MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group participated in a motorcycle ride May 29, 2014.
Nearly 20 Marines took their motorcycles for a group ride, building camaraderie and promoting safe motorcycle handling techniques. The event consisted of a 70-mile, round-trip ride from Camp Del Mar to Murrieta, Calif., where riders stopped to enjoy lunch and each other’s company at the local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.
Among the riders was the commanding general of I MEF, Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, who came out to spend time bonding with the Marines.
Toolan spoke to the riders and said motorcycle riding is a good way for Marines to release stress from work and busy schedules.
“There’s too many times when we work [hard] several days a week,” said Toolan. “And I think we all appreciate the fact that riding motorcycles gives us a little peace of mind.”
The occasion helped new riders gain experience on busy roads and allowed them to practice safe riding techniques.
“What we do is inherently dangerous, as Marines, and when you get yourself on a motorcycle the odds stack against you even more,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Kepler, I MHG motorcycle club president. “It just makes sense for the units to sponsor these types of events so we can get [the Marines] out in the streets, watch what they’re doing on their motorcycles and make corrections as they’re necessary.”
Staff Sgt. Jason Garcia, a team chief with 1st Civil Affairs Group, I MEF, said his favorite part of these club rides is getting to know the Marines he works with and learning riding tips from more experienced riders.
“It’s important for the Marines to have that cohesiveness, come together, spend time, meet new people and get more experience on the road with their motorcycles,” said Garcia.
Spending time among Marines, having fun, and swapping ideas and riding tips between younger and more experienced riders were some of the goals for the ride.
“Everybody learned something about each other and about themselves, we executed [the ride] safely, operational risk management procedures were all in place and we built camaraderie,” said Kepler.
Kepler also said company-sponsored motorcycle rides are meant to be held on a quarterly basis, but the command looks to host them with more frequency during the summer months.