“It was a nice route and it was great having the support of the local sheriff departments and police departments who came out and blocked the roads for us,” said Capt. John P.K. Walton, a developmental engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory who has ridden motorcycles for 14 years. “At one point, we got to a big hill and I could see nothing but bikes. Then, as we crested the hill, I looked in my mirror and all I could see were bikes. It was a good turnout.”
The event was designated an alternate duty location by the 88th Air Base Wing commander and met the annual pre-season brief requirement for military members. Civilian riders were highly encouraged to attend, with many taking advantage of the training.
“I think it’s a great opportunity, especially being a civilian,” said Thomas Stephenson, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Configuration and Data manager. Stephenson began riding motorcycles at age 16 but has been on and off motorcycles since then.
He recently purchased a new motorcycle after a six-year hiatus and said he wanted to refresh his memory on safety.
“It’s nice that organizations on base let us do this and I think for the base to sponsor something like this is awesome. I think it shows that they really care for the people,” he said.
Food trucks, vendors and a slow ride contest made up lunchtime activities at the event. The Green Knights put on a slow ride contest to test riders’ ability to balance by challenging them to travel 60 feet as slowly as possible without putting their feet down – something much easier said than done as the gyroscopic forces of a fast-spinning motorcycle wheel make it relatively easy to stay upright, but slow spinning wheels don’t generate the force.
First place went to Kavon Lackey, a first lieutenant from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, with a time of 52.64 seconds. Lackey won a $50 gift card to a local eatery for his riding prowess.
Riders interested in pursuing additional motorcycle safety training or mentorship opportunities should contact the base Safety Office at 904-0888.