News: Motorcycle safety: ‘Raiders’ live to ride
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, “Raiders,” 4th Infantry Division, revved their engines in support of motorcycle safety April 5, at Fort Carson’s Robert C. Stack Jr. Dining Facility, during the start of the brigade’s spring motorcycle safety check ride.
Thirty-seven soldiers assigned Raider brigade attended the event, which was led by Raider Brigade’s senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj., Dennis Defreese.
“We’re having this motorcycle safety ride to facilitate awareness of motorcycle safety,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jamaine Chambers, master gunner assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
“This ride was to illustrate the fact that there are a lot of motorcycle riders out there, and there are always inherent risks that come with it,” added Chambers. “But the main focus of this event was motorcycle safety, and ensuring every soldier and their vehicle is up to par.”
The ride is a part of the mentorship program that the Army has implemented, Chambers added. He said he thinks it’s great the leadership is sponsoring rides for safety awareness.
Before the start of the event, soldiers inspected each other’s motorcycles to ensure operational safety, checking tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis and kickstand.
After inspecting the bikes, the group of riders gathered around the Raider command sergeant major.
“The theme of this event is the start of the riding season,” said Defreese. “We’re here to make sure soldiers are safe when they ride, and their vehicles are mechanically sound.”
Following the safety brief, soldiers hopped on their bikes and followed Defreese southbound on State Highway 115 to their destination, a restaurant in Canyon City.
Riding motorcycles is something of a hobby for some soldiers in the brigade, so the idea of a check ride was appealing, said Chambers.
“I really enjoy riding because it brings about a feeling of relaxation, and I really just love getting out there and riding,” said Chambers, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. “But most of all, when I’m out riding, one of the things I pay particular attention to is the safety aspect.”
During the event, soldiers spent time with each other, talking about their common interest of motorcycles and the rides they have been on.
“One of the things I love about these rides is getting the chance to ride with friends and meeting people I don’t know,” said Spc. Benjamin Jacob, petroleum supply specialist assigned to Company A, 4th Brigade Support Battalion. “We share a connection through riding, because it brings people together and shows solidarity.”
Jacob added that everyone needs a buddy when they ride to keep each other safe, because the most important thing is making sure that you are prepared and safe when you ride.
As the check ride came to a close, soldiers put new experiences under their belts, and walked away with the knowledge and experience to be safer riders than before.
At the end of the day, soldiers rode their motorcycles approximately 46 miles to their destination, with everyone making it safely. The next motorcycle safety check ride is scheduled to take place in summer, before Raider Brigade’s block leave.