Learn to Ride
A benefit inherent to living in the Johnstown area is that you are, at any given time, a maximum of about five minutes from a motorcycle-friendly road. These asphalt ribbons winding through our area provide the perfect surface for a season of two- and three-wheeled recreation.
For those that would to take advantage of this resource, but have no prior riding experience (or, maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve been in the saddle), courses through Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) could be the first step in igniting this passion. These courses are designed to train riders in the safe operation of motorcycles using both classroom and hands-on riding sessions.
First off, the courses offered through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program are free to Pennsylvania residents with a valid PA driver’s license or motorcycle permit. For those taking the Basic Rider Course (a beginner course that teaches all riding fundamentals as well as PA-specific motorcycle laws) it gets even better—motorcycles are provided free of charge for use during the riding courses. This means the only thing really separating you from becoming licensed to operate a motorcycle is a desire to learn and the cost of a permit.
In addition to the Basic Rider Course, the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program offers an Experienced Rider Course, which is aimed at honing motorcycle operation skills in individuals that fall under the intermediate/advanced level of riding skills.
With both courses, the opportunity is the same—you learn valuable skills and have fun while doing it. PAMSP Rider Coaches are highly-skilled instructors, delivering a proven, state-sanctioned curriculum. Courses are well-structured, safe and enjoyable.
Here are a couple of tips for those interested in these classes:
- Classes fill up very quickly (particularly the Basic Rider Course). Plan ahead to determine which course date and location works best for you and then register online as soon as registration opens.
- Do not arrive late. Late arrivals are not allowed to participate in class, a rule that is strictly enforced.
- Bring a beverage and/or light snack for riding days. There are ample breaks for course changes, etc. that provide an opportunity to refresh yourself.
- When using your own motorcycle (Experienced Rider Course only) purchase some pipe insulation (available at any hardware store) and duct tape to wrap your engine guards, just in case you experience a slow-speed lay down.
The two course locations most convenient to residents of the Johnstown area are:
- Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center (click here for a map)
- Portage High School (click here for a map)
To learn more about these courses, including course dates, registration details and course requirements, visit www.pamsp.com.