USS Harry S. Truman Offers Motorcycle Safety Course

Story Number: NNS060918-18Release Date: 9/18/2006 3:12:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Wilken, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors participated in the American Automobile Association's Basic Rider Course, a motorcycle safety course, at Naval Station Norfolk Aug. 31.

The Navy requires every operator of a motorcycle to complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Motorcycle Rider Course, Riding and Street Skills, or other training approved by the Naval Safety Center. This training applies to all riders whether or not they ride on or off base, or on or off duty.

Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Eric Wiggins, the motorcycle safety coordinator for Truman, explained whom the class is for.

"The class is for anybody who is thinking about getting a motorcycle or anyone who has been riding for a while," said Wiggins.

The class taught students the rules of the road, about the different forms of personal protective equipment, as well as why it is important to have a "Street Strategy," or plan for safe riding. Wiggins said Rider Radar is one of the most important lessons taught at the class.

"Rider Radar teaches you to use your 180-degree peripheral vision and your mirrors, so you're not turning your head to see what's going on around you," said Wiggins.

Even an experienced rider such as Wiggins can learn something new with this class.

"I've been riding for 12 years, and I learned how to stop without using my front brakes all the time," said Wiggins.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class (AW) Joseph Ruiz participated in the class and was very receptive to the training and new ideas.

"I'm pretty excited to learn some new things about my bike and how to ride," said Ruiz. "This really shows that the Navy cares about me and my safety."

Ruiz has been riding for six months and said he's happy to learn these skills that make him a better rider.

Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Jason Patton has been around bikes his whole life, but knows there is always room for improvement.

"This class is great, especially for the younger and less-experienced riders," Patton said.

Along with the benefits of being a safer rider, and knowing your bike, individuals who complete the course can look forward to lower insurance rates as well, said Wiggins.

Wiggins is hoping to offer the class once a month for anyone who plans on riding a motorcycle.

"It's a great thing. It's a learning experience. I learned something when I went. You know, I thought I was a good rider, but it showed me that you don't always know everything," Wiggins said.

For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at

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