The Edmond Sun

April 16, 2013

Motorcycle riders gear up for riding season

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond resident Jeff Grant is the proud owner of a Honda Shadow Spirit 11000.

The motorcycle had been in storage and not used for about a year and needed some maintenance before Grant did any serious riding.

Monday afternoon, Grant was at Mid America Cycle, located just south of the Interstate 35-Waterloo Road intersection, having technician Nate Hill give it the once over.

Grant said during good weather he will be riding the bike to his Oklahoma City workplace and back, a way to lower his gasoline bill. He also just finished a state-required two-day, 10-hour new rider class. He said the business outfitted him with the proper attire required for the class, which included a helmet.

Nikki Smith, co-owner of Mid America Cycle with her husband, said whenever they sell a motorcycle, they stress the importance of being properly outfitted and wearing a helmet and the benefits of rider classes. Smith said the business will service any brand of bike regardless of whether it was purchased through them or not.

With motorcycle registrations increasing steadily in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education reminds riders to take appropriate safety precautions in order to avoid a corresponding rise in injuries and fatalities.

Kevin Behrens, chairman of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education, said riders are getting their bikes out of winter storage and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is coming up in May.

“Spring is a great time to remind our growing number of bikers of the importance of getting trained and wearing safety gear,” said Behrens, assistant director for the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have released two new television spots related to motorcycle safety. The ads will be shown on a variety of television channels through May 12 in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas.

In the videos, bikers remind riders to be “geared up, trained up, ready to ride.” Footage includes aerial stunts by professional freestyle motocross rider “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram from Stillwater, as well as riders in urban street scenes, rural highways and rider training courses.

“One of the goals of the advisory committee is to raise awareness of the need for proper gear and training, so we’re excited about these new ads,” Behrens said. “They show real riders in real situations promoting an important message: Proper gear and training can save lives.”

OHP troopers also are featured in the spots, and viewers are guided to OHP’s motorcycle training website, www.ohpsaferiders.com. A statewide web-based campaign will direct viewers to the OHP site.

Police Sgt. Acey Hopper coordinates a Civilian Motorcycle School sponsored by the Edmond Police Department. The course curriculum was developed by the Police Department and an OHSO $150,000 grant enabled the course to be offered at various venues across the state. In February, it was offered at the Oklahoma Motorcycle Show. Earlier this month it was offered at the Thunder Run IX Motorcycle Rally.

Course requirements including wearing a government-approved helmet, wearing gloves with fingers and wearing boots that cover ankles and a long sleeve shirt.

Hopper also encouraged riders to gear up and get their bikes prepared for the road. He said it’s a good idea to do a pre-ride inspection. And taking a refresher course is always beneficial.

The next Civilian Motorcycle School course will be April 20 at Edmond Fire Station No. 5, located near Covell and I-35. It will be offered May 11 at the Pioneer Technology Center in Ponca City and once again June 1 in Edmond at Fire Station No. 5.

Participants may register online at the City of Edmond’s website: edmondok.com.



marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108