From CDOT's Ride Wise campaign

From CDOT’s Ride Wise campaign

As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month continues, so does the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT’S) Ride Wise program. CDOT launched Ride Wise to provide formal motorcycle operator training courses to older male riders, according to a CDOT press release. Those older riders may have had thousands of miles of experience, yet many have had “little to zero hours” of formal training on safe riding, CDOT writes.

The Ride Wise courses include the importance of riding sober and of wearing protective gear, including glasses, gloves, and boots, CDOT writes in a news item. The department quotes CDOT’s Highway Safety Manager Glenn Davis, who is a longtime rider: “Training helps even the most experienced of riders improve their riding skills by focusing on techniques such as braking, counter steering and cornering.”

Of the 92 people who died in motorcycle accidents in 2014 in Colorado, 63% were not wearing helmets, CDOT writes. Colorado does not require motorcyclists or riders age 18 and older to wear helmets, writes Katie de la Rosa for Coloradan. Mike Knostman, manager of Aces Motorcycles in Fort Collins, told de la Rosa that although most of his customers do buy helmets, “there are always those who don’t and won’t change their mind.” Knostman said Aces “strongly encourages motorcyclists and riders to wear helmets” because “you never know what the other guys on the road are going to do.”

CDOT provides the following details about the history of Ride Wise:

An evolution of CDOT’s award-winning Ride Wise campaign from 2014, the concept showcases real Colorado riders whose heart-stopping stories illustrate the value of safety training—even for the most experienced rider. To resonate with the biking community, the Ride Wise campaign uses on-line videos, roadside billboards, print advertisements and dealership tactics presenting authentic role models who rely on safety training to hone the skills needed to ride safe. Messaging uses philosophical sayings to emphasize life-long learning and encourage riders to consider taking courses to sharpen their knowledge and skills.

One of the riders featured in the Ride Wise media campaign is Rob Burleson, who says in a CDOT article that the most important thing a Ride Wise class taught him is that motorcycle operators are “invisible.” He said motorcyclists’ safety is in their own hands, and they need to be responsible for themselves.

There are 13 independent vendors throughout the state in the Colorado Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) program, and they provide motorcycle training courses for riders with a wide range of riding abilities, CDOT writes. The classes prepare those taking them to react quickly in dangerous situations by incorporating classroom education with real-life application on controlled courses. The classes are offered in Denver, Westminster, Dacano, Durango, Craig, and other locations, according to CDOT.

The Ride Wise campaign won Denver-based Amelie Company Advertising and PR a spot in the Denver Ad Club’s prestigious The Fifty as well as a People’s Choice award, reports Drew Bentley on his LinkedIn page. Bentley was graphic and art director for Amelie when the campaign was created.

Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet

Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet

In a related article appearing on Kiplinger, Jeff Bertolucci reports that the company Skully, which develops vehicle systems technology for the transportation sector, has created what it is calling “the world’s smartest motorcycle helmet.” The Skully AR-1 helmet, which can be preordered, features a “transparent, head-up display that shows a rearview camera feed,” Bertolucci writes. The Skully company website says the rear view camera provides an ultra wide angle.

Bertolucci reports that Skully raised more than $2.4 million from 1,940 people in an Indiegogo campaign for the AR-1. The helmet has a DOT/ECE safety certification, Skully writes. According to Skully’s pre-order page, the AR-1 can be ordered for $1,499, and the estimated delivery is December 2015.

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast and are looking for a fun summer trip, consider visiting the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Ala. Vicki Smith writes for Gizmag that the museum, dubbed the largest motorcycle museum in the world by The Guinness Book of World Records, will begin a 100,000 square foot expansion in July. The museum houses 1,400 motorcycles built over a 100-year time period, more than 650 of which can be seen on any given day, according to its site.

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