53d, Team Eglin host Motorcycle Safety Day

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel King Jr.
  • 53d Wing Public Affairs
The 53d Wing, 33rd Fighter Wing and the Air Armament Center safety offices hosted a Motorcycle Safety Day, here April 29 in an effort to ensure on-going rider education throughout Team Eglin.

"Riding is a privilege," said Lt. Col. Michael Neeman, 53d Wing safety chief. "It should not be taken lightly - it doesn't take much to put a bike down."

The Motorcycle Safety Day, began as a 53d Wing initiative for its riders, but has since revved up into an annual base-wide event.

This year's event, which included a safety briefing, a riding skills course and a group ride, was attended by approximately 150 riders.

"This event is so you guys can come together and pass along knowledge and tips you've learned that could help someone else out in the future," said Master Sgt. Sandy Rief, AAC safety office.

Sergeant Rief briefed Team Eglin riders on motorcycle statistics and covered in detail the threats commonly faced by bikers.

The first threat covered was corners and curves. The other - intersections, is the most dangerous threat to motorcycle riders, according to Sergeant Rief. The safety NCO also briefed on local driving conditions and danger zones around Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Also covered during the briefing - a future motorcycle training course on base and new technology such as the "air bag" jacket that inflates to protect riders in an accident.

Next was the riding course competition, where bikers performed slalom maneuvers through cones, completed a sudden stop and swerve objective and rode a slow race. Once the competition was over, riders rode together in groups of six to Navarre Beach, Fla., for lunch.

"This has been, by far, our best turnout," said Joe Bailey, head of 53d Wing ground safety. "Knowledge is protection and that's our goal - to give the riders a first-hand 'wheels on road' experience - and I think we accomplished that."