Bronco Team Saddles Up For Summer Safety

(U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jordan Keith, Operations Group, National Training Center)

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – As summer heats up, motorcycle riders from the Bronco Team, Operations Group, National Training Center, dust off their seats and prepare their bikes for a another great riding season here in the Mojave Desert.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Leo Banaszak, whose call sign is Bronco 3B, the senior motorcycle mentor for the Bronco Team, led four fellow Bronco motorcycle riders through a safety class and a four hour round-trip check-ride to Big Bear Lake, California on June 3, 2016.

“Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with, speed included; no peer pressure from the pack,” Banaszak told the group.

Focusing on safety, he ensured every rider knew the route of travel, order of riders, designated stop locations, appropriate hand signals, the safety issues that could arise, and arranged a vehicle to trail the group in case of an emergency.

“It’s more about the community needing to know we’re there,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Mulkey, whose call sign is Bronco 71D and an experienced 18 year motorcycle rider.

The Bronco Team periodically organizes these rides to provide an opportunity for seasoned motorcycle riders to interact with and mentor less experienced riders. In addition to motorcycle safety, Banaszak focused on the mentorship that can occur when riding as a group.

“Motorcyclists need to always assume they are not seen and ride accordingly. Proper lane positioning and following traffic laws helps greatly,” said Banaszak. “Through my experiences on long rides I have found it better to ride slightly below the speed limit and let cars pass me. This ensures they see me.”

Accident prevention and safety are a top priority for everyone on the Bronco Team, especially the leadership.

“Safety is always a paramount concern at the NTC, and particularly driver’s safety,” said Army Lt. Col. Scott Nauman, Bronco 07, Brigade Combat Team Senior Trainer.

As the weather in the Mohave heats up, so does the focus on summer safety.

“As the 100 Days of Summer begins, taking a little time to really focus on safety with a team motorcycle check ride really seems like time well-spent, and I am excited that my Safety Officer took the initiative to put this together for the Bronco Team–well done,” said Nauman.

Ensuring road safety throughout the summer is vital to soldiers, civilians, and family members alike. The Bronco Team motorcycle riders completed their safety ride without incident and, as the days get hotter, are ready to ride off into the sunset.