F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – Growing up, many children, especially me, dream about one day riding a motorcycle. But when they get to an age where they can start riding their mom says “*BLEEP NO!*” and you go on about your day and never bring it up again, in fear that she might go hulk on you. That is until I move out and called her to say ‘Hey, I just bought a motorcycle! I take the test this weekend to get my license!’ and she proceeds to have a nuclear meltdown over the phone.
Moms don’t want their children doing things that are dangerous, but they know you’re an adult and are going to do it anyway. So once she’s finished going a bit crazy, she’s going to do everything she can to make sure you are as safe as possible while doing it.
The Air Force is the same way. They need their Airmen in good condition to get the mission done, so they put in a few extra steps for Airmen to be allowed to ride their motorcycles on the base.
Although my mom was hell-bent against me ever riding a motorcycle, what she doesn’t know-but will soon because of this paper (I’m ready for the lecture mom) - is I had several friends that let me ride theirs whenever I had the chance.
If you get to your new base and decide you want to ride, you have to first and foremost take the motorcycle safety foundation basic riders course, which is done free of charge for active duty Airmen by the local safety office.
About a month ago I took the course and had an absolute blast, once we got to the riding portion that is. The course here is on Saturday and Sunday, and the first part of Saturday is classroom time, and it goes precisely how you would expect-- ninety percent safety briefings. At about 11 a.m. they release for lunch, and after you meet at another location for the fun part.
Motorcycles. With the experience I have, parts of the course were straightforward, and others not so much because I had developed some bad habits over the years and they were a bit hard to break. Once I realized that the coaches were 100 times better than me and that they had been doing this for nearly 40 years combined, I started paying attention to everything they were telling me to do. That’s when I began to have the most fun.
This course is intended for people who have never touched a motorcycle in their life. With that said, I think that anyone who wants to become a better rider should take the course. Why? Because what do you have to lose? It’s free and you’re going to have fun. You’re more than likely going to walk out with a card saying you passed, and if you plan to ride on base it is required. Riding all over base without taking the proper steps it’s not worth it. Go have a fun-filled weekend and meet some new people that maybe you can ride with one day.
PHOTO: A participant in a Wyoming Department of Transportation motorcycle safety course rides a back to the starting line June 10, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Cheyenne. The Air Force requires anyone who wants to ride on base to take the course.