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Drivers look to motorcycles to ease pain at the pump

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April 13, 2008

Albany -- Before these riders hit the road, they will rev up their engines in the South parking lot of Albany Technical College.

"I figured the best thing to do is to take a class to learn the basics and all of the safety requirements to operate a bike," said first-time rider, Melody Anthony.

But most bikers are not licensed to ride, much less ever attend a class. "They can actually go and buy a motorcycle with out having a license. They can get insurance. They can do everything; buy it and ride it of the lot without any clue as to how to ride it," said instructor, Wes Teliafarro.

And as gas prices go up, the number of unlicensed riders will rise as well. "There are more people buying motorcycles because of gas prices, scooters etc," said Teliafarro.

"These training motorcycles that we use get 60 miles to the gallon. So most motorcycles get significantly better than a car."

This beginner course teaches its riders how to keep from getting into an accident and how to lower their chances of getting injured if they do. "We focus on cornering, breaking and swerving so people will know what to do in the event that they need to," said Teliafarro.

But the greatest danger on the road comes from other drivers. "Give us a little space. We require just as much space as a car, but a lot of cars don't do that," said Teliafarro.

"Most people pull out in front of them, and they will look you dead in the eye when they do it. So you got to pay attention," said John Mcleod.

"In taking this class, I watch for motorcyclists now," said Anthony.

But riding and driving the right way should keep everybody on the road safe. "Some people will say a bike will kill you, but a car will kill you. You should take the classes and learn the proper way to use a bike and just go out and practice," said Anthony.

Not only will riding cautiously keep you safe, but it will save you at the gas pump. Like a car, the gas mileage you get with a motorcycle depends on how fast you drive it. And speeding can really burn the gas.

Motorcycle riders can also save with a reduction on their insurance by signing up for this beginner course. To sign up for the next course call 229-639-0035.

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