MEET THE INSTRUCTOR

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We asked some of our RiderCoaches about the path that led them to their careers and why they enjoy what they do. Check back often for new posts.

Dan Haskins

At which course do you teach?

I currently teach at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri and Cycle Connection Harley-Davidson – Riders Edge  in Joplin, Missouri.

How long have you been training?

I just receive my MSF Riders Coach Certificate in 2010 and also received my Riders Edge instructor certificate in the same year.

What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?

The best part of being a trainer is meeting all the new people from all kinds of different backgrounds, age ranges, and to share my passion of motorcycling with them is truly an honor. I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the students learn this new skill that is going to open up a whole new book for them in their life story.

Why did you decide to become a trainer?

I actually was approached by the owners of the Harley-Davidson dealer in Joplin. They knew of my passion for motorcycling, and of my background with riding motorcycles, and thought that my personality and experience made me a good candidate to become a coach. I just had to get Mike Davis to see that I could be a good coach as well and to survive RiderCoach Training.

What’s your best tip for practicing motorcycle safety?

I always tell everyone that the secret to riding a motorcycle is so simple, that a caveman can do it. I tell them that if they would simply look to where they want to go, that is where the motorcycle will go. I follow that up with telling them that since I have told them the secret of motorcycling that there class is dismissed (which of course is the first night).

What is your favorite Missouri road to ride and why?

My year has been really crazy this year, with the tornado that devastated Joplin on May 22nd, I have not been able to ride a great amount. My favorite Missouri highway this year is when I can get away for a couple of hours, to jump on Hwy 76 and ride to Branson and back. It’s some nice twists in the road but it is covered with shade about half the time.

 

 


Jeff Pittenger

At which course do you teach?

I primarily coach at St. Louis Community College at the Forest Park Campus in St. Louis and occasionally fill in at Jefferson County Community College. In addition I recently conducted MSF classes for the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association at their national rally.  I also conduct regular presentations at local area motorcycle group meetings and events on the value of regular safety training as well as the MSF “Host an Event” curricula such as Group Riding and Season Rider.

How long have you been training?

I was certified in 2003

What is your favorite thing about being a RiderCoach?

From a personal standpoint being a RiderCoach has brought my rider skills to a level I may not have achieved without the constant exposure to all aspects of the training. On the professional side, I am always humbled when someone who has taken a class approaches me expressing their appreciation and what the training has done to make them a better and safer rider. It’s those individuals who take what they learn and make it a part of their everyday riding that cements the whole package. Each person attending a training class will take something away that may help them to avoid an undesirable event or crash; just knowing that brings a sense of fulfillment.

Why did you decide to become a trainer?

In 2000 I took a BRC with a friend which also proved to be a very good experience. After taking a class at Forest Park the Site Coordinator asked me if I wanted to be a range aide.  Once exposed to the training program on a regular basis I knew what I wanted to do.

What’s your best tip for practicing motorcycle safety?

I always encourage riders to practice the thing they find most difficult until they master it.  Low speed maneuver’s is an area many riders have difficulty with and tend to avoid; having the ability and confidence to handle a motorcycle in all riding situations builds confidence.  No one is at the top of their game, be it a sport or profession, without proper training and working at it on a regular basis.  Motorcycling is no different; if you want to be good you need to ride!  And most importantly “riding your own ride” and “riding within your limits”!

What is your favorite Missouri road to ride and why?

My favorite road is the one I have never been on and when the day is done I turn on my GPS and select Home. Even if you live in an urban area it is a relatively short trip to some great roads regardless of the type of riding you’re in the mood for.

 

 


David Abrams

At which course do you teach?

I am the site coordinator at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City. I also teach at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, and have taught at Ozarks Technical College in Springfield.

How long have you been training?

I have been a RiderCoach since 2010 and I hit the ground running, winning the MMSP Rookie RiderCoach of the Year in 2010, and earned my IME and ARC/ST certifications in 2011.

What is your favorite thing about being a RiderCoach?

