Sign up now for motorcycle skills class

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Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:23 pm | Updated: 4:27 pm, Thu May 8, 2014.

Motorcyclists are invited to attend the first-ever Rider Skills Day, a free class for bikers to improve their skills and techniques taught by highly qualified officers.

The course is a part of BikeSafe-NC, where local officers from around the state go through rigorous training to teach motorcycle safety to the citizens they serve. The initiative was developed by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and since its introduction in 2009, North Carolina saw the first reduction in motorcycle fatalities in five years, according to their website.

Officer Randy Seay of the Marion Police Department has been riding his patrol motorcycle for the department since September. He completed the North Carolina State Highway Patrol basic motor officer course and BikeSafe-NC assessor training to offer Rider Skills Day in Marion.

“We are excited about this because this is the first time we have ever been involved in BikeSafe-NC. I think it’s going to be a fun, interactive class that people are going to want to do,” said Police Chief Allan Lawrence. “It’s something we can do to help prevent motorcycle crashes, in and around the county and statewide, and help us form more partnerships with the citizens.”

Seay said the biggest reason for the class is to promote safety and reduce motorcycle collisions and fatalities.

“As a rider, not only do you have to be aware of road conditions, but you have to be aware of other drivers,” said Seay. “It breaks the complacency if you ride every day and when they go through the collision part of the class, they will see most of the times it was the motorcycle’s fault. It kind of opens your eyes.”

Rider Skills Day is going to be a one-day class offered Saturday, May 31 starting at 8:45 a.m. and lasting until about 4 p.m. The class is free, but attendees need to register quickly as space is limited. Requirements for the class are a motorcycle endorsement, DOT approved helmet, a roadworthy bike, insurance and registration. Seay also said participants can bring along a passenger.

“We have a lot of places around here where people come and ride and pass through our county, and a lot of people who live here ride,” said Lawrence. “This is a next level class for folks who have been riding a little while, who could use some pointers and be evaluated. It makes sense to do this class to keep the roadway a little safer, the rider’s a little safer, and form partnerships in the community.”

The class will begin with a power point presentation about basic riding skills, a short motorcycle ride, and then lunch. During lunch, participants will discuss riding habits and skills before they return to the classroom to learn professional riding techniques, the system of motorcycle control and collision factors, to name a few. Then the day ends with a long ride that is more advanced with curvier roads to see how the riders progress from the morning to the evening ride.

At the end of the class, the bikers will get a certificate of completion from BikeSafe-NC that some insurance companies will recognize.

“I’m excited to share my knowledge to the public and hopefully they will gain something that will save their life,” said Seay, a rider for about seven years.

The class is also available for private lessons for a family or motorcycle club. Space is limited with only six spots open for the first class. For more information, folks can call the Marion Police Department at 652-5205, refer to the websites marionpd.org or bikesafenc.com, or by email to Randy Seay at rseay@marionpd.org.