, once a quarter.”
The rides also help new motorcycle riders become more familiar with their bikes and surroundings.
“The more experience a rider has with their motorcycle, the better off you are,” said Capt. John Schmidt, new rider, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4SB, 4th Inf. Div. “I bought my first bike in September of last year, but didn’t start riding until January of this year. These types of rides really help everyone involved to learn the proper techniques of group riding.”
Before any Soldier can drive their motorcycle around Fort Carson they must adhere to Army regulations.
“The Army safety program mandates that motorcycle riders attend a motorcycle safety foundation course that is taught on most military installations and here on Fort Carson,” Hamer said. “These courses help riders to understand that just because a motorcycle can go 120 miles an hour, that doesn’t make it to be going that fast. You have to drive safely and be aware of your surrounding or you will become a statistic.”
The leaders made sure all the riders were ready and able to attend the drive to Penrose, Colorado.
“Today we had riders that needed to get their re-integration training done,” said Master Sgt. Christopher E. Garrett, battalion mentor, HHC, 68th CSSB, 4SB, 4th Inf. Div. “This training consist of a skills test. Showing that the rider can control their motorcycle when they’re turning left or right or swerving by going through a small course we designed with cones. Then they’re able to do the check ride afterwards.”
The 4SB mentorship program will not turn riders away.
“If there are any other riders out there, we welcome you to come join us when we gather together for our mentorship rides,” Hamer said. “There is always room for more riders, more mentors and more friends.”