KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C (NNS) -- More than 30 Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) hit the open road during the ship’s 2018 command motorcycle safety ride, Nov. 1.
The purpose of the 160-mile round trip, culminating with a stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, was to promote motorcycle safety and mentor new riders.
“I love getting out with friends and being on the road and promoting motorcycle safety throughout the command,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Lonnie Hancock, from Chesterfield, South Carolina, assigned to Ford’s air department and a bike enthusiast since the age of 12.
Motorcycle safety starts off with the proper riding personal protective equipment, such as a Department of Transportation approved helmet and eye protection, long sleeve shirt or riding jacket, full-fingered gloves, long pants, and sturdy boots. Then a tires, wheels, controls, lights, oil, chassis, and stands (T-CLOCS) check is done.
“The rides are important because, as motorcyclists, we always end up in big groups riding around, getting on the highway together,” Hancock said. “It’s a way for new riders to get in a group and figure out how to ride with a group safely without having any incidents or getting hurt.”
Hancock survived an accident in Virginia Beach caused by a drunk driver back in 2004.
“I was down for quite awhile. I got pretty banged up. Ever since then, I’ve been a big advocate for motorcycle safety," added Hancock.
He suffered broken bones, including a broken wrist and ankle, and compression fractures in his spine. All together it took Hancock a year and a half to fully recover. This experience not only cemented the importance of motorcycle safety but taught him another important point he stresses to new riders.
“Be aware of your surroundings. When you go down, it’s usually not because you’ve done something wrong, it’s usually because somebody didn’t see you or another driver on the road was trying to get somewhere too fast. Always watch out for the other guy.”
To learn more about motorcycle certification or safety, contact your departmental motorcycle safety representative or contact ABHC Carson Fontenot at carson.fontenot@CVN78.navy.mil
For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn78/.