Fairbanks motorcycle safety instructor talks fundamentals, summer safety while riding

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 5:39 PM AKDT
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The month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. A time to remind automobile drivers and motorcyclists to be cautious on the road. With warmer temperatures and snow free roads motorcycle season is in full swing.

Tim Robinson is a Motorcycle safety instructor with Freedom Road Motorcycle Training Center in Fairbanks. He teaches several classes throughout the summer for beginners, intermediate and refresher courses for more advanced riders from a program sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

“The program incorporates classroom training, there is an E-course online that they take before the classroom and then we go through baby steps, so if you have never seen or been on a motorcycle before and you want to learn how this is the course for you,” said Robinson.

Robinson has been a certified motorcyclist coach since 2008. He recently got recertified in November in Texas in a new program called the BRCU. Which he said is the latest and greatest program out by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Robinson teaches students various safety aspects. From the mitigation of risk to being assertive on the road, but not aggressive.

Anyone can be excited about getting out and riding, but unless they are mentally prepared it is not going to benefit the rider or others that share the road. He described Motorcycling as a ‘seat of the pants kind of experience’.

He said in the classroom is where the students are taught on how to be mentally prepared to ride.

“So what prepares them for being on the road is being hyper-aware of the other drivers around them and coming to the realization that they are responsible for their own safety and not the other drivers,” said Robinson.

Both motorcyclists and motorists need to be aware of their surroundings. Checking blind spots, mirrors and using turn signals are necessary when changing lanes and when passing.

“So a motorcycle is really small. You don’t have a crash cage around you, so you need to be very aware of the road surface and you need to be very aware of the traffic around you. The other drivers out there, they are not used to seeing bikes on the road,” Said Robinson. “So they are used to seeing a big giant metal cage that is otherwise called a car or an automobile. So that is what they are used to seeing and so they are not used to looking at that little bitty silhouette.”

He said other drivers need to know that motorcyclists are out there and to watch out for them.

“Look where you want to go, when you think you want to pull out into traffic look twice, and when you want to pull out into an intersection look twice, don’t hit the gas as soon as the light turns green you defiantly want to look through the intersection make sure nobody is coming,” he explained.

Robinson says teaching riders how to be safe on the road has been a lifelong passion. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends taking a course, wearing protective riding gear and to be cautious of weather and road conditions so everyone makes it home safely.

Robinson said another “perk” of the class is riders receive a certification from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. They also get a completion card upon passing the course, and they can take that to the DMV and get a new motorcycle license.

For more information about the class,

For more information about Motorcycle Safety Awareness month,

And for information on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation,