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Motorcycle ride offers proactive approach to newer riders

A Team Patrick-Cape member conducts a safety brief prior to a motorcycle mentorship ride at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.  During the brief, routes and rules are discussed, which helps less experienced riders learn from the more experienced riders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cory Long) (Released)

A Team Patrick-Cape member conducts a safety brief prior to a motorcycle mentorship ride at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. During the brief, routes and rules are discussed, which helps less experienced riders learn from the more experienced riders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cory Long) (Released)

A row of motorcycles stand ready for riders during a recent motorcycle mentorship ride at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.  Motorcycle mentorship rides are designed to help less experienced motorcycle riders learn from experienced riders during group rides. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cory Long) (Released)

A row of motorcycles stand ready for riders during a recent motorcycle mentorship ride at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Motorcycle mentorship rides are designed to help less experienced motorcycle riders learn from experienced riders during group rides. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cory Long) (Released)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team Patrick-Cape is invited to attend the March Motorcycle Mentorship Ride, March 6, 2015, to support esprit de corps and safety of motorcycle riders along the Space Coast.

"Anyone who is lost to an accident on a motorcycle is one too many," said Brig. Gen Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander. "We're lucky to be in what is almost a year round paradise for those who love to ride ... but that also means we have to make sure we reinforce safe riding practices year round as well."

The motorcycle ride is part of the wing's quarterly ride program and the theme for this ride is: introduction to group riding; where members are taught new skills or to reinforce their skills in how to safely move as part of a group of motorcycles with other traffic. 

"The ride act is an opportunity for both new and seasoned riders," said Sgt. Nicholas Vogel, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute information assurance officer and security manager. "Additionally, they have broadened my horizons of riding, which I didn't think I would be able to see until later in my life. Group riding, as well as accident avoidance, has been the most impactful for me ...Training via PowerPoint just cannot achieve these kinds of results."

Airman 1st Class Jacob Palmer, Air Force Technical Applications Center, added that this will be the second mentorship ride he has attended.

"I am looking to get experience from seasoned riders and meet new people who share the same interests in riding as I do," Palmer said. "I'm also looking to get [more] experience riding in a group. Riding with the group [last time] was a little bit daunting due to it being the first group ride I've ever been on." 

While motorcycle riding may be a popular pastime within the military, it also comes with its own risks. Since Feb. 1, 2014, there have been 236 motorcycle mishaps within the Air Force. Twenty one of those mishaps resulted in the loss of an Airman, or they became permanent disable, with the remaining mishaps involving at least one duty day lost to injury. 

The ride starts at the parking lot north of Bldg. 324 at 8:45 a.m. The brief begins at 9 a.m. and 'kickstands up' and on the road by 9:15 a.m.

Those interested in participating in the March 6 Motorcycle Mentorship Program Ride, or future motorcycle mentorship rides, contact the 45th Space Wing Ground Safety office at 321-494-7233 (SAFE).