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NEWS | June 19, 2013

Motorcycle responsibility is the only way to survive riding

By Chacarra Neal 628th Air Base Wing/ Public Affairs

The Joint Base Charleston Street Riding Skills Mentorship Program recently held a motorcycle training event June 14, 2013, at JB Charleston - Weapons Station, S.C.

The program was created as a structured training session focusing on sharing information, gaining valuable street-riding knowledge and practicing fundamental riding skills in a safe environment.

"I think it will save a life. If we save one life, it's worth it," said James McMurry, 628th Air Base Wing Motorcycle Safety manager and creator of the program.

McMurry has an amazing love for motorcycles; he's been riding since he was 13years old.

"I started this program to teach riders survival skills," said McMurry.

It takes about 10 mentors to run this program. Mentors are trained by the 628th ABW Motorcycle Safety manager to monitor riders' behavior and counsel riders who do not follow specific directions of the program, further reducing the possibility of a mishap.

"I think the term motorcycle safety is contradictory to what we teach, "said McMurry. "We actually teach motorcycle responsibility. Being responsible on a motorcycle is the only way you'll ever survive riding."

The program is structured to provide beginner, intermediate and advanced motorcycle riders with challenging exercises commensurate with their skill level. This three-level training plan provides emergency and lifesaving exercises to practice at normal street speeds, giving motorcycle riders the experience to perform these maneuvers in normal traffic conditions when necessary.

"Normally, exercises are conducted on a training range where the maximum speed is 20 miles per hour or less and does not provide the riders the experience or familiarization on how their motorcycle will actually react in these situations," said McMurry.

Unfortunately, this course cannot eliminate the possibility of a mishap during mentorship sessions. Participants are encouraged to start riding exercises slowly and only increase speed when they are confident in their ability to do so.

"The one thing I want motorcyclists to know is that this is a fun program," said McMurry. "It's not like the standard training course the Air Force or the Navy offers. This is getting out and getting experience in real-world situations where you don't have the traffic signs, or curves, or traffic, or any obstacle. You can practice in a safe environment so that when you need the skills they will be there for you."

For more information or to sign up for the class, contact your office safety representative.

This program does not replace mandated Air Force and/or DOD-approved Motorcycle Rider Educated Training Courses.