My favorite thing about being a trainer is seeing a student struggling at first finally “get it”. It’s like the light bulb goes on in their head, and they finally realize why we are pushing the exercises in the MSF program. For some, their riding suddenly improves like the flick of a switch. Its the most rewarding part of being a coach.

Why did you decide to become a trainer?

I was very discouraged by the lack of motorcycle skills and safety I witnessed when attending rallies or charity rides. It seemed like every year there were several serious accidents whenever groups got together to ride in large numbers. My friend Anne Saults from Worth Harley Davidson told me about the process to become a RiderCoach in Missouri. She deserves the credit for getting me to the “front door” of the program. Even though I live in Kansas, I like the structure and support that the MMSP provides. It makes for a better experience for the coaches and students.

What’s your best tip for practicing motorcycle safety?

Whether you are a RiderCoach or just a rider, take as much continuing training as possible. Become a safety junkie. Read books by the experts, watch videos, and get out and RIDE whenever possible. I think a good coach should log at least 10,000 miles a year to stay sharp and continue to become a better rider. Ride outside of your normal comfort zone, such as at a track day or off-road adventure. Keep expanding your horizons!

What is your favorite Missouri road to ride and why?

My favorite Missouri road would have to be MO 7 Highway between Clinton and the Lake. It is the road I take back and forth to coach at LCTC. It gives me the chance to have some fun on twisty roads before spending the weekend riding training bikes in a parking lot! I really enjoy the curves, trees, and the water peeking around the corners. It relaxes me and gets me in the mode to give the students my best efforts that weekend. Highway 45 from Parkville to Weston is a close second…

 

 


Larry Parks

How many years have you been an instructor?

17 years

What location do you teach at?

Gail's Powersports

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Fulfilling dreams for those who want to ride a motorcycles.

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

Smokey Mountains

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra

 

 


Bret Ransom

How many years have you been an instructor?

6 years

What location do you teach at?

Big St. Charles Motorsports

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Meeting the students

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

Grand Mesa, Colorado

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

1973 Norton Commando

 

 


John Ward

How many years have you been an instructor?

1 year

What location do you teach at?

MCC Maplewoods and Worth Harley-Davidson

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Watching the students progress through the course, gaining confidence and achieving objectives. Seeing the students joy and pride of accomplishment as they progress from never riding a motorcycle to completing the skills evaluation keeps me fueled.

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

The "Alphabet" highways (State Highways D, DD, N, etc.) usually have scenic and challenging sections. Southwest Missouri around the Branson/Table Rock area is a lot of fun too.

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

I currently ride a 2020 Harley-Davidson Road King and it's my favorite bike I've owned (so far).

 

 


Matt Foresman

How many years have you been an instructor?

4 years

What location do you teach at?

Maple Woods Campus of the Metropolitan Community College

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Interaction with the students.

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

Generally all the roads of Interstate 44 in Missouri are fantastic, as well as the northern section of Arkansas. The plains of the Dekotas and Southern Canada are sublime.

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

My current motorcycle is also my favorite, a tricked out 2011 Kawasaki GTR1400.

 

 


Troy Woverton

How many years have you been an instructor?

2 years

What location do you teach at?

St. Charles Parks & Recreation, Big St. Charles Motorsports, Gold Star Harley-Davidson

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

The students.

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

The road I have not seen yet.

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

Anything. Each brand has the right bike for the conditions.

 

 


Dustin Mendoza

How many years have you been an instructor?

I started in 2021

What location do you teach at?

Big St. Charles Motorsports

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Seeing students improve

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

Highway T between Wildwood and Washington

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

Dream: Ducati Multistrada V4

 

 


Thomas Brenneman

How many years have you been an instructor?

12 years

What location do you teach at?

Worth Harley Davidson

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

Meeting the students, helping them realize their dream of enjoying the sport of motorcycling.

Do you have any favorite roads/highways in Missouri you like to ride? If not Missouri, where?

Southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

What's your favorite (or current)(or dream) motorcycle?

I love my Road Couch… Old Blue, my Ultra Classic.