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McEntire Offers Free Motorcycle Training Courses

U.S. Air Force Maj. Wade Rivers and Master Sgt. Gene Croft conducted motorcycle safety training 25-26 Aug, 2012. Carolina Honda loaned two Honda motorcycles to McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., to use in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course at no cost to the base. 
(S.C. Air National Guard photo courtesy Zachary Rivers/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Wade Rivers and Master Sgt. Edward Hart conducted motorcycle safety training Aug. 25-26, 2012. Carolina Honda loaned two Honda motorcycles to McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., to use in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course at no cost to the base. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C., -- South Carolina National Guard and 169th Fighter Wing personnel and their dependent family members are welcome to participate in the various Motorcycle Safety Courses offered throughout the year here, free of charge.

The Basic Riders Course, The Basic Rider's Course II and the Military Sport Bike Course are tailored to the different skill levels of trainees and promote safety and situational awareness to all riders.

"I would encourage anybody who wants to ride a motorcycle to take these courses," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Wade Rivers, the 169th Communications Flight commander and a lead instructor for the training courses.

The three courses will be available from March until November this year. To register, email Chief Master Sgt. Lee Shepherd, the base Occupational and Health Manager, at lee.d.shepherd.mil@mail.mil or Master Sgt. John Jones at john.m.jones9.mil@mail.mil and include your commander's email address as well.

Basic Riders Course I allows students to become familiar with the controls of the motorcycle and analyzes [slow-speed scenario] accidents, which are most likely to occur in parking lots or intersections, said Rivers.

During the entire training course, instructors watch each rider's use of the techniques taught and offer suggestions on how to improve.

"I don't think that you should ever be too comfortable riding a motorcycle," said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Woodward, an egress aircrew technician assigned to the 169th Maintenance Squadron.  "If you're too comfortable, you're going to make a mistake, so I would recommend the course especially for those people who have been riding for a while."

The Basic Rider Course II is an intermediate, one-day course intended for more experienced riders.

"We get individuals who come to the Basic Riders Course II who have been riding for a long time, but they never went through any formal instruction," said Rivers.
"It gets rid of a lot of bad habits," said Woodward.

The Military Sport Bike Riders course is designed to review the seating position, handlebar configuration and power delivery systems that are specific to a sport bike. Individuals are required to bring their own sport bike.

Courses outside of a military installation, like the ones we teach, may cost as much as $400 per course, said Rivers.

Shatterproof eyewear, helmets, gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants and sturdy boots that cover the ankle, are required for any individual taking part in any of the courses. Riders must also bring their rider's permit or license, bike registration and proof of insurance to the class.

Every military member, who rides a motorcycle, is required to pass a certified motorcycle education course, as well as register with the base Safety Office and their Motorcycle Unit Representative to be authorized to ride a motorcycle onto any military installation.