Police Training or Stuntman School?
When Sergeant Catlin set out to design a new motorcycle training program for mounted police in Burbank, CA, he came up with quite a few interesting obstacles and drills for his officers to practice. I’m not sure what was going on in California in 1957, but after taking Catlin’s two week course, the graduates were ready for just about anything you can imagine while riding on two wheels. The bonus was if being a police officer didn’t work out, they could always become stuntmen since most of the drills look like they came right out of the movies.
Each day started with a ride out to the Lockheed Air Terminal where Catlin had a few surprises waiting for his class. A lot of the drills were performed off road, so maybe the idea was to simulate chasing suspects who were trying to get away on foot. The first drill pictured is riding over a small wooden bridge. Perfect if you plan on chasing speeding golf carts at the local country club.
Once you could handle the wooden bridge, it’s was on to a narrower metal grating across a trash filled ravine. Los Angeles county must be filled with these things as they seem to be part of every movie chase scene filmed in southern California. Besides being good practice for chasing criminals, this skill could also be really useful if the Dukes of Hazzard happened to be visiting Burbank.
A controlled spin seems like a more reasonable drill, made harder by having the throttles taped open on the trainee bikes.
To round out the day, how about a little target practice from a moving motorcycle? Unless you are the Terminator, I can ‘t imagine that this would ever be a good idea, but you would look like a real badass doing it.
There is no doubt, that two weeks with Sergeant Catlin would have you riding like a real pro. Maybe I’ll dust off my old six shooter and see if I can ride my Harley at the local shooting range…