Experienced Rider Coaches

Rider Coaches for the program are all experienced motorcyclists. Each is certified nationally by MSF, and then by TNMREP.

Steve Barber, Site Coordinator and MSF RiderCoach

Steve Barber,

Sometimes it is interesting to hear how people got started riding. It certainly is for Melanie and I. There was no way my parents were going to give me, or even allow me, a motorcycle or scooter as a kid growing up. I had cousins with a mini-bike, but that was about it. So, we didn't learn how much fun it was until our kids were grown adults and we made a business trip to Bermuda. There you can't rent a car, so the only transportation options are taxis or rent a scooter. We had so much fun that week that when I returned home, I decided to research the purchase of a motorcycle.

Well, for those of you who know Melanie, she was not about to be left behind and did not like riding behind me. I was not a very good rider (but certainly would not admit it at the time), and I insisted that Melanie enroll in rider training. As a show of support, I enrolled with her. I can not begin tell you how much I did not know.

A few years later, I found myself unemployed due to downsizing, so I became an instructor and immediately started Volunteer Motorcycle Training Service with Melanie.

Currently, I ride a 2003 Harley-Davidson Electragide Classic and a 2016 Harley-Davidson Triglide.

As I get older, I am becoming more appreciative of the old motorcycles that helped get many of us started, like the Honda Dream and Scrambler, the old Harley panheads and shovel heads, the Kawasaki 2-cycle three cylinder known as the widowmaker, the Harley Hummer and so many more.

We love to teach and share our passion for motorcycling. If I can be of assistance, send me an email.

Melanie Barber, Site Coordinator and MSF RiderCoach

Melanie Barber,

I started with a Yamaha 650 for one season, then changed to a Harley-Davidson Sportster. Currently, I have a 2016 Harley-Davidson Triglide. We have made several trips on our motorcycles, two of which were to Milwaukee for the 95th and 100th Harley-Davidson celebrations. Riding is such a thrill that is hard to explain. It is just like the saying goes "if I have to explain, you would not understand".

I am an Auditor by profession. I earned my Masters degree in December 2000 and my doctoriate in 2012.

I decided to become a Rider Coach primarily to help Steve when he first started the training course. I thought I was a good rider before taking the RiderCoach certificate course; not a great rider but a good rider. Little did I know how much I didn’t know. Being a RiderCoach has sharpened my skills more than I could ever imagine. I enjoy teaching the the Basic RiderCourse.

If you need assistance, send me an email.

Doreen Richardson, MSF RiderCoach

Doreen Richardson,

I never had the opportunity to ride until I took the Basic RiderCourse in 1997. I bought my first bike the next weekend and I was hooked. I've had many bikes since. I'm currently riding a BMW R1200RT, and enjoy many trips out west.

I've been teaching motorcycle safety classes for nearly 20 years.

If I can be of help, please reach out.

Wendell Soares, MSF RiderCoach

Wendell Soares,

Hello all, my name is Wendell Soares and I have been a Rider Coach in the State of Tennessee’s Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP) since 2000. Like so many of my riding colleagues my motorcycling adventure started one summer may years ago with a group of us kids chipping in our money to purchase a red Cushman powered mini-bike and the rest is history.

Like you are about to experience, I too was introduced to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course (BRC) back in the spring of 1983 or 1985 (can’t remember exactly) at Tacoma, WA and I have not looked back since.

I enjoy all types of motorcycling and have owned many different types of motorcycles throughout the years. Presently I own a touring, sport touring, and a dual sport bike. I am passionate about riding and helping others achieve their riding goals, which is the driving force for my enthusiastic participation within the State of Tennessee’s MREP.

I look forward to seeing you in one of our many courses in the upcoming riding season and remember to waive when you see me on the open road that leads to some of the most beautiful locals within our great country.

Ross Turner, MSF RiderCoach

Ross Turner,

I started riding when I was 10 years old. I've owned many bikes over the years and currently own a Honda Valkyrie Interstate and a BMW R1200RT.

I enjoy taking long trips on my bike all over the US.

I enjoy teaching which allows me to share my passion and keep my riding skills sharp.

I'd love to know how I can help you and hope to see you in one of my classes

Andrew Ward, MSF RiderCoach

Andrew Ward,

I am Andrew Ward, native to Madison Tennessee, my motorcycle riding career began in High School and for a while it was my only transportation.

After a few years I bought a car and the motorcycle was sold. After 30 years off a bike I fixed up and old Honda cb750 and took an MSF returning rider class and started riding again.

I had so much fun in the class I took the Advanced MSF class with Wendell and Steve and decided I wanted to help teach.

I made it through Rider Coach Training and I’m excited to help new and returning riders learn or relearn safe motorcycle riding. If I can help you, let me know.

Tom Wood, MSF RiderCoach

Tom Wood,

I grew up on a farm and began riding when I was 5 years old. I will never forget the first time on that minibike. I continued riding dirt bikes until I was old enough to get out the road. I rode until my mid-twenties and started having kids. We were young and diapers were expensive, so the toys had to go for a while. I would occasionally borrow a bike and go for a ride. Once my kids got older, I decided to return to riding on more occasions.

I purchased a Kawasaki Vulcan and decided to take the Basic RiderCourse as a refresher and to get my license. I learned a lot in that class and it broke some of the bad habits that I had gained over the years.

I really saw the value in the course and wanted to share my passion for motorcycles and riding. I began coaching in 2015 and enjoy every minute of it. I continue to find opportunities to get further training in the sport. I feel the more advanced techniques and skills that I have, the more likely I will continue to be safe and arrive home alive.

I currently ride a Harley Davidson Ultra Limited. I’m excited to help new and returning riders learn or relearn safe motorcycle riding. If I can help you, let me know.