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The rules for the ride

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Servicemembers assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe who want to ride motorcycles while stationed overseas are required to attend a motorcycle safety foundation class at least once every three years.

The 48th Fighter Wing Safety Office offers two different classes to meet the three year requirement.

The beginner riders' course is designed for the new motorcycle owner with no experience. This two-day course includes both instruction and riding experience.

"We instruct the riders on basic riding skills, how to get acquainted with the bike and knowledge about riding in the United Kingdom," said Master Sgt. Timothy Imel, motorcycle course instructor.

The course also helps riders become familiarized with the functions of the motorcycle controls; the only requirement is to have the proper motorcycle safety gear and a motorcycle. "A stateside motorcycle endorsement is not required," said Tech. Sgt. David Waters, non-commission officer-in-charge of ground safety.

For the experienced rider, a one-day, experienced rider's course is offered as a refresher for riders. The class covers basic skills and expands on techniques and knowledge riders already have. The experienced course allows students more opportunity to share riding experiences and tips with one another.

"The ERC is very helpful," said Nate Headstrom, ERC student and 30 year riding veteran. "The class helps you straighten out some of the bad habits you may have acquired."

To attend the ERC course, students must have a registered and insured motorcycle, the proper safety gear and a state-side license with a motorcycle endorsement.