Editor’s note: Watch the full video of the riders taking off and out of the gate on Fort Knox YouTube channel HERE.
FORT KNOX, Ky. – A dozen motorcyclists hit the roads of Kentucky and Indiana on April 22 for their first official Fort Knox safety ride of the 2022 season.
According to installation motorcycle mentor Sgt. 1st Class John Pushard, security check rides are conducted to allow riders in the Fort Knox community to get to know and learn from each other.
“This ride is really just to get out there and show the support and safety that coincides with the motorcycle mentorship program,” Pushard said.
Pushard, who led the day’s race, said the event had several goals.
“There are a lot of upsides to this ride,” Pushard said. “It gets the inexperienced riders out so we can hone their skills and improve their abilities, and it shows the support within the bike organization.
“It also promotes the esprit de corps that is so important to the Army.”
The riders met Friday morning at Lindsey Golf Course, where Pushard gave a safety briefing before starting their ride to Tell City, Indiana, for lunch together. The facility’s director of security, Joe Colson, said these group outings aren’t just about security.
“When you get a group of runners together, they collaborate,” Colson said. “Some are more experienced than others and on the ride, once they’ve made their stops, they talk to the inexperienced and make sure they’re doing things safely.”
Colson stressed how important it is for runners of all skill levels to participate.
“It’s really about coaching and mentoring young riders,” Colson said. “It offers a balance between experienced and inexperienced pilots. By bringing them together, this mentorship is acquired.
Colson said there are three more facility safety rides planned for 2022. With around 200 riders certified on the facility, he hopes to see even more turnout — particularly due to an unfortunate statistic at the army scale.
“There were 133 [motorcycle] dead since 2017,” Colson said. “The army said ‘We are losing too many of our people.’ Now we have mandated coordinators from the battalion level down to ensure that we have safe riders throughout the army.
Colson said riders must take the motorcycle certification course every five years to stay in compliance with installation regulations. Information on upcoming courses can be found by clicking on the motorcycle banner on the Safety homepage HERE.
Both Colson and Pushard agreed that between the certification courses, mentorship program and checkup rides, riders within the Army community have a better chance of staying safe.
Pushard said directing these rides allows him to enjoy his passion that much more.
“I love riding,” Pushard said. “Riding, for me, is an escape from the everyday normal. Rides like this help to continue to grow the program and make it even stronger.