Bikers unite at campus riding classes

Rodrigo Azurmendi
Community members improve their motorcycle skills to the test through the Saddleback Rider Training course that is held in parking lot 5A every weekend at Saddleback College.

Community members improve their motorcycle skills to the test through the Saddleback Rider Training course that is held in parking lot 5A every weekend at Saddleback College.

To a particular group of people, the normal daily activities, and even some that many consider risky or dangerous, do not prove stimulating enough.

A few of those chosen ones come to Saddleback College every weekend to get their adrenaline fix and learn the art of motorcycle racing.

As a marine in the late ’80s, Tone Wilson became a dirt bike scout and was later required to spread his knowledge.

When the military made it mandatory to learn motorcycle skills, I was one of the first chosen for the training,” Wilson said. After years of that, civilian colleges and companies started approaching me.”

Considering California and Texas have the greatest bike riding communities in the nation, Wilson came up with the Saddleback Rider Training class. The college offers this class as a community service, and although it does not offer units, it has certainly become popular.

“We have 48 riders per weekend,” he said. “Upon completing the course, the students receive a completion certificate and a DL 389 waiving the riding section on the DMV test.”

Some of the students have special motivations that drove them to the course.

“I promised it to my wife,” said Tom Joy, Laguna Hills resident. “I’m mainly here to get my license, but my wife thinks this will be safer.”

The students present appreciate the chance of acquiring the skills as well as the instructor’s professionalism.

“It’s pretty cool being taught the skills, especially when you thought you could never do it,” said Donna Krietzberg, San Juan Capistrano resident. “The course is informative, step by step, and they give us a lot of tips for improvement.”

The rest of the group murmured in the agreement.

“I liked the patience the coaches had with us,” said Heather Hengy, Lake Elsinore resident. “They point out our mistakes and made us do it again until we learned it. They made it fun.”

The 15-hour course is offered online at saddlebackridertraining.com and qualifies riders for discounts from dealerships and insurance companies.

 

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