Motorcycle safety classes
link U.S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Ericka Engblom
A student in the advanced rider class practices turns Feb. 7 at Cannon Air Force Base. The ground safety office offers several different classes for motorcycle riders of varying needs and skills.
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
The members of the 27th Special Operations Wing safety office have many jobs: ground safety, weapons safety, flight safety. Things that many learn to protect themselves and those around them become their job to enforce, such as to not cross the street without looking both ways, not to drink and drive and to always wear a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle. However, some members of the safety office have also dedicated themselves to another task: protecting base motorcyclists.
The motorcycle safety program is a series of courses, complete with outdoor and classroom instruction, designed to teach riders the skills they need to enjoy their riding safely.
“We offer a wide variety of courses,” said Master Sgt. Craig Lonjin, 27 SOW motorcycle safety program coordinator. “It allows all riders from novice to expert levels to improve their skills.”
The Basic Rider Course is required for all airmen who wish to ride. It teaches the simplest skills a motorcyclist would need to own, operate and ride a bike. This course also allows those who aren’t sure if motorcycles are for them a chance to decide by providing practice bikes that can be used throughout the class. The Basic Rider Course Two is a refresher course for those wishing to sharpen their skills; it teaches the same skills as the first course but this time participants are required to bring their own bike. The Advanced Rider Course is required for sport bike users and teaches all cyclists better cornering and braking techniques. Finally, the Basic and Ultimate Bike Binding Courses show riders the latest in operating at low speeds and around tight corners. All of these courses help to create safer riders and roads, on and off base.
“Riding is a lot of fun, but it’s not for everyone,” said Lonjin. “It’s important that rider’s take all the safety courses and other requirements seriously to keep them and others safe.”
To attend these courses, or to ride a motorcycle after completion of the course each person must wear all personal protective equipment specified in AFI 91-207 , which consists of:
• Head protection — A helmet, certified to meet current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, Snell Standard M2005, shall be worn and properly fastened under the chin.
• Eye protection — Goggles, wrap around glasses, or a full-face shield (properly attached to the helmet) designed to meet or exceed American National Standards Institute Standard Z87.1, UNECE 22.05, or BS6658 for impact and shatter resistance will be worn and properly used. A windshield does not constitute proper eye protection.
• Protective clothing — Wearing of a long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens is required. Gloves or mittens will be made from leather or other abrasion-resistant material. Gloves should be a sturdy, non-slip type to permit a firm grip on the controls. Wearing of a motorcycle jacket and pants constructed of abrasion resistant materials such as leather, Kevlar or Cordura containing impact absorbing padding is strongly encouraged.
• Foot Protection — Sturdy, over the ankle footwear that affords protection for the feet and ankles such as durable leather or ballistic-type cloth athletic shoes that cover the ankles may be worn. Sandals, low quarters, sneakers and similar footwear will not be used.
For information about the requirements to own and operate a motorcycle while in military service or for information about these classes, call 575-784-4470.