News: Motorcycle Rodeo and Safety Event brings Army and Mairne Corps together for a cause
Story by Cpl. Thomas Bricker
BARSTOW, Calif. - On the average day, the loudest noises Marines and civilians aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow experience are from howling High Desert winds or the railway traffic of multiple trains running through the Mojave Desert; but on May 2, the installation was filled with the thunderous roar of more than 100 motorcycles.
MCLB Barstow recently held its inaugural Motorcycle Rodeo and Safety Event for the local community and its surrounding areas. The day was filled with vendor tents, competitions for riders’ skills, and safety information for motorcyclists and demonstrations by the California Highway Patrol.
Spring marks the beginning of motorcycle riding season. To combat mishaps, the base safety office set up the event as a way to start the season by promoting motorcycle safety.
“This month is Motorcycle Safety Month and we wanted to kick it off in a way that gets people aware of it,” explained Gunnery Sgt. Dustin Hamilton, a safety and occupational health specialist aboard MCLB Barstow. “Motorcycle safety is twofold; it applies to the safety of the rider and the safety of others around him or her. Our goal was to get this message out to people here,” he added.
Competitions at the day’s event included a slow race, a contest between riders to judge how well they handle their bike at slow speeds without stopping or dismounting. The riders with the “need for speed” however, competed in a cornering course, a timed trial competition set up to name one rider, fastest of the day. For those who wanted to show off their bikes in a more static fashion, a bike show was held to find the nicest cruiser and sports bike. These competitions helped the riders garner bragging rights among their peers.
“It was great watching the other guys ride in the different races,” said Spc. Hermen Torres, a tank mechanic with the 11th Armored Cavalry, Regimental Support Squadron, Maintenance Troop, aboard National Training Center Fort Irwin. “It looked like fun and all but I just stuck around by my bike and talked to other riders. I’ll compete by letting others judge my bike,” he explained.
Torres was one of the many riders from Fort Irwin to show up to the event. The rodeo was advertised to other military installations, inviting bike enthusiasts from all over to come out and share in the day’s festivities.
“I heard about it on the radio and saw a sign for it, “said Staff Sgt. Joshua Landers, a wheel mechanic, also with the 11th ACR. “It sounded interesting and our command authorized bike riders to go so I figured I’d check it out.”
The Motorcycle Rodeo and Safety Event helped educate riders about proper safety measures and also gave them some practice in skills they may not always have a chance to use.
“I’m glad the soldiers from Fort Irwin made it; it gave them a chance to practice group riding,” said Hamilton. “Motorcycle riding needs practice, no matter how long you’ve ridden. It all comes down to continuous improvement in skill. If you don’t use it, you lose it,” he concluded.
This work, Motorcycle Rodeo and Safety Event brings Army and Mairne Corps together for a cause, by Cpl Thomas Bricker, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.