ROCHESTER, Minn. – There have been dozens of motorcycle accidents on both Iowa and Minnesota roads this year.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, eleven motorcyclists have been killed on Minnesota roads and nearly 30 others have been injured. Iowa State Patrol is reporting ten motorcycle deaths this year.
These numbers are shocking, but there are steps riders can be taking to stay safe on the roads.
On Saturday, the Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) hosted a beginner’s motorcycle course.
The main objective of the day was to get folks, who might have never ridden before, comfortable on a bike.
There were a series of exercises done, both on and off the bikes, and beginner Kip Stark says the class was not only informative, but calming.
“You learn which lane to be in when you’re coming up to intersections,” Stark explains, “stuff I didn’t really know and I don’t think of it until somebody tells you about it.”
Courses like this aren’t just important for beginning riders; even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher of these important lessons.
Peter Buenting was the instructor of the course and tell us he has been out on the road for more than 30 years.
As an experienced rider, he says he is always pleased to see how many people take their training seriously, since you never know what could happen out on the road.
“Experience is a harsh teacher,” Buenting says, “so whatever we can do to anticipate and deal with those unexpected situations is going to be a plus.”
One of the things he suggested to his students was to pretend that they were completely invisible to other motorists on the road.
It’s an odd request, but something he believes is important to tell beginners, since it will help them stay defensive and alert when they’re out and about.
However, this kind of education isn’t just happening in Minnesota.
A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education, or ABATE, of Iowa holds classes regularly for riders of all skills sets and backgrounds.