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KAFB instructors teach riders to stay safe on the roads

Cyclists practice parking.

Cyclists practice parking and spacing from one another before taking a break during the Basic Rider Course 2 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 17, 2020. The BRC2 class is a “riding only” class that focuses on reinforcing basic skills and removing bad habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

Motorcycle training course.

Students maintain a safe distance due to COVID precautions as they receive instruction on the next part of the course at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 17, 2020. Classes have been reduced in size to account for social distance requirements due to COVID-19 restrictions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

Students line up as they begin the Basic Rider Course 2.

Students line up as they begin the Basic Rider Course 2 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 17, 2020. The BRC2 class is a “riding only” class that focuses on reinforcing basic skills and removing bad habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NM. --

Although COVID-19 has closed many facilities and canceled courses that Kirtland Air Force Base normally offers, the motorcycle safety course is not one of them. After being compelled to cancel numerous classes, courses resumed on April 16, 2020.

Typical KAFB motorcycle safety courses normally have 12 students, but due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, classes started with only six students to account for social distance requirements and have increased class sizes slowly to the current size of eight to nine students.

“I think it's great that we have volunteers that will come out and give of their time to ensure the safety and security of our motorcycle riders,” said Col. Ryan Nye, 377 Air Base Wing vice wing commander. “We understand that learning and brushing-up on skills is critical to keeping our workforce and community safe by teaching proper road etiquette and proper motorcycle handling skills.”

The "Basic Rider Course" consists of a three-hour eCourse, five hours of formal classroom activities, 10 hours of riding instruction conducted over two or three sessions, plus knowledge and skill tests. BRC students who successfully complete the academic and skill requirements are eligible to have the motorcycle endorsement added to their driver’s licenses.

The intermediate training course, "Basic Rider Course 2", is available and consists of only riding exercises. The class reinforces basic skills and helps to remove bad habits that may have been acquired. A skill test is an option and may be provided as a self-assessment opportunity.

The Advanced Course is designed for experienced bike riders who wish to challenge their skills at the next level. For this course, an experienced rider is one who has basic skills and alsoa current rider with a motorcycle license or endorsement. It includes a fast-paced classroom segment with several engaging and interactive activities to improve perception and hazard awareness. Range exercises enhance both basic operating and crash-avoidance skills. Improving braking and cornering finesse is also emphasized.

“It is a great feeling as a Rider Coach when a beginner student has that “aha” moment when things finally click or a returning rider realizes that little mistake that has been holding them back for so long,” says Steven Dobbs, lead Rider Coach for the KAFB motorcycle safety course.

While most participants have their own motorcycles, KAFB has six "loaner" bikesavailable for riders in the beginners' class on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants in the intermediate and advanced riding classes must have their own motorcycles. Active-duty Airmen have first priority and others are admitted on a space-available basis.

For more information, go to https://sites.google.com/site/kafbriders/