During the summer season when more and more motorcycles are on the road, whether to stretch gas dollars each month or simply to enjoy a summer trip on the open road, MCC-Maple Woods’ RiderCoaches strive for safety first among their students – many of whom have never touched a bike before. RiderCoaches are in charge of developing respect for the motorcycle and their safety, along with making the first time out on the open road a less stressful experience.
Charles Cornelius has been a RiderCoach at MCC-Maple Woods since 2003. His passion for riding started young at just five years old, and he’s been riding and maintaining motorcycles as a hobby ever since.
“Once you ride a motorcycle, the bug either enters your body or it doesn’t,” he said, referring to the love of riding.
After taking the motorcycle safety course through MCC-Maple Woods, and with encouragement from others in the motorcycle community, Cornelius chose to help others learn the unique experience of riding.
“If I had one piece of advice for all riders, it’s to keep learning,” he said. “Keep practicing and improving your skills.”
Relaying safety information, encouraging the nervous, watching every brake and turn for an opportunity to develop good habits is the main job of Cornelius and the other MSF RiderCoaches who man the course from April-October, but their efforts and careers extend way beyond weekend motorcycle warrior status.
Cornelius is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve and is currently serving as Deputy Chief for Reserve Forces for the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. He oversees U.S. Air Force reserve forces and assists in operations planning for many US military operations – everything from the pirates off the coasts of Africa to humanitarian relief efforts worldwide. In addition to his role in the military, he is also a national accounts strategist for the Sprint Corporation here in Kansas City.