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Fort Hood Press Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 7, 2013 11:06:58 AM CDT

Division West holds first motorcycle mentorship ride of the year

Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, center, the 166th Aviation Brigade command sergeant major and Division West motorcycle mentor explains the ride route and safety tips to the division riders near division headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas, May 3. May is recognized as motorcycle awareness month. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

By Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas – With over 33,000 registered Army motorcycle riders, Division West allowed 35 of its own time for a mentorship ride through the hills of central Texas May 3.

The ride’s emphasis was to promote motorcycle safety and training in preparation for the III Corps ride that is quickly approaching.

 “A lot of energy is going into this ride today,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, the 166th Aviation Brigade command sergeant major and the division senior motorcycle mentor. “We are doing this ride in preparation for our III Corps ride.”

May is motorcycle awareness month and Division West is taking the time out to help Soldiers reintegrate their bikes back into the warmer climate.

First Army Division West Soldiers prepare to start the division’s first motorcycle mentorship ride of the year from division headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas, to Nolanville, Texas, May 3. The emphasis of the ride was to promote safety and group motorcycle riding. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

“It gives us an opportunity to exercise the bikes and the chain of command supports our program,” Vela added. “Who wouldn’t rather ride their motorcycle then sit behind their computer and work.”

The morning’s events began with some tutorials on the sport and cruiser motorcycles. Soldiers were given tips on how to maintain their bikes through winter months and preventive steps to take when bringing the motorcycles back out to ride.

“We were talking about getting the bikes out of long term storage and ready for the riding season,” said Joel Leaver, a Fort Hood motorcycle and traffic safety instructor. “You should also plan for things that could happen while riding and look for a path of travel to get through it.”

After the briefings, mentors and riders had the opportunity to inspect their bikes. The division riders checked tire pressure, brakes, chains and belts and various other functions checks to make sure the bike was ready for the day’s ride.

Soldiers from First Army Division West pose for a photo at the Pit Stop Bar and Grill in Nolanville, Texas after completing the mentorship ride, May 3. The mentorship ride was for the Soldiers to ride as a group in preparation for the Fort Hood Phantom Thunder Ride. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

While these checks were made, riders commented on why they enjoyed riding and why safety is paramount.

“I love the freedom of riding,” said Sgt. 1st Class Cynthia Pearson, a 166th noncommissioned officer with 7 years of riding experience. “It gives me a chance to put things into perspective and also on how to improve my riding skills.”

“Even though it helps get my mind off things, I still have to pay attention to the people around me and remain safety-minded,” Pearson added.

As the division Soldiers complete their ride, Vela reiterates on the importance of motorcycle safety.

“It’s the season for bikes to come out and I want safe motorcycles,” said Vela. “Safety first, safety always.”

For more information contact:
First Army Division West Public Affairs
First Army Division West
(254) 553-5003
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]