WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The shine on the paint. The rev of the engine. The feeling of the open road all in front of you.
That’s what get’s these individuals on motorcycles.
“The term wind therapy is there for a reason. When you get on a motorcycle, it’s an opportunity to let go of the day. You feel a relaxation, at times a rush of excitement, and it can be very fulfilling,” Red River Harley Davidson Riding Academy Manager Jack Small said.
“I know a bunch of people that had bikes and have gone through the class. When I was a kid, my dad had a Harley Sportster growing up. He always made me shine the chrome and polish it so I’ve been around bikes my whole life,” Riding Academy participant Chris Cotnoir said.
With less traffic on the roads in 2020, TxDOT reported a reduction in motorcycle crashes but an increase in motorcycle fatalities.
At the Red River Harley Davidson Riding Academy, officials said they do their best to bring those fatalities to a minimum.
“We cover weaves which helps people to avoid obstacles, moving through parking lots, around anything that may prevent or cause a problem for them. We are doing tight turns, shifting and it’s building skills,” Small said.
“It’s fun. A little nerve-racking at times, curves are a little tough but getting better and better as we go along. It’s really fun though,” Cotnoir said.
Visibility and exposure are one of the many risks of riding motorcycles.
But officials said if riders do it safely, the sensation is unmatched.
“Everything that we do is a risk: Jumping out of a plane, even driving a car is a risk. This is just a little bit more of a bigger risk but it’s a fun risk,” Cotnoir said.
“When you finish this course, it doesn’t mean that you’re ready to get out on the highway and we will work with you to build your skills so that you can feel more comfortable and you’re more proficient with the motorcycle. But it’s always, always around safety,” Small said.
Safety first for all riders and for everyone else on the road.
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