Many tend to view their job as “work” – but not TEAM OREGON instructors. For these professionals, work is a time to connect with the community, teach others how to ride a motorcycle and most importantly, ensure the safety of motorcyclists and car drivers alike.
Housed in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State, more than 200 community members serve as active instructors for the TEAM OREGON Motorcycle Safety Program.
Based in Corvallis since 1984 and with 24 training locations statewide, the program has taught about 150,000 riders the mental and physical skills necessary for safe motorcycle operation.
“It’s not like driving a car,” says Steve Garets, TEAM OREGON director. “You have to think like a motorcyclist.”
Because the consequences of a mistake are greater for motorcycle riders than car drivers, riders are trained to look – and think – much further ahead.
“We teach you to get your eyes up and your awareness way out ahead of you,” Steve says. “If you can recognize hazards 10 or 20 seconds away, you have time to respond smoothly and safely.”
The demand for rider training is high. Beginning January 1, 2015, all new riders in Oregon – 11,000 or more students every year – are required by law to take a TEAM OREGON training course to earn a motorcycle license.
Led by men and women from the riding community, TEAM OREGON instructors also serve as PHHS professional faculty. They are motorcycle enthusiasts with an abiding interest in safe and skillful riding and willingly sacrifice prime riding time – weekends – with their friends and family to give back to the community through motorcycle training.
Watch the video above and get to know a few of the instructors committed to motorcycle safety in Oregon.