By: Holly Brantley
MALDEN, MO --Motorcycle enthusiasts in the Heartland want to make the roads safer for all motorists. And, hopefully prevent accidents from happening. Instructors with Bootheel Motorcycle Training in Malden offer courses to teach riders the proper way to drive a motorcycle. They say those who take the course learn how to be safer riders, and avoid accidents that could keep them from getting hurt or even killed.
"If anybody likes to ride a motorcycle this is the place to start right here," said Albert Sullenger. He's been riding since he was eighteen. He recently got revved up about racing again. "I'm 75 now," said Sullenger. "Sometimes I forget where my keys are but I don't ever forget how to ride." He says Bootheel Motorcycle Training is partly to thank for that. "It teaches safety that you just don't think about riding down the highway."
Sullenger's son, Lynn, and Rick Earnheart are partners in Bootheel Motorcycle Training. They teach courses from experienced riders and those who have never even been on a bike. "We start out with the basics," said Lynn Sullenger. "Then we move on to learn controls. Then we teach more advanced things like quick-stops and corners."
"This keeps people from getting hurt or killed," said Earnheart. "Maybe if they take this course they'll learn how to watch out for what's ahead of them and avoid an accident." The class covers everything from types of bikes to how to deal with traffic. Many women also sign up for the course. Instructors say many women who are skeptical walk away from the course wanting to own their own bike. Those who have completed the training say the course is a good investment. Some insurance companies offer discounts if you complete training. And, it can keep you from investing in a motorcycle should you decide riding just isn't for you. But, most importantly, it just might save your life. "Motorcycles are as safe as the operator," said Lynn Sullenger. "If you're careless you're gonna get hurt. This will teach you things to keep you from getting hurt."