Capital Area Motorcycling School Profile

Capital Area Motorcycling School—CAMS for short—has been teaching the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) curriculum for aspiring riders at Hudson Valley for 25 years.

posted Feb. 2021

Originally started by a pair of Hudson Valley professors in 1997, the program was taken over by husband and wife team Bob and Barbara Colandrea in 2002, with their son, John, serving as a RiderCoach. After Bob passed away unexpectedly in 2005, John stepped in to help run the business side of things, and he and Barbara remain committed to their mission to this day, training more than 1,200 students per year on motorcycle safety and the rules of the road. Their contract with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles allows riders who complete the CAMS training successfully to waive the DMV road test—even students from Massachusetts and Vermont.

John Colandrea holding motorcycle helmet
John Colandrea

“I love watching students realize their dream of becoming part of the motorcycle community, and it’s also really gratifying to help experienced riders improve their skill set,” says John, who still serves as a RiderCoach in addition to running the business alongside Barbara. “Motorcycle riding is a wonderful way to see the countryside, but there are inherent risks. It’s both mental and physical, and we help students understand that. The courses we provide help the rider to develop skills and awareness for many different riding situations. We want people to enjoy the sport and minimize the risks.”

Even someone who has never so much as sat on a motorcycle before can learn with CAMS, thanks to the Introductory Motorcycle Experience class, a two-hour course that helps students understand the basics before getting on a bike. “We think of it like dipping your toe in the pool before you decide to go buy a bathing suit and jump in,” explains John. There is no riding in the Introductory Motorcycle Experience class, but students learn to use the controls and power walk the motorcycle to determine if they want to pursue more formal training.

Those who are interested in taking the next step can sign up for the two-day Basic RiderCourse, which is designed for those who have never ridden a motorcycle, only ridden a limited amount, or are getting back into the sport after a hiatus. “Two days in a parking lot is not designed to make you ‘road worthy’,” explains John. “It’s meant to give you a great baseline understanding of the beginner skills you need to develop your skills at your own pace after the class to make sure you are ready to take the next step.” Students in this class use CAMS’ training motorcycles to complete the course, and once they are successful, they receive a completion card that waives the road test requirement.

CAMS offers classes beyond the beginner level as well. There’s the Basic RiderCourse 2, a one-day course for riders who have a permit and some current experience riding, which allows them to take the course on their own personal motorcycle and earn their road test waiver. And, there’s a 3-Wheel BasicRider Course, designed specifically for those who only want to ride a three-wheeled motorcycle, which earns the rider a waiver for the three-wheel-only DMV road test upon completion. There are also classes for current licensed riders with their own motorcycles who want to expand on their skills beyond the basics—classes like the Advanced RiderCourse and Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse are popular options that many experienced riders take every few years to keep their skills sharp.

All of CAMS’ classes are taught by experienced, professional RiderCoaches, avid riders who represent many different genres of riding, racing, competing, dirt, and more—and who love what they do.

“Coaching is not a job, it’s a passion,” says John. “We have just as much fun as our students do! When we coach students, we get to improve our knowledge base and skills by being constantly being immersed in training others and ourselves. This gives us much better awareness of our own riding and allows us to bring even more to our students.”

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Community and Professional Education

Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 334

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer 2023 Hours (May 22 - July 28): Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Friday, Closed
(excluding college holidays and vacations)