Several years ago, The Record newspaper interviewed the current owner of The Riding Academy of NJ, Dave Bellizzi, and wanted to know why his motorcycle school is considered the best in NJ and recognized by the MSF as one of the most successful motorcycle schools in the country.
Dave was quick to point out that it's not his school. "I run it and manage it but our instructors make the school successful. They have the same vision and passion I have", said Dave.
"Back in 1996, when I was preparing to be an instructor, I rode from Montvale to Piscataway every weekend to help the instructors who were assigned to teach the basic classes that weekend. I didn't get paid for helping out. It was strictly voluntary. I was getting as much experience as I could to prepare for the Instructor Training Course that was scheduled for the following year.
After a few months of doing this, I started to question if I really wanted to do this - be a motorcycle safety instructor. The pay isn't that great and you have to be outside in the rain, the heat and the cold.
One day after finishing up a class, on the ride home, I decided that it wasn't for me. I stopped at a gas station to get gas. As I was gassing up my motorcycle, I witnessed a fatal motorcycle accident. I could see the accident unfolding in front of my eyes. I yelled to the rider what to do to avoid the crash but it was too late. He was trying to pass a truck on the right in a lane that was merging into the truck's lane. There was a fire hydrant at the end of the lane. He target-fixated on the fire hydrant and hit it with his right leg, which went flying in the air. He flew off the bike in another direction.
I ran to him. I knew it was a matter of short time before he bled to death. I held him in my arms and opened his face shield. He looked at me as if to say, 'What happened'?. He died in my arms seconds later.
I took that as a sign to stick with becoming an instructor. I still see that kid's face in the back of the room every time I teach a class. That's why I'm so passionate about teaching motorcycle safety courses. I speak with rolling thunder. We do what we can to help our students learn how to ride a motorcycle, further develop their riding skills and avoid a crash. And our staff of instructors have that same passion. That's what keeps us head & shoulders above the rest - we really care about our students and their safety".
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Since 2008, The Riding Academy of NJ has been approved by the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission to offer the New Jersey Motorcycle Safety Education Course.
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The Riding Academy of NJ, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. We accept tax-deductible donations of money, products and services that will help our motorcycle training school. The Riding Academy of NJ, Inc. shall admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to all students at the school. It will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies.
Our mission is to help reduce motorcycle crashes in the State of NJ by providing quality rider education to all NJ residents with quality training motorcycles provided by motorcycle dealerships in NJ at a quality training location in NJ. Our vision is motorcycles sharing the road with other roadway users with zero crashes.
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