Born to be safe

Christine June, story and photos
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***Local motorcycle riders now have more opportunities this year to take the required Experienced Riders Course.

The 415th Base Support Battalion started offering the course in June and will sponsor three more until October. The 435th Air Base Wing Ground Safety offers it every Thursday during motorcycle season, from April to September.
“Many lives are lost every year because of inexperienced operators on the road,” said L. Winston Clement, 415th BSB safety specialist. “This course teaches them safety on the road and helps develop a mature rider.”
All courses are held at the motorcycle range on Kapaun and follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation criteria.

“The course teaches every day motorcycle riding like braking, severing, cornering and maneuvering,” said Bernd Sander, Installation Management Activity-Europe Management Support Office Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor.

Those eligible to take the free course are U.S. ID cardholders who have passed the U.S. Army Europe’s motorcycle written and riding test. This course typically costs $75 to $125 for civilians in the United States, according to Tech. Sgt. Ronald L. Rink, 435th ABW Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor.
This course is not only required to have the endorsement to ride motorcycles on USAREUR driver’s license, but it is also a three-year recurring requirement for those riding in Germany.***image3***

“I’m learning stuff now that I’ve never applied before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel Margis, 29th Support Group 2143rd Orphan Maintenance Program NCO in charge, who took the 415th BSB course on June 27. “I’ve done a defensive course before, but it was more classroom instruction, and this course has riding exercises with the instructor pulling you off to the side to look at what you are doing and what you’re not doing.”

The six-hour course is divided into classroom instruction and nine riding exercises. The course requires a minimum of three and a maximum of six riders.

The next 435th ABW course is 8 a.m. Thursday, and the next 415th BSB course is 8 a.m. July 22. Both courses are at the Kapaun motorcycle range.
For more information, call Mr. Clement, 415th BSB Safety Office, at 489-7227 or Master Sgt. Mathew T. Shreve, 435th ABW Ground Safety, at 480-7233.