Highlander Soldiers Ride for Safety
POSTED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 9:11pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 9:13pm
Fort Bliss, TX — More than 40 riders took part in a motorcycle safety ride sponsored by 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, March 25. The ride is part of the Motorcycle Mentorship Program mandated by 4th Brigade for all riders.
On a frigid and windy morning, Soldiers of 4th Brigade took a 200-mile road trip to the resort town of Cloudcroft, N.M., for fellowship and to evaluate their riding skills. The ride is a quarterly requirement held in conjunction with the Motorcycle Mentorship Program.
“The ride was a combination fun run and a chance for riders in the brigade to share stories and learn from each other,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jezriel Templeman, 4th Brigade’s senior safety noncommissioned officer.
Templeman said the road leading to Cloudcroft also added a larger degree of difficulty because of the change in elevation and winding mountain roads. This style of riding benefits the less experienced riders the most.
“We tried to pair junior riders with more experienced riders to allow the less-experienced rider to observe how the more-experienced rider handles the changes in road conditions,” said Sgt. Andrew Partusch, the brigade’s senior motorcycle mentor.
Partusch said events like these facilitate a safety focused riding environment for motorcyclist in the brigade by giving Soldiers the opportunity to share their mutual passion and learn what other Soldiers do in tricky riding conditions.
“Just having the opportunity to sit down and have a meal after a long ride with their fellow riders encourages conversations about riding styles,” said Partusch. “It’s a great opportunity to get some one-on-one mentorship.”
Sgt. Lance Ohle, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st AD, said these kinds of events let them talk in an informal environment about things that they love, regardless of rank.
“It’s great being able to take a ride like this during the duty day and spend time doing something I love,” said Ohle.
“Having support from [fourth brigade, first armored division’s] command team is what allows these types of rides to take place,” said Partusch. “Without their recognition of the importance of these events, they wouldn’t happen as often.”
Partusch said the risk level of riding a motorcycle compared to driving a vehicle like a car or truck is what drives events like this.
“At the end of the day if this helps reduce a fatality by even just one Soldier, then braving the cold and wind was well worth it,” said Partusch. “When it comes down to it, that’s what this event is all about.”