Local

April 5, 2012

Motorcycling major finds safe outlet for his need for speed

By Tanja Linton
Special to the Scout
Tanja Linton
Maj. Jim Markham, assistant doctrine editor for the Capabilities, Development and Integration division here, appears to be a mild-mannered desk jockey during the week. However, on the weekends, he suits up, jumps on his ride and heads to the tracks for a "need for speed" fix.

Maj. Jim Markham has a need for speed, and he knows just what to do about it. During the week he puts on his uniform and works as an assistant doctrine editor for the Capabilities, Development and Integration division here. But sometimes he dons racing leathers and takes his 2002 Honda Superhawk out to one of three local tracks to get a fix.

Markham has been riding motorcycles since 2001. His first bike was a 1976 Kawasaki KZ 750. He has owned six different bikes, ridden more than 60,000 miles on the street and completed the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses.

What does he get out of racing? “I’m a lot more functional. Going to the track is adrenaline therapy,” says Markham. By this self-professed math geek’s calculations, track day and race fees are much cheaper than speeding tickets.

In 2004, Markham had what he calls a “tank slapper.” He required extensive knee surgery. “You need to build up your experience before your luck runs out,” Markham says of the accident. He also realized that pavement hurts, and sweat washes off, but road rash does not.

Three years ago, Markham started going to trackdays, and last year he became a licensed motorcycle racer after attending race school. Like most Soldiers, he is constantly challenging himself and is now working on becoming a MSF certified rider coach as soon as his busy schedule permits it. He is also one of the top eight candidates in Kawasaki’s “Zero to Hero” challenge. He hopes to become one of the final four and win an opportunity to race with motorcycle racing superstar Ricky Gadson.

Markham finds that racing has actually raised his skill level. Technique is needed to achieve the best times on the track. He also learned that professional motorcycle racers start with smaller bikes and go up in size as the rider’s skill level increases. The right-sized bike for the rider’s skill level equals a safe ride.

Now Markham wants to support an environment that promotes safe riding. This motorcycle racing major has helped put together a Trackday April 15 at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Willcox. Soldiers from Fort Huachuca and Airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will save $20 and pay $145 for full day or $90 for half day registration. The cost includes rental leathers if riders need them. A sport bike is not required, and instructional staff and control riders will be at the trackday to provide coaching. Servicemembers need to bring their motorcycle license and MSF card.

Markham would like to see all units on Fort Huachuca have a robust motorcycle mentorship program. He has a vision of a post-wide ride with all level of chains of command involved. He’s hoping to foster a culture of acceptance for motorcycle riders on the installation. Markham envisions an environment where Soldiers and leaders come together and stayed engaged to promote a culture of fun and safe riding.

Novice riders should seek out the experienced riders as mentors, learn as much as they can about riding online and take all levels of the MSF courses, not just the beginner one to learn about riding.

According to Army Composite Risk Management for Riders statistics for Arizona, 50 percent of fatal accidents involve alcohol, and in two-thirds of those accidents the rider was under the .08 percent BAC legal limit. Markham says drinking and riding is a huge risk, and riders shouldn’t mix the two under any circumstances.

Army statistics also indicate that the leading cause of single-vehicle crashes is “failure to negotiate curve/maintain control.” This is typically caused by a rider using a corner entry speed for which the skill level need to successfully complete the turn exceeds the skill level of the rider.

Markham says more training is the key to reducing risk. The average subject of an accident has five years of riding experience, but less than one year on their current bike. He notes that the free MSF Intermediate Rider’s Course offered on Fort Huachuca is one day of training that directly addresses this experience gap by reinforcing Basic Course skills on the rider’s current motorcycle. Not only does practice make perfect, or in this case safe, increased familiarity with the capabilities of one’s motorcycles ups the safety factor.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Annual Installation Awards Banquet honors top personnel

Natalie Lakosil From left, Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca stands with Fort Huachuca’s 2014 winners: Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, Sgt. Brya...
 
 

2015 Army Emergency Relief Annual Campaign

Since its founding during World War ll, Army Emergency Relief (AER) has provided $1.7 billion in interest-free loans and grants to 3.6 million Soldiers in the active component, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and among the ranks of the retired. AER financial assistance provides timely care and support to Wounded Warriors, Surviving Spouses...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Uncasing ceremony formally welcomes 40th ESB Soldiers home

Stephanie Caffall 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. John Reinburg, left, and Battalion Commander Lt. Col. David Thomas begin the uncasing of the battalion colors. The colors signify the homecoming of the 40t...
 

 
Courtesy of André Douglas

Civilian Expeditionary Workforce offers unique development opportunity to IMCOM employee

Courtesy of André Douglas The Bagram Air Base installation management team — made up of active duty Service members, civilian employees and contractors — pauses for a commemorative photo. SAN ANTONIO — Joining the Civili...
 
 

FH schools to celebrate National Bike to School Day March 06

Students from Colonel Johnston, General Myer and Colonel Smith Middle Schools will be riding or walking to school on March 6 along with parents, teachers and community leaders. The event will begin from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with youth, parents and community leaders riding or walking from parking lot locations listed below or from home....
 
 

CWFC designed to improve employee morale

There’s an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca federal Civilian employees during and outside of duty hours. The Civilian Welfare Fund Council, or CWFC, Fort Huachuca, is a Category IV Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentality with proceeds from concessionaire commissions. Its purpose is to manage the Civilian Welfare Funds, or...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin