Sailors Participate in Rider Course At Sea

Story Number: NNS080528-15Release Date: 5/28/2008 5:40:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jared Hall, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducted motorcycle safety courses, May 23-24, to prepare Sailors for the ship's return to homeport.

The Basic Rider's Course (BRC) is mandatory for any Truman Sailors who currently own or ride a motorcycle or who are planning on riding soon.

"It's just a basic training to give the new guys insight and is kind of a refresher for the old guys," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Eric Wiggins, the BRC instructor and an experienced biker.

"You can see the interest of the new guys. Some were actually sitting up in their seats and had questions. Even some of the guys who had been riding for three or four years had questions and that's exactly what we were looking for."

The class offered a number of tips so Sailors could be better advised about riding safely. One of Wiggins' main points was that a rider needs to be observant and drive defensively.

"What you have to watch out for is the other motor vehicles because they don't really see motorcycle riders," Wiggins said. "The farther back you are, the more chance you have to react if something happens. We have the two, four and twelve second rule; two being the minimum and twelve the best."

Wiggins explained that the state troopers who helped teach the class offered a unique perspective and showed a slide show that made an obvious impact on the Sailors.

"It showed a guy, he wasn't even speeding, and he got hit on the back rear tire and hit the guard rail," said Wiggins. "They showed the guard rail which had no damage to it whatever, and showed the guy. He was ripped up and beheaded."

Senior Trooper Connie Maddox of the Virginia State Police, shared her own personal experience with injury on a motorcycle. She said if she had more education about riding before she got on the bike her accident would have never happened. She was sideswiped by another rider and when her bike fell her leg was caught underneath.

"When my foot hit the ground, it damaged my leg severely to where they thought it might not recover. Hopefully someone will see the experience that I went through, and they won't make that same mistake. Had I taken the BMR class, I would have never been in that situation."

The class instructor presented a wealth of information on how to break bad riding habits.

"It showed me a lot of stuff that I was doing wrong," said Wiggins "It breaks you out of those bad habits that everyone has like using only your back brake, or just your front brake, turning without using your turning signal or weaving in and out of traffic."

Riders will be happy to be back on the road, but, they need to ensure their riding skills are as sharp as possible.

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