News: Semper Ride takes over the runway
Story by Pfc. Timothy Childers
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The sound of screaming motorcycles, the smell of burnt rubber, and the sight of dozens of motorcycles cornering sharp turns filled the runway here, Sept. 25, as service members and civilians participated in the Semper Ride Fun Day on the Runway.
Semper Ride is a partnership created to prevent motorcycle incidents by educating Marines on proper riding techniques and personal protective equipment. The organization planned an event where both families and riders could have both an educational experience and a lot of fun on the runway.
The event featured many attractions. There was a freestyle demonstration in which professional athletes performed stunts on their motorbikes. A showing of the Semper Ride movie, motorcycle total control clinics, and exhibitors selling PPE and motorcycles were also added to the list of offerings.
Additionally, a track day on the runway where service members were given a chance to learn new skills and hone old ones under the security of a closed course and safety personnel was provided for service members.
The track day course allowed motorcyclists to receive coaching and practice correct turning techniques along a winding path filled with tight corners similar to what they might find on the streets of California.
The course was designed not as a race track but as a road course where the riders could practice real-world speeds and skills they’ve developed on a closed track, said Wally S. Trevains, deputy operations manager for Cape Fox Professional Services.
“The course is an outlet for the riders to refine their skills in a controlled environment,” said Trevains.
Riding coaches, control riders, and track safety personnel allowed the riders to practice without the hazards of the open road. It also helped struggling riders to get one-on-one coaching from a trained professional.
“The course is a great and safe setting that a lot of [service members] can benefit from,” said Gunnery Sgt. Lewis Green, programs chief, Brig Company, Security Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
The track day featured courses for all levels of riders in order for both beginners and advanced riders to gain from the training and practice.
“It’s perfect for any Marine to improve their road skills,” said Cpl. Timothy R. Santes, ground radio repairman, Communications Company, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, “It’s free, convenient, great practice, and a lot of fun for riders.”
Santes recommends all riders take one of the track courses to improve their skills.
From the track day, the riders can now take the experience they gained and the lessons learned from the course to the streets as more confident and skilled motorcyclists.
Semper Ride plans on having more events in Camp Pendleton, all of which can be found on its Web site at www.semperide.com. The next upcoming event is the Dirt Days Offroad Training at Thunder Horse Ranch from Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.