Summer bring out more riders on motorcycles, and an Iowa group offers the training to keep them safe on the road. Jim Benford is with ABATE of Iowa, the two-wheeler group called A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education. They’re offering a lineup of safety programs right now. One is “Share the Road,” a program where presenters go into classrooms and civic groups to teach drivers how to interact with motorcycle riders on the streets, and another motorcycle education program, that takes both experienced and novice riders and teaches them how to handle their machines in certain situations. ABATE also offers a training course titled “Two-Wheel Trauma.” He explains it’s for Emergency Medical Techs, Registered Nurses and other medical people who may come onto the scene of an accident, giving them more tools to manage the scene. Benford says the motorcycle group has members who have jobs themselves in the medical field, and they’re the ones who give the training sessions. The EMT trainers and other medical people are doing the ABATE training sessions, to tell other first-responders things they may not know like how to shut off a running motorcycle engine or its fuel when they arrive at the scene. Instead of the usual two courses, the group hopes to offer five this year. Benford is a rider-coach himself, and says the “biker” you may imagine isn’t typical of today’s motorcycle rider. The demographic in his classrooms has been changing, Benford says. “It’s pretty much 45, 54-year-old people comi’ in and they’ve got more disposable income now because their kids are gone — they’ve raised their kids.” At the same time he says they need to take a class because the motorcycle they may have tried out 30 years ago was nothing like the cycles they’re selling today. Today’s two-wheelers are faster and more powerful, he explains. And not only are riders older than they once were — they include more women than ever before. To check the schedule of more than two-dozen rider-training classes and other offerings, surf to abateiowa-dot-org.
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