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Shaw Air Force Base conducts its annual Motorcycle Mentorship Ride

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Isaac Nicholson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. service members and civilians assigned to Shaw Air Force Base came together for the annual Motorcycle Mentorship Ride and pre-season briefing, hosted by the 20th Fighter Wing (FW) Safety Office on base, Apr. 10, 2023.

The event consisted of a bike show, a “slow race,” a mentorship ride, and a pre-season brief which allowed the 27 participants to review crucial safety information and retain their on-base riding privileges. The goal was to allow both inexperienced and veteran drivers to ride together and absorb safe riding practices to help fortify a culture of readiness and safety throughout the base.

“Of the four on-base mishaps we had last year, three of them involved riders who had not received our safety training,” said Tech. Sgt. Christian Stevens, 20th FW Safety Office occupational noncommissioned officer in charge. “I believe this ride is impactful because it works to build a mentality where safety is an easy topic for riders to engage with and ultimately, it’s associated with fun.”

Safety professionals and experienced riders led the briefing and ride, some of which shared their own stories of motor vehicle mishaps.

“I was involved in an accident last year that ended with me getting injured because I was wearing the minimum amount of required safety gear,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Seymore, 20th FW Wing Staff Agency religious affairs apprentice. “I hope my story can really push the message that, when it comes to Airman readiness, you can never be too safe.”

Once the participants completed the pre-season brief, the event concluded with a roundtrip group motorcycle ride to Pack’s Landing in Pinewood, S.C.

“I think it’s a good thing that we can get younger riders out here with the more experienced riders because it gives them a chance to not only ask questions, but also adopt their better riding habits as well,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Clem, 20th Component Maintenance Squadron jet engine intermediate maintenance craftsman. “It’s important because no matter how long you’ve been riding, you always have room to improve and help less experienced riders get better along with you.”

Stevens hopes that, with time, this yearly initiative can evolve to include new group ride locations and that even more riders can attend in order to develop a larger basewide culture of safety.

“We included things like the bike show, the slow race and the group ride so that safety isn’t the only thing that we focused on today,” said Stevens.
“We want to build a mentality behind safety that allows our riders to always be comfortable talking about it with each other and that they can have a good time while they do it.”