August 2018 Article
Posted: 07 Aug 2018 09:36 PM
The MN & ND District Rally is now but a fond memory of fun, games, socializing and learning. Thank you to Joe and Jan for a good time!!
Many of you now know that Minnesota has 3 new Rider Course Instructors. Bob Hicks, Scott Mattson and I received our certifications for Advanced Rider Course (ARC) Instructors on Saturday, May 19th, 2018. Please note that this is a certification to instruct two wheel courses only. Our intent, once fully certified in the ARC, is to certify for the Trike Rider Course (TRC) as well.
What does this mean for our members? Plenty! Below is a little information on how our certifications will help the Members of Minnesota maintain/advance their level in the Levels Program.
Scott & I both remember hearing something about this a few years ago and it resurfaced when I was entering member information from the Intermediate Rider Course (IRC) hosted by Chapter Q on 4/28 and 4/29 and from the IRC hosted by Chapter R in May. The following notation was on several members’ records: Not Eligible to Add Recert Course. After asking questions and making sure I fully understood the response, below is information I’d like to make everyone aware of:
It is felt that riding is 80 – 90% mental and 10 – 20% physical with a classroom session being used to periodically refresh that 80 – 90%. I want to emphasize that the Intermediate Rider Course (IRC - formerly known as BRC2) is still considered a recertification course for GWRRA purposes. However, the IRC may no longer be taken consecutively for Levels