By Julie M. Lucas
NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs
All the gear, all the time, is a mantra used by rider coaches in the Basic Rider Course (BRC) and Advanced Rider Course (ARC) offered at NAS Jacksonville. The courses are offered weekly aboard the base for active duty, civilian employees, retirees and military dependents.
"I'm retired military and I love spending time helping to keep our service members safe," said Rider Coach Greg "Wojo" Wojciechowski, of Information Sciences Consulting Inc.
"In the BRC, our goal is to help our new riders learn to ride the safe and correct way. In our ARC and BRC2 courses, we give our experienced riders some new 'tools' they can put into their mental tool boxes and use them whenever they ride."
The BRC is held Monday and Tuesday and ARC on Thursday, with time spent both in the classroom learning theory and applying that theory on the range, doing different exercises. The curriculum that is taught comes from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Riders in the BRC who may have had little to no prior motorcycle experience learn things like stopping quickly and riding over obstacles. In the ARC, some of the drills include decreasing radius turns, gap analysis and safety margins.
To graduate from the BRC, a skills test on the motorcycle and a multiple-choice test are required with an 80 percent passing grade. Anyone who does not pass any portion of the class is invited to re-attend as needed.
It is recommended that riders coming off deployment take one of the advanced classes so they can get reacquainted with their motorcycles. It is also highly recommended that anytime a new bike is purchased, members complete the BRC2 or ARC again.
The free courses are mandatory for military personnel who want to ride a motorcycle, on or off base.
"People can join the military who already have the motorcycle endorsement on their license but the Department of Defense requires them to take this course," said Wojciechowski.
Reserve members of other branches of the military are allowed to take the courses, as well.
"Everyone in the Coast Guard attends this course and we are so thankful for the opportunity," said GM1 Mike Hall. He had already purchased a motorcycle but needed the class.
"Everything I did wrong in the class lead me to the right answer."
An update to the class will occur Sept. 1 that requires students to take a three-hour computer based training course prior to attending the traditional course.
After registering for the class, the students will receive a link to an MSF site to enroll in the eCourse. There, they will receive a username and temporary password to log in to the course.
Motorcycles are provided for the BRC or you may ride your own motorcycle. The advanced class is set up for 12 riders using their own motorcycles.
To sign up for either course, go to www.navymotorcyclerider.com or see your command motorcycle safety representative.