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Service members share motorcycle experience

By Lance Cpl. Lena Wakayama | | July 22, 2013

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KADENA AIR BASE, Japan - A steady rumble filled the air as new motorcyclists revved their engines in anticipation. The only thing keeping them at bay was the student-instructor standing on the other side of the hot asphalt, ready to signal for them to begin.

Service members prepared to become certified rider coaches through the rider coach preparation course July 11 at Kadena Air Base.

The course is designed for experienced motorcyclists to be able to teach beginning riders, according to Pat Yamashiro, a training technician with the installation safety office on Kadena. Yamashiro is the master instructor of the eight-day course, which began July 1.

“The course is like a backbone for rider education training, especially for a command-owned riding club or programs within the unit,” said Yamashiro.

The coaches would have the ability to instruct their units on the basic rider course, a class for novice riders, according to Yamashiro. 

“The course benefits the command in all aspects, whether it’s formal or informal training, or mentoring,” said Yamashiro.

The rider coach candidates were all volunteers and wanted to be a part of the program, according to Staff Sgt. Veron E. Thomas, a rider coach candidate and radio chief with Headquarters Company, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. 

“Most of the time, you’ll find us in the same unit as you,” Thomas said. “If you have any questions, you don’t have to go out of your way. The qualified person in your unit can bring you to the (motorcycle) range on your own time and reinforce necessary skills.”

With the reinforcement of skills comes confidence and safety, which is of the utmost importance, according to Thomas.

During the final two days of the course, the candidates teach students of the basic rider course and are evaluated based on their performance, according to Yamashiro. 

The candidates discuss topics like proper protective equipment and maneuvering techniques, further implanting safety into the minds of the motorcyclists-to-be.

The students appreciated the dedication that the rider coach candidates had for riding and instructing, according to Cpl. Vorn Kun, a BRC student and motor transport mechanic with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. 

“These guys have a passion for motorcycles,” said Kun. “That’s the reason they want to be instructors because they love riding motorcycles (and want to pass on what they know).”

As the course concluded, there was an excitement in both the basic rider course students and the rider coach candidates, according to Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Ebert, a BRC student and cable and antenna specialist with the 18th Communications Squadron, 18th Mission Support Group, 18th Wing. 

“Whether you decide to continue the lifestyle and the career of riding, or you just do it so you can ride a scooter on Okinawa, no one ever regrets taking (these courses),” said Ebert.

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/110429/service-members-share-motorcycle-experience#.Ue2-3o0wcnQ#ixzz2Zosvynpa

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