By Lori NewmanMay 19, 2011
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO -- Motorcycles lined the Fort Sam Houston Commissary parking lot May 11 for the Joint Base San Antonio Motorcycle Safety Rally.
The rally was planned to kick off the motorcycle riding season, explained William Johnson from the 502nd Air Base Wing Safety Office.
More than 200 riders from Fort Sam Houston and Randolph and Lackland Air Force Bases participated in the safety rally that featured motorcycle safety mentoring, safety equipment vendors, prize giveaways, a best bike contest and a slow-speed race.
The purpose of the slow-speed bike race was to see who could ride the slowest, controlling their motorcycle without having their feet touch the ground.
Brittany Morrow, from Lexington, Ky., traveled to San Antonio to share her story.
On Sept. 25, 2005, Morrow was a passenger on a GSXR 750 sport bike going about 120 mph when she fell off the back.
"I didn't put on any gear, except for a borrowed helmet," she explained. "The whole group that was riding with me said, 'that's all you need.'"
After the accident, she spent two months in the hospital and received skin grafts on more than 50 percent of her body. Morrow said she had nine surgeries and almost died from a blood clot.
Morrow is currently a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider-coach and is the spokesperson for Rock the Gear, a national, non-profit web campaign, funded in part by the MSF and the Motorcycle Industry Council, through the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety.
According to the Rock the Gear web site, http://www.RocktheGear.org, the site is dedicated to producing a community for current and prospective motorcyclists where information on personal protective apparel is available and the choice to "Rock the Gear" is supported and rewarded.
"You would never go into combat without as much training and protection as you possibly could have. So, why would you choose to do anything different on a motorcycle," Morrow said.
"It's about the attitude before you get on [your bike], what you do while you're on the motorcycle and then your last resort is going to be your gear. Why not choose to wear it'"
In conjunction with the motorcycle safety rally the Directorate of Combat and Doctrine Developments, Army Medical Department Center & School, hosted and organized the first DCCD Motorcycle Safety Training and Ride.
Nineteen riders representing six organizations from the post participated in the safety ride and the training that covered areas such proper pre-operation checks and services on a motorcycle following the approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation Checklist.
Following all the preventive measures and checks, the riders departed post to Stockdale, Texas for a brief stop, then traveled to Floresville for a total of 100 miles ended back at the JBSA Motorcycle Safety Rally.
"We wanted to take the opportunity to do a safety ride and emphasize safe riding, then end up at the rally to get information about motorcycle safety," said Col. Daniel Chapa Jr., director for DCDD. "It is all about motorcycle safety."
(Editor's Note: Esther Garcia, AMEDDC&S Public Affairs, contributed to this article.)