The wind in your face, the open road ahead and a motorbike below; the image of the motorcycle enthusiast in search of freedom is deeply rooted in American culture.
Starting next March, area residents will be able to take the first step in this adventure at Beaufort County Community College by learning how to ride a motorcycle safely in traffic. For those just starting to consider owning a motorcycle, Clay Carter, BCCC’s Director of Personal Enrichment Initiatives, says it’s a great place to start.
“We provide the motorcycles and helmets, or the students can bring their own,” Carter said. “So if you’re thinking of buying a bike or going in that direction, you can take this course and practice and figure out how to handle that bike safely.”
The class will use the curriculum prescribed by the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the national standard for motorcycle instruction. Completion of the class results in a certificate which can help in receiving approval for one’s motorcycle at the Division of Motor Vehicles.
“What we’re offering is what people here have traveled some distance to get,” Carter said. “We are really proud and happy to have him in our neighborhood now. People don’t have to go anywhere else to get it.
The new course is one of many new opportunities presented by the college’s recently completed Public Services Driving Pad. By design, the primary purpose of the 400 by 600 foot concrete slab is to facilitate vehicle formation for emergency personnel.
“We’ve wanted to do this for so long, but lacked the proper space because it requires an open expanse for the students to ride the motorcycles,” Carter said. “We have a lot of graceful space.”
The first session will take place on March 14 and 15, the second course will take place on April 25 and 25, and a final spring course will take place on May 16 and 17. All classes will take place on weekends.
Each course has three parts: a compulsory online part, an in-class part and a driving part. Participants must complete a mandatory free online course provided by the NMSF prior to the start of the course. Participation without this certificate is not permitted and no refund is given for non-completion.
Participants must wear an approved helmet, above-the-ankle shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long-fingered gloves, and goggles at all times while training.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this,” Carter said. “We’ve been talking about it for years and we finally have the installation. There are so many bikers now. It is a very popular activity.
The college plans to integrate these courses into its regular personal enrichment programming. Those interested in enrolling can contact Clay Carter at 252-940-6357 or [email protected] for more information.