Motorcycle instructor pool needs filling

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Ray Bowden
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office
Air Force motorcyclists may ride to experience the freedom of the road, spend time with fellow riders or save money on gas, but they all have the opportunity to use their experience to teach other Airmen to become better riders. 

The 49th Fighter Wing Safety Office is looking for six Airmen to become Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riders Coach Instructors. 

"We're looking for people who have a few years of motorcycling experience under their belt, a safe driving record and the will to teach," said Mr. Dan Salinas, 49th FW Safety Office ground safety technician. "The RCIC teaches riders to become instructors." 

Upon completion of the course, RCIC graduates will be able to teach both the Basic Riders Course and the Experienced Rider's Course. 

The RCIC curriculum consists of class discussion, peer teaching, riding skill assessments and range management. Range management is safe and effective oversight of the riding area. Students will also teach a BRC under the guidance of previously certified instructors before graduating. 

"This class will definitely broaden your experience if you're a motorcycle rider," said Mr. Salinas. 

The RCIC is taught at Holloman only when necessary to replenish the instructor pool while the BRC is regularly scheduled to occur in Alamogordo. The ERC, however, is usually given on-base and taught by certified instructors, most of whom are active-duty Airmen. 

To maintain their instructor certification, RCIC graduates must teach two complete rider's courses and participate in at least one MSF professional development activity within a two-year period. 

Completion of the BRC is a requirement for anyone wishing to operate a motorcycle on a Department of Defense installation. 

Staff Sgt. Genese Williams, 49th Materiel Maintenance Support Squadron, has been riding motorcycles for more than two years and said completing the BRC has made her a better rider. 

"Riding a motorcycle is all about making good, concise decisions and maintaining control over your bike as well as your mind," she said. The [Basic Riders] course is beneficial and gave me the hands-on training I needed." 

Sergeant Williams said she would recommend the course even if it were not mandatory.
"It's a great way to refresh or brush-up on your skills," she said. "Plus, it's free." 

Mr. Salinas has been a licensed motorcycle rider for more than 25 years and said that teaching and attending these courses over the years has improved his riding capabilities. 

"The skills and training I've learned have definitely helped me avoid major accidents," he said. "Because of these courses, I now instinctively know what evasive action to take when faced with a hazardous situation." 

Safety is a key component of all three courses. 

"Motorcyclists are not that noticeable out there on the road," said Sergeant Williams. "We have to be extra cautious of our surroundings." 

Along with an awareness of their riding environment, military motorcyclists enhance their ability to survive an accident by complying with Air Force Instruction 91-207, United States Air Force Traffic Safety Program, and wearing proper protective equipment, said Mr. Salinas. 

This regulation defines proper protective equipment as a Department of Transportation or Snell Memorial Certified Helmet with impact resistant goggles or full face shield, brightly contrasting vest or jacket during the day and a reflective outer garment during the night. DoD motorcycle riders are also required to wear a long sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants and full-fingered gloves or mittens. The regulation encourages riders to wear leather boots or over-the-ankle shoes. 

The fighter wing safety office is the point of contact for the BRC, ERC and RCIC. A RCIC is scheduled to take place June 8 - 17. Anyone wishing to attend this or the next BRC or ERC may contact Mr. Salinas at 572-3793.