Fort Drum Focuses on Motorcycle Safety Awareness | Item




Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum.  All riders in the division will practice <a class=motorcycle safety
on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)” src=”https://api.army.mil/e2/c/images/2021/04/29/0390caf5/size0-full.jpg”/>








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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum. All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
(Photo credit: Michael Strasser)


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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum. All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
(Photo credit: Michael Strasser)


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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum.  All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)








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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum. All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
(Photo credit: Michael Strasser)


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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum.  All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)








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Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) practice cornering on April 27 during the road portion of the Basic Motorcycle Riding Course at Fort Drum. All riders in the division will practice motorcycle safety on May 21 in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
(Photo credit: Michael Strasser)


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FORT DRUM, NY (April 29, 2021) – Before a soldier can ride a motorcycle on or off the post, he or she must first complete the initial Army Security Training Program course and receive a Motorcycle Safety Foundation card.

This was the goal of a small group of soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) when they gathered at the motorcycle stand on April 27 for the practical and on-road portion of the Basic Riding Course (BRC ).

“In this course, they learn the basics of riding a motorcycle, which will allow them to develop a safe riding strategy,” said Kathy Matt, motorcycle instructor based in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Hours of turning, braking, shifting, and stopping help familiarize soldiers with safe driving habits, and instructors make on-the-spot corrections and provide feedback after each exercise.

“Negotiating the curves is one of the most important lessons because that’s where most motorcycle crashes happen,” said Matt.

Between classroom and road instruction, Soldiers learn basic motorcycle operation, pre-ride preparations, and strategies for the most common riding situations. Other topics include risk management, the basics of emergencies and driving impairments that affect safety.

Matt pointed out that all but one of the soldiers had never ridden a motorcycle before taking this course, but she could see them developing their confidence and self-awareness on the motorcycle.

After completing the BRC, soldiers have one year to complete the follow-up course – BRC II – followed by refresher training every three years.

During this time, Soldiers come together each year for activities in support of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.

Fort Drum Motorcycle Safety Day is scheduled for May 21, starting with a morning briefing at the motorcycle stand across from Clark Hall. From there, Soldiers will divide into unit activities that range from inspections, mentoring rides, and motorcycle rodeos.

Staff Sgt. Jose Antonio Valverde serves as a motorcycle mentor for 2nd Brigade Combat Team. In support of Motorcycle Safety Day, he coordinated with local community organizations to offer a motorcycle mentoring ride through Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Cape Vincent and Sackets Harbor for soldiers in his unit. At each stop, the soldiers will lead a safety class.

“The plan is for all senior and experienced riders to give safety advice and discuss safety topics at each of the four locations,” he said.

As a motorcycle mentor, Valverde said it is his responsibility to make sure every rider in his unit has a safe and operational bike, knows how to perform preventative maintenance and checks, and has all of them. the personal protective equipment required.

“Having this mentor at every level of command allows the rider to have someone to talk to about riding styles, safety and any issues they may have,” he said. “Soldiers must also do their part to help drive safely and do their best to avoid an accident.”

Valverde said he knew he wanted to ride motorcycles after taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course in Fort Gordon, Ga. He bought his first motorcycle in 2016 after returning from a tour of Korea, and since then has been riding every spring and summer.

“In my experience with riding, it’s about anticipating bad drivers and having a plan to avoid accidents,” he said. “I tend to avoid riding at night because of the poor visibility and all the hotheads that come out at night. I also tend to avoid traffic jams during rush hour.

Valverde said he had heard that there are two types of motorcyclists – those who drop their bikes and those who will drop their bikes.

“This is a true statement,” he said. “I was lucky that my bike fell in my first year of riding, and it was at a traffic light. There was gravel and debris on the fire, and my foot slipped and I dropped my bike. It was a bit scary as the light was changing quickly and I was having a hard time reassembling my bike at that point.

Jim Farney, of the Fort Drum Garrison Security Office, said Motorcycle Safety Day gives Soldiers the opportunity to share these life lessons with each other, while assessing their skills and strengthening their responsibilities as motorcycle riders.

“For bikers, the main tool for improving rider safety is for each individual to make an honest self-assessment of their knowledge, skills, abilities and willingness to take risks,” he said. “And for community members on the road, the message we want to get across is, ‘Remember to look twice, save a life’. “

To learn more about Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the resources available for safe riding, visit https://safety.army.mil/OFF-DUTY/PMV-2-Motorcycles.

Soldiers from Fort Drum can enroll in motorcycle safety training courses at https://imc.army.mil/airs/Home.aspx. For more information, call (315) 772-0310.


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