Rider Education

November Educator Article

Posted: 29 Dec 2019 01:31 PM

Here we are again everyone, another October is in the rear-view mirror. I’m sad to report that our riding season is either at an end or close to. What are YOU planning for the off-bike season? A cruise with friends/family? Maybe some other fun-in-the-sun trips? Maybe you plan to spend the winter months in hibernation, venturing out occasionally to attend a fun event with a local chapter? My plan is to do two things; I plan to go to Arizona sometime over the winter and I also plan to hibernate but also enjoy some of the events with my local chapters….and maybe a few others out of town! Whatever you plan, be sure you have fun!

I know most of our chapters have lots of fun things planned for the off-bike season. Check out the District Calendar to see what’s happening. If you’re looking for someone to present seminars and other fun modules, please feel free to reach out to either myself or Eric Purdy, our Minnesota District University Coordinator (aka our DUC). There are seminars out there that are both fun and educational and help you stay current in the Levels Program.

Speaking of the Levels Program, I will be working with our Chapter Directors to get each a list of their Chapter Participants that are involved in the Levels Program and what courses might be needed. Maybe a Co-Rider seminar or a Medic First Aid (MFA) class. As for Rider Courses, we continue to hunt for a lot large enough to host the Advanced Rider Course (ARC), but it seems every time something hopeful comes up, there’s an issue or plans are in the works to build another office or condo building! For those wondering about the Levels Program, allow me to explain a little about it. It’s a program based on a commitment to safety and continuing education. There are four levels, and each has a different set of commitments:

  • Level I – Safety by Commitment.
    Your commitment to riding safe. 
  • Level II – Safety by Education.
     5,000 safe miles* and a Rider Course (single or two-up). 
  • Level III – Safety by Preparedness.
     Current in Level II; A Medic First Aid course (or other approved First Aid/CPR course); Carrying a First Aid kit in the Bike.
  • Level IV – Safety by Enhanced Commitment and Preparedness.
    25,000 safe miles*; Current in Level III for one (1) year; Commitment to ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). Note that there is a fee for this level. 

    *Safe miles accrue from the time you join GWRRA.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Levels Program, please feel free to contact me. My contact information is listed below.

It’s November and we all know what that means……I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy your turkey dinner (if you have one) and quality time with family and friends.

Till next time, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up!

Joy Mattson
MN District Educator

October Educator Article

Posted: 19 Sep 2019 07:47 PM

Holy buckets, where did our riding season go??!!  Thankfully we were able to salvage a few nice days the second half of September. It was downright hot for a few days, but I will be the last to complain about that.

Fall is in the air and the leaves are changing colors. That means two things:


Remember to add an extra layer in the mornings. You can always take a layer or two off as the day progresses and the temperatures climb, but you can’t add what you don’t have. If you have electrics, a long sleeve shirt should be enough. Too many layers and you won’t as easily feel the effect of the heating.


The pavement is much cooler now and tires aren’t as sticky as we’ve gotten used to. It’s time to slow down and be smooth and steady with both the throttle and brake. With the changing of the colors, watch for wet leaves on the roadways. They make for slippery surfaces. Also watch the paint stripes on the roads marking crosswalks, etc. They also can be slippery with the morning dew.

Yes, I think our riding season is coming to an end, hopefully later rather than sooner. Mine may be shortened a little due to having to travel for work a few days the beginning of October but it’s been a good ride. My personal opinion is that it’s going to be a long, cold winter here in Minnesota. I have family (both blood and GW) in Arizona so a trip south might be in order sometime in either January or February. Just a long weekend to beat the cold and thaw a little.

Till next time, keep the rubber side down and the glossy side up!

Joy Mattson

MN District Educator

September Educator Article

Posted: 19 Sep 2019 07:42 PM

Ah, September; Labor Day and the end of summer.  Fortunately for us it does NOT mean the end of riding season. Many went to Wing Ding; others stayed home; others took a long weekend away. We decided to do the weekend away and went camping with friends that we haven’t seen all summer. It was nice to get away and unwind. It’s amazing the relaxing effect an evening spent with friends/family around a campfire can have on one. Yes, we took the bikes and the camper.

After not being able to ride the second half of August (of my own doing), I can only hope the weather stays warm a little longer. I’ve got a few miles to make up! BUT, I have a feeling we’re in for a bit of disappointment based on the leaves already starting to change.

With the changing of the leaves, come changes in the road surfaces. Cooler temperatures mean that the tires aren’t as sticky on the road surface due to the cooling of said surfaces. Make sure you slow down when taking that ramp in the mornings until the road warms up again.

Are you participating in the Levels Program and do you know if you’re current or not? To learn more, please feel free to contact me. My contact information is below. You can also check your own information by going to the National Website (www.gwrra.org) and clicking on Programs/Rider Education/My R.E. Information. You’ll need your member number as your login and your password is the digits of your address and the MMYY of expiration. Check it out!!

We are looking at the possibility of having one more Trike Rider Course. It will, again, be at Hanover City Hall. Date is tentatively set for Sunday, September 15. We will need a minimum of 6 trikes to make this work. If you, or someone you know, are interested in attending this course, please contact me by August 31. Again, my contact information is below. I look forward to hearing from our Trike riding members!

Till next time, keep the rubber down and the shiny side up!

Joy Mattson

MN District Educator



August Educator Article

Posted: 28 Jul 2019 01:32 PM

The MN & ND rally is now a fond memory.  Thank you to Bob and Renae Hicks, our District Directors. They did a fabulous job and I know that the rally was a great success!! I’ve heard many positive comments about the rally this year and the fact that many of our members are really looking forward to next year in Worthington.

Congratulations are in order!! While at the Wisconsin District Rally in June, Bob Hicks became certified as a Trike Course Instructor, along with our Wisconsin friends Bruce Gephard and Jerry Hempe.   Great job to the three of them!!

A huge thank you to Bob Hicks for having confidence in Scott and I and agreeing to let us use his Trike to become certified as Trike Course Instructors on July 21st. Minnesota now has three GWRRA Rider Course Instructors certified to instruct both two-wheel and three-wheel classes. Woo Hoo!!!

I also need to extend a THANK YOU to Dan Davis from Illinois for giving his time to come and certify the Instructors from both Minnesota AND Wisconsin.  Without Dan, his flexible schedule and his understanding wife, this wouldn’t have been accomplished. Dan Davis and Kris Andre (both from Illinois) are the very reason that I decided I wanted to do this for our Members. As former District Directors and now District Educator, Scott and I have been involved with several Trike Rider Courses instructed by Dan and Kris over the years. They both encouraged Scott and me to consider the position. Well, we took the plunge and Bob Hicks was right there with us!

One more thank you.  Thank you to the members that put their faith in Bob, Scott and me and attended our class. You also made this possible and I hope you took at least one thing away from the class with you.

At this point, it’s late in the season and I’m not sure we can do another TRC until next year.  A minimum of six trikes are a must in order to hold the course. It’s not our intent to make money, just cover the costs associated with the classes.

Till next time, keep the rubber down and the shiny side up!

Joy Mattson