Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Fourteen riders participated in the first Combat Center Advanced Dirt Bike Course near Ocotillo Gate Wednesday morning. The riders learned advanced techniques that go above and beyond the requirements of the Dirt Bike School, a prerequisite to the advanced course, held by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Throughout the course, the riders learned more about turning, balancing, weight distribution and maintenance techniques. The riders varied in experience and skill level.
The instructors laid out the plan for the course and spoke with the riders about their bikes and riding levels. This was to find the riders who might need more help.
“Some of the techniques will include balancing, real life riding, like whoops, the little hills, drop-offs and things that people will actually encounter when they’re riding on a route,” said Andrea Beach, off-road safety instructor, Combat Center Safety Office. “I see them taking (the training) very well. Everybody gets really excited. They want to learn more.”
The course is available to dirt bike riders regardless of experience.
“I’ve learned how to ride the bike, how to maneuver it and how to manipulate the bike to do what you want,” said Bryan Pedrotti, who began riding more consistently a month ago. “The hardest thing would be leaning into turns and being able to turn your bike by weight manipulation. I just think this is a course everybody should take regardless of skill level.”
Beach, a rider with more than 35 years of experience, showed the class a few easy steps to adjust the rear suspension properly. She grabbed her tools and started adjusting the rear suspension, letting it tighten and loosen, to find a middle ground for Jacob Seiber’s brand new suspension.
“When you get it dialed in you won’t really have to adjust it again, so take your time,” Beach said to the class. “The whole idea is to keep it balanced.”
Beach moved on to the front end of the bike to work on the compression and rebound of the front tire.
“I’m really glad that they’ve finally come along and gave us a class,” said Don Ream about the off-road riding classes. “I’ve learned a few tips about riding posture – like pushing down on the pegs to actually balance on the turns – because I’ve never really been to a formal school or training prior to coming here. I think everybody that rides (all terrain vehicles) and dirt bikes should come through these courses.”
For more information on classes, contact the Combat Center Safety Office at 830-6154.