Motorcycle riders of the 82nd “Providers” Sustainment Brigade hit the open road Aug. 29 with an emphasis on safety and camaraderie during the brigade’s quarterly Motorcycle Mentorship Ride, orchestrated by the 82nd Sustainment Brigade Safety Office.
Before starting the ride, Providers took in some classroom instruction. Covered were refresher courses on safety and motorcycle maintenance as well as information about the requirements for riders stationed at Fort Bragg and important reminders about wearing the proper protective equipment.
According to Armando Alfaro, 82nd Sustainment Brigade safety officer, although the Army’s motorcycle fatalities are down this year as compared to last year, even one fatality is too many.
“We’re going to do all we can to keep you safe out there as riders,” said Alfaro during the classroom portion of the mentorship ride. “Talk to your fellow Soldiers and make sure they’re doing the right thing.”
Alfaro said that the major causes of motorcycle accidents include alcohol, which increases the chance of a crash by five times, speed, not wearing the proper protective equipment, not obeying all traffic laws and not keeping a motorcycle properly maintained. However, one of the biggest factors is not being seen by other drivers.
“Eighty percent of all accidents occur because riders were not seen,” stressed Alfaro, while also explaining that to avoid not being seen, ride with a group, maintain situational awareness and wear effective reflective gear.
He also stressed that the highest group at risk for motorcycle accidents are males, between the ages of 22 and 26, in the ranks of sergeant and staff sergeant.
“Know who your high risk riders are and make sure you re-emphasize safety with them,” Alfaro said.
Along with safety, Alfaro stressed that all motorcyclists need to stay aware of their requirements.
“Make sure you understand what training you are required to meet, as well as the training that must be sustained,” said Alfaro.
Currently, some of the requirements that motorcycle riders on Fort Bragg must meet before getting on their choppers, sports bikes, cruisers, street bikes, or a host of other motorcycles, include:
Have a valid, state drivers license with an unrestricted motorcycle endorsement
Have attended an approved, Motorcycle Safety Foundation riders’ course and have the course completion card in their possession
Attend the experienced riders course 12 months within completing the MSF Basic Riders Course, Basic Riders Course II /Military Sports Bike Riders Course.
Required to take motorcycle sustainment training every three years following the completion of the Basic Riders Course
Soldier owning a motorcycle and returning from a deployment greater than 180 days, must attend motorcycle refresher training.
Counseling by their company commander concerning safety requirements
Sign a Motorcycle Riders Agreement
Must have valid insurance /registration
Wear the required personal protective equipment
Obey all traffic laws
Once the classroom instruction was complete, Provider riders inspected each other’s motorcycles and then took to the road in a staggered, group formation. The ride took several hours and the brigade’s bikers stopped off for lunch at the Pik N Pig restaurant in Carthage, N.C., returning to the brigade headquarters in the late afternoon.
Soldiers who took part in the event said it was a worthwhile experience.
“This is a great event and it’s fun to get out, ride with everyone and see what they’re riding,” said Spc. Janae Campbell, a supply specialist with the 647th Quartermaster Company, 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
For more information about motorcycle requirements and safety, Soldiers can contact their local safety office.