17 SFS trains hard to ride light

17th Security Forces Squadron members navigate an obstacle course during a basic bicycle skills training course Aug. 22 on Goodfellow. Members of the 17 SFS took the course to augment Goodfellow’s security patrols with bikes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

17th Security Forces Squadron members navigate an obstacle course during a basic bicycle skills training course Aug. 22 on Goodfellow. Members of the 17 SFS took the course to augment Goodfellow’s security patrols with bikes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

Members of the 17 SFS line up during a basic bicycle skills training course Aug. 22 on Goodfellow. Members of the 17 SFS took the course to augment Goodfellow’s security patrols with bikes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

Members of the 17 SFS line up during a basic bicycle skills training course Aug. 22 on Goodfellow. Members of the 17 SFS took the course to augment Goodfellow’s security patrols with bikes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 17th Security Forces Squadron held a 32-hour course Aug. 20 - 22 to learn basic police cyclist skills. The bike patrols will augment the already-present patrol cars on Goodfellow Air Force Base.

Bicycles are a very versatile form of transportation, able to traverse foot paths, sidewalks and other areas where patrol cars would be unable to follow. Additionally, bike patrol members' situational awareness is not hampered by patrol cars, and they can more efficiently identify suspicious noises and smells.

Additionally, the bicycle patrol allows security forces to better interact with the general public. Bicycle patrols are much easier to approach than a patrol car. Finally, patrol members continue to stay physically active while riding bikes.

This newest training came to Goodfellow because Air Education and Training Command wanted to certify and formalize the partially-formed bike patrol already on base due to maintenance costs and the rise in fuel prices. Prior to AETC's bike patrol standardization, Goodfellow's program was the only bicycle patrol in AETC.

John Kerrigan, Midland Police Department, a member of the International Police Mountain Bike Association, taught the course. The training consisted of bike handling, Texas bicycle laws, traffic handling, bicycle tactics, night operations, health and nutrition.

"I like to ride bikes, especially in the heat because of the new patrol uniforms compared to what we normally wear," said Airman 1st Class Jeremy Smith, a 17 SFS member who took the course. "It's much more fun to do this because we're more social and we are more visible in the base community."