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Motorcycle safety keeps rider from bugging out

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tristin English
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
It was a warm day outside, not a cloud in the sky, no wind gust and very little traffic on Interstate-55 North heading toward Springfield, Ill. I was riding a Suzuki GF500F, enjoying the scenery. I couldn't ask for a better day to ride my motorcycle and visit some friends for the weekend.

The day quickly turned on me when I saw a bug flying toward my visor. Not some small bug that just gets stuck on the visor and eventually you can wipe it off, but one that looked like it was almost the size of a rock, so I knew when it was going to hit. It was going to be hard and loud. I prepared myself for it. It got closer and closer and then wham! Or so I thought.

I didn't hear anything, which I found rather odd to me, but I continued to drive, putting it out of my mind, until I saw something crawling around inside my helmet. Yes, the insect got sucked inside my helmet, and not just any insect, but a wasp!

I started to panic at the thought that it could sting me, possibly causing me to crash. I had to put that out of my head as fast as I could. Remembering I was on a motorcycle with only two wheels, I calmed myself down as fast as I could. Making sure no other cars were behind me I slowly made my way to the shoulder and started to slow down, eventually coming to a stop. I put my bike in park and carefully got off it. Making my way away from the highway and to the grass, carefully I lifted my visor, waited a few minutes then the wasp flew out and away from me.

After that incident I went out, bought a new helmet with more material around the neck so nothing else gets sucked up inside. Thanks to the motorcycle safety course on base for teaching me to remain calm in situations I was able to remain safe and do what I needed to do to get the wasp out of my helmet without going into a panic and possibly crashing.

April is Motorcycle Safety Month an I encourage everyone to attend the motorcycle safety day Friday. There is a mandatory all call at the Base Theater at 9 a.m. teaching riders about the proper equipment to wear when riding and how to stay safe. Starting at 11 a.m. at the Airman Leadership School pavilion, there will be contests and prizes given out, along with a burger burn put on by the First Four Council, and at the end there will be a mentorship ride.