Ride Your Bike to Work Day unites JSC team members

Dave's JSC Space Riders pose in front of the Space Shuttle Explorer replica at Space Center Houston.
Dave's JSC Space Riders pose in front of the Space Shuttle Explorer replica at Space Center Houston.
On June 18, Johnson Space Center bike lovers united with “Ride Your Bike to Work Day,” an annual event uniting JSC bike riders since 2000. Inspired by the annual National Ride to Work Day, Dave’s JSC Space Riders was started by the late David Beverly, a JSC civil servant and avid motorcyclist. Beverly started the JSC Space Riders in 1999 when three Johnson Space Center motorcycle riders began an email distribution list of government and contractor riders who support the space program in Houston.

“The goals of the group were to provide a discussion forum for issues related to safety, accident evaluation and local motorcycle issues and to bring riders together for events, technical questions and a ‘for sale’ classified list,” said Duncan Finlayson, Increment Payload Engineer and member of Dave’s JSC Space Riders. “He organized the Motorcycle Safety Booth for JSC Safety Days and actively promoted safe riding practices. David always encouraged female riders to join the group and today there is a strong contingent of female membership. He also arranged Motorcycle Foundation Safety Courses, both beginner and advanced classes for new and experienced JSC motorcyclists.”

Today, the group has a membership of approximately 400. Members have motorcycles of all classifications including long distance touring bikes, cruisers, choppers, trikes, sidecars, sport bikes, trail bikes, off-road bikes and track bikes.

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The JSC Space Riders aim to promote the center by utilizing the iconic backdrops unique to JSC, Finlayson said. Space Center Houston’s new Space Shuttle display provided the perfect opportunity for the group to continue the tradition. In the past, the riders have done photo shoots at Rocket Park (before the Saturn V rocket was placed there) and the KC-135 display at Ellington Field.

“Space Center Houston was the staging site for the Bay Area (motorcycle) Rally a few years ago and the JSC Space Riders tribute ride to David Beverly after his death, so it is fitting that it is also associated with this traditional photograph,” Finlayson said. “Turnout this year was very good based on the weather forecasts and predictions. The great staff at Space Center Houston facilitated us in every way possible and really helped make it a fantastic day.”

Trent Mills, Space Communication & Tracking Systems Engineer, Model Based Systems Engineer, Exploration Development Integration Office/YI, is also a member of Dave’s JSC Space Riders and feels that “the photo shoots allow us to enjoy the company of old and new friends along with their old and new bikes (the oldest bike there was a 1957 Triumph).” Mills said in these dynamic times such as with shuttle retirement, ongoing operations of the International Space Station, and all of NASA’s future endeavors, “it is always great to take a few moments and enjoy the diverse JSC Family who share a common interest in motorcycles.”

Members do not have to own a motorcycle. An interest in motorcycles is the only requirement for membership, and there are no fees. Anyone who wants more information about membership can send an email to Trent Mills at trent.c.mills@nasa.gov

Neesha Hosein
Johnson Space Center, Houston

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