MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines with the Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton and Marine Aircraft Group-39 attended Semper Ride’s Fun Day on the Runway at MCASCP, May 18.
The purpose for the day-long event was to raise awareness of motorcycle safety, as well as provide multiple levels of motorcycle training, said Jeff Tilton, project manager for Semper Ride.
American Supercamp, a motorcycle technique school, offered a beginner’s course in order to give Marines who are interested in purchasing an opportunity to ride before investing the money.
Motocross and street bike freestyle performers put on demos, signed autographs and offered advice to fellow riders.
Several clinics focusing on corning entry, line selection, body position and corner exiting were available in order to improve the motorcyclists’ skills in a controlled environment by learning the limits of the motorcycles and themselves.
“There [were] some crashes but everyone has gotten up and dusted themselves off, because there are no curbs or no other vehicles to hit if you crash,” said Tilton.
The motorcycle culture has changed with more people aware of the hazards and the training available to learn the proper procedures for handling the mishaps on the road.
“Now it’s cool to take motorcycle training,” Tilton said. “There’s basic classes that are not the most fun in the world, but there’s also advanced training.”
Semper Ride coordinated a similar training event last year.
“Last year was executed very well, but we just didn’t have as many Marines as we did this year,” said Tilton. “I think this will be the template for our big, on-base events.”
Two time first place winner of the X-Games and spokesman for the Semper Ride movie, Ronnie Renner attended the event to support the Marines as well as enjoy the camaraderie of a day with fellow riders.
“It’s unreal how much the program expanded,” Renner said. “The [Marines], they must be having the times of their lives getting to crack the throttle open in a safe environment.”
With 280 training seats, thousands of Marines were in attendance, with more than 800 motorcycles on the flight line.
“We really want to thank Col. Lawrence, [commanding officer of MCASCP], for allowing us to come out here and do this since it takes a lot of work to shut down an entire flight line for a day and a half,” said Tilton.