A view of the training course during the first annual Shiny Side Up Motorcycle Rally at Hillcrest High School in Ammon on June 19, 2021. The rally, hosted by Idaho State Police and Grand Teton Harley Davidson, provided training turning maneuvers and accident avoidance to anyone with a motorcycle. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
AMMON – The constant rumble of exhaust pipes, the cheering of coaches and police engines filled the hot air in the parking lot at Hillcrest High School on Saturday.
For hours, local residents took a training course featuring eight distinct cone designs designed to teach motorcyclists safer riding skills. The models included lessons on turns, maneuvering through intersections and avoiding suddenly stopped vehicles.
Related | FAI holds motorcycle safety rally on Saturday
The rally is something that has been done in Meridian for years, according to the Idaho State Police Sgt. Andrew Nakashima, but has been needed in eastern Idaho for years. While looking for ways to provide this type of training in eastern Idaho, Nakashima contacted Grand Teton Harley Davidson and his riding trainer Nikki Egbert.
“We absolutely love it,” Egbert told EastIdahoNews.com. “We’ve been trying to do this for a few years now, so it was good to finally put something in place.”
Riders, coaches and officers line their bikes along the perimeter of the training course at the Shiny Side Up Motorcycle Rally. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
Egbert teaches a basic riding lesson at Grand Teton Harley Davidson. And one of the things she preaches is that it’s always in a rider’s best interest to constantly practice their riding skills safely.
“Practice your emergency maneuvers, at least once a month on your own bike. This way you get to know your bike and when the going is good you are ready, ”she said.
Egbert roamed the course for hours, shouting instructions to the runners and cheering for their successes.
A rider, who struggled on his first try in one of the more advanced turning patterns, was greeted with cheers from Egbert, along with all the motorcycle officers from the FAI and the police department from Idaho Falls who had gathered to offer encouragement.
A runner gets a high five from a trainer after completing one of the models. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
All of the designs shown have been designed to mimic the officers officers must pass through to prepare for the road on a motorcycle.
“One of the things that we hope will interest people is that all of these models are variations of what we did in the basic auto police course,” Nakashima told EastIdahoNews.com.
This fact made his and the other officers’ excitement more pronounced as the runners completed the more difficult patterns.
“Not only do we share information with people, but it’s also exciting, because we know how difficult it is – we know how many times we’ve dropped our bike,” added Nakashima.
No awards or certificates were given to runners who completed the course. But for each model traded, riders received a raffle ticket with a chance to win one of Grand Teton Harley’s many freebies, including gear and gift cards.
As runners flocked in and out regularly, no clear number of entries could be determined. But Nakashima, who attended the event in hopes of making it an annual event, was happy with the turnout.
“I’m pretty excited, there were a lot more people than expected,” he said. “And we get a lot of participation. Since a little before 11 o’clock, we have had people trying their hand.
A second similar event is already in preparation. ISP plans to host an off-road training event in August. And while the details have yet to be worked out, what is known is that coaches and agents will be on hand to provide training on the safe operation of off-road vehicles and proper etiquette for trail driving.
“If you really practice these basic emergency maneuvers, it becomes second nature,” she said. “It becomes muscle memory, your body is ready for it before you even think about it.”