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

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 enrol 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. I can not say that I won't buy another motorcycle, but I can safely say I have no plans to sell my 100th anniversary motorcycle. These will become a rare collectables some day. Maybe the grandchildren will enjoy it one day.

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

Melanie Barber,

I have been riding for about 10 years. I started with a Yamaha 650 for one season, then changed to a Harley-Davidson Sportster. Currently, I have a 2003 anniversary edition Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic. 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. I am now working on my CPA certification.

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 Rider Coach Prep Course; not a great rider but a good rider. Little did I know how much I didn’t know. Being a Rider Coach has sharpened my skills more than I could ever imagine. Even now, I attend the Experienced RiderCourse as a student to help keep my skills sharp. I really enjoy teaching the class room sections of the Basic RiderCourse.

I handle most of the registrations for our program, so if you need assistance, send me an email.

John Milliken, State Coordinator - Tennessee Motorcycle Rider Education Program

John Milliken,

I am 71 years old (man I hate that) and married to Jeannie for the last 45 years. I was with the Metro Police Dept. for thirty five and a half years. While there I worked in Patrol, Community Relations and Auto Theft Divisions and was assigned to Motorcycles in July 1974. I was still assigned to Motorcycles when I retired.

It was a fantastic life that I miss far more than I thought. It is the only job you get paid for doing the same thing you were doing when you were 18 years old, ridding around trying to get in trouble.They will even pay you to do it on a motorcycle.

I am a graduate of the Univ. of Tennessee and the F.B.I. National Academy. I was also one of the departments police motor course trainers.

I have two adult children, Steve a Nashville firefighter, and Amy, real estate financing. We have three grand children ranging in age from 12 years to 22 years.

I ride a 2004 Harley-Davidson Road King police commerative edition (what else). I love riding and eating; do far to much of one and nowhere near enough of the other.

If MREP or I can be of assistance, send me an email.

Karl Batson, MSF RiderCoach Trainer

Karl Batson,

I started riding motorcycles in 1974 when my parents bought me a Yamaha 90cc twin. For years this was my main transportation. Twenty-two motorcycles and forty-three years later, I enjoy riding as much as I did when I first started.

I attended a motorcycle safety class knowing that I was a good rider. But I finished the class one point from failing. This was a wake up call; I didn’t know as much as I thought. At this point, I started thinking how fortunate I was to be alive! Learning to teach safety courses became a personal mission for me. In October 1999, I successfully completed the course to become an Instructor.

In 2003, I was sponsored by the Tennessee Motorcycle Rider Education Program to attend the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Chief School in Colton, California. After successful completion, I became the first Afro American Chief Instructor.

I currently own a 2012 Honda Goldwing and ride a 1998 Harley Dyna Lowrider. As of January 2018, I have logged over 629,000 miles on seven Goldwings, covering 42 of the 48 continental united states, Canada and Mexico.

I serve as a consultant to the State of Tennessee's Motorcycle Rider Education Program and serve as a part time Ridercoach. I am an agent with New York Life Inusrance Company in Franklin, Tennessee. Motorcycle riding requires much responsibility not just for safety, but also financially. If I can be of help to you with personal insurance to ensure your financial stability, please send me an email and I will contact you back.

I also enjoy teaching roller skating at Rivergate Skate Center in Madison. Look me up if you come to Rivergate Skate Center.

Terri Swindle, MSF RiderCoach

Terri Swindle,

Check back for more information on Terri Swindle,

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.