Just in time for the warmer weather, when motorcyclists hit the road, comes an opportunity for them to practise road skills that may have gone dormant over the winter.
“Motorcycle riding is a perishable skill: If you don’t do it you can get rusty,” said Cpl. Travis Carroll of the Port Moody Police.
To ensure riders’ skills are in top shape, PMPD and Coquitlam RCMP are partnering with ICBC to offer the first Tri-Cities Motorcycle Challenge May 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Port Coquitlam ICBC Driver Licensing Office.
Cpl. Nancy Joyce, who owns two motorbikes and is a regular rider, came up with the idea after hearing of a similar event conducted by the Burnaby RCMP. She said the idea of a safety event, where people could challenge themselves and practice their skills, is a good way to celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“The skills they will practise are commonly used in the real world,” said Joyce, who works in the Coquitlam RCMP traffic enforcement section.
Among the skills participating riders will practise are controlling the bike through an intersection, driving a figure-eight pattern and weaving through a slalom course.
To participate, riders are required to present a valid Class 6 motorcycle licence, have a street-legal motorcycle and be wearing appropriate safety gear.
Wearing proper clothes while riding is important, Carroll and Joyce say.
Joyce said her life was saved by her gear when her bike slipped on diesel fuel on the way back from an eight-hour road trip and Carroll, who started riding in order to become a traffic enforcement officer, arrived to the interview with The Tri-City News wearing full biking gear.
They are excited for the two police forces to be working on a traffic safety event and say motorcycling is an activity that should be enjoyed safely.
“It’s freedom,” said Joyce, who owns a BMW Dual Sport and a Yamaha R3. “You are one with nature.”
In addition to a skills course, visitors to the event can check out bikes on display, visit an ICBC booth to learn about proper gear and find out about the Cops for Cancer cycling fundraiser. Police motorcycle operators form Port Moody Police and Coquitlam RCMP will be there to provide tips and guidance to riders.
• The Motorcycle Challenge takes place May 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ICBC Driver Licensing Office at 1930 Oxford Connector, Port Coquitlam.