From the March 1942 Issue of Motorcyclist magazine
In the last issue of The Motorcyclist we covered some of the important things a rider and mechanic should know for best Army results. Some of these items may be repeated in this article, but they are essential to the rider who is co-operating through his club with some local defense organization. These same requirements would be adaptable to Army motorcycle riders’ duties. In many respects, defense is defense no matter whether practiced on the home front or on a battlefield. Both are emergency measures.
My many, many years’ experience with motorcycle riders in general should qualify me to state that the great majority of motorcyclists are more alert than any other like group of men. The very essentials of motorcycle riding demand alertness, quick response, quick reflexes and quick reaction of the senses of sight, hearing, touch and the sense of balance. Motorcyclists who have become aviators have proven my theory in many cases. To the layman, the motorcyclist is a daredevil. This is not a true analysis of the rider. The motorcycle rider thoroughly appreciates the chances he takes when riding his motorcycle over all manner of roads and through all kinds of rough going. He is keyed for the job he is doing. Just look at our great T.T. racers, how they do the seemingly impossible on short corkscrew courses. Recall how the boys set their bikes for the slide into a flat track curve at really topnotch speeds. They know what they are doing-they are not daredevils.
This defense and Army riding has no place for a daredevil. It takes a man who knows what he is doing. And he should be prepared and trained in every branch of his duties so that he does know what he is doing. Just to hop on a ‘cycle and gun’er through the streets of a city on some defense errand or emergency is not doing a serious and important job right. We do not want citizens saying that they would just as soon be bombed from above as to be run over by wildcats loose with a handful of throttle.
Read the following requirements and study them. See how many of these rules and “musts” you know-are qualified in. And if you are not up on any of the points, make it your business to be smart on them. There are, perhaps, other items I could include but I feel these are sufficient for any defense rider-Army riders, too, for that matter.
Qualifications of Riders
The rider should:
1. Be interested;
2. Be alert and a quick, clear, logical thinker;
3. Have initiative;
4. Under stand the mechanics of his motorcycle;
5. Be adaptable, ready for any kind of service;
6. Be able to carry out a command to completion;
7. Be able to correctly receive and transmit verbal or written messages;
8. Be able to read road maps;
9. Be able to handle traffic situations for either Army or civilian service;
10. Be able to recognize serious traffic blocks, analyze their causes and correct them.
11. In leading a traffic procession or Army convoy, be able to anticipate, recognize and take protective measures against such hazards as railroad crossings, bad turns, sharp curves, dangerous intersections, bad detours, icy or slippery roads, steep grades, reckless driving and heavy opposing traffic;
12. Be able to render first aid;
13. Know how to handle incendiary bombs;
14. Know how to handle people in emergencies, air raids and the like without “bossy” or “bulldozing” attitude;
15. Keep his cycle and uniform clean and his person clean in keeping with the importance and dignity of his position. (There may be many times when this cannot apply. However, there are many times when it can and should apply) .
Your local Police Department, Fire Department and Red Cross are giving instructions to civilian defense workers. This is invaluable training-you should avail yourself of the opportunity to learn these important duties-duties that we all may have to engage in.