Thousands of motorcycle riders are injured in crashes every year on Virginia's roadways. Now, an Albemarle County class is giving inexperienced bikers training behind the handlebars to stay safe when they hit the streets.
Thirty-nine motorcycle accidents injured 35 people and killed three on Albemarle County roads in 2011.
Mike Cardoso doesn't want to be a statistic when heads out on the road for the first time.
"I think I'm going to be happy, excited, anxious, but that comes later, I gotta do this first," said Cardoso.
The three-day course at Albemarle High School is helping motorcycle riders stay safe on the roads.
"We start you from the ground floor, so if you've never touched a stick shift, never ridden a motor scooter, we will teach you everything," said Ruth Greer, a RiderCoach.
Greer and other RiderCoaches lead students of all ages and experience levels in four hours of classroom work followed by two half-days of drills. It's all made possible and affordable by the Albemarle County Public Schools Community Education Program.
Riders learn the basics they need to get their motorcycle licenses - weaving, swerving, tight turns and quick stops. At the end of the weekend, they take the test to hit the road.
"It's very intense. This weekend is full," said Greer.
Greer says this course will make sure students are ready to safely cruise the county.
"There's such a sense of freedom when you're on a bike but there's also all the cars out there that aren't looking for motorcycles so we teach you how to be really aware - looking for them and how you can prevent being in an accident yourself," said Greer.
These courses run from now through the first weekend of October.
To learn more about motorcycle safety or to sign up, click here.