EASY RIDER

IRON MOUNTAIN – A Norway man was honored for more than three decades of motorcycle safety training at the May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month event in Detroit.

Richard Henrion, 66, was given a plaque by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson in recognition of 35 years as an instructor in the state’s motorcycle safety education program.

Henrion became a rider coach in 1980 as part of the Upper Peninsula’s first motorcycle safety program, based in Iron Mountain. After 1986, he trained and certified other instructors as a rider coach trainer.

Henrion became field coordinator for the U.P. motorcycle safety program in 1984, after it was regionalized and affiliated with Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “I took my passion for motorcycling and my teaching ability and combined them into something meaningful.”

Until his retirement last June, Henrion worked as an auto tech instructor at the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District for 39 years.

He has now retired as a rider coach trainer as well, though he continues to do third-party car and motorcycle testing for the state.

Henrion has embarked on a two-week ride to California “because I can.”

“I spent every weekend in May and June for the last 35 years in a parking lot, either teaching a class or teaching instructors how to teach a class,” he said. “I will now spend my time riding.”

At the May 2 ceremony, Johnson led a group of riders 16 miles from ABC Harley-Davidson in Waterford, Mich., to the Oakland Community College campus in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Henrion made the trip downstate on his new 2016 BMW motorcycle and said he intends to ride 20,000 miles this year.

He has had a motorcycle endorsement for 50 years and said he was fortunate enough to ride during every one of those years.

“I’m one of those of guys who finds something he likes and sticks with it,” he said.