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A Lynchburg Community College celebrates big anniversary

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Sep 07 2013 05:14:24 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 07 2013 11:55:41 PM EDT

Central Virginia Community College's motorcycle safety course just turned 25

LYNCHBURG, Va. -

Any Virginia motorcycle rider will tell you where to go if you want to learn how to ride: A community college.

Central Virginia Community College, one of the oldest motorcycle safety programs in the commonwealth celebrated its 25th anniversary today.

There's actually a little history lesson here: Around 30 years ago, the state of Virginia passed a law that attempted to standardize the way motorcycle safety classes were taught outside of the DMV.

The biggest beneficiaries: the riders.

On a beautiful Saturday on the campus of Central Virginia Community College, the roars of bikes were loud.

Dennis Phillips has taught the CVCC class for all 25 years.

"They want to learn how to ride a motorcycle, this is the easiest way to do it," he said.

Phillips says he's always amazed at the growing number of people who just want to ride.

"It's grown quite a bit, and it continues to grow. It's just amazing that year after year you have more people coming in to take the courses," said Scott.

Even motorcycle dealers like Jason Jennings say when they get a first time rider in the shop, the response is pretty much automated, "Go take the course, that's the first thing we recommend always," said Jennings.

When you think of college you think students in their early 20's.

But the face of who's taking this class is changing; getting a little older.

Matthew Clark took a 30 year hiatus from riding.  Around the water-cooler one day, he said he wanted to ride again.

"I was talking to them about getting a bike and they suggested highly to take the course and there's probably a dozen people at work that took it already," Clark said.

72-year-old Raylene Scott retired from her job in Northern Virginia and moved to Bedford.

So close to the Blue Ridge Parkway Scott, "Took the CVCC course, and bought a harley and life has been so incredible since."

After 25 years, Dennis Phillips and his team of instructors have seen a lot of these stories.

Because of him, his students have a lot of stories to tell