Chief's motorcycle Mentorship Ride

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Approximately 30 motorcyclists from F. E. Warren rode in formation through Wyoming and Colorado Aug. 3 to develop safe riding skills.

They departed at 8 a.m. and returned at approximately noon. In total, the riders travelled more than 100 miles. They went south along US-85 to Greeley, Colo., then west on US-34 to Thunder Mountain where they took a break, and finally headed back east along US-35 and took I-25 north back to Cheyenne, Wyo.

The ride's purpose was to get younger troops out with more experienced riders, said Master Sgt. Clayton Schoepflin, 90th Missile Wing career assistance.

"We have a lot of people here unfamiliar with motorcycles," he said. "We put this together to teach inexperienced riders road skills, what to look for, how to react and safe group riding skills. Also, the skills people learn in group rides will be useful when riding alone."

After the ride, participants gathered for lunch in the Base Chapel Activity center to discuss their experiences.

Several riders mentioned dangerous drivers and other dangers they faced.

Because of the potentially fatal consequences of motorcycle accidents, it is a good idea to throttle down and assess potentially dangerous situations, he said.

"We went through crosswinds," said Schoepflin. "We experienced speed fluctuations going through small towns.

"Traffic came to a stop because a vehicle caught fire."

The accident made it necessary for the procession of motorcyclists to merge left to get around the accident. It went smoothly and it taught how to safely navigate around accidents with the use of hand gestures from a ride captain, Schoepflin explained.

"Hand gestures are important in group formations because they allow the ride captain to show his intent to the group," he said. "The ride captain has the clearest view of what's ahead."

Every group of motorcyclists traveling together should have a ride captain who rides in the front and judges what needs to be done to stay safe, an intermediate ride captain who looks after the middle of the group and a tail-runner who keeps an eye out from the rear of the formation, he said.

The ride captain during this ride was Master Sgt. Collin Adams, 90th Contracting Squadron first sergeant, the intermediate ride captain was Schoepflin and the tail runner was Troy Weaver, 90th Missile Wing Safety Office traffic safety monitor.

The 90th Missile Wing Safety Office coordinated the ride with Chief Master Sgt. Michael Garrou, 90th Missile Wing command chief and motorcyclist, and Balfour Beatty Communities.

It is the first part of the safety and wingmanship month events, said Weaver.

While he said the turnout was good for this ride, he said he would like to see more participants for the ride he is organizing for September.

"I always want more folks to come out," he said.

"I just think this is an outstanding opportunity," Schoepflin said. "It allowed seasoned riders to get out there and mentor and guide the unseasoned riders. It was great to get out there on one of the last of the summer days before fall.

"It was a learning experience for everyone."

For more information about the upcoming ride in September, call 307-773-2430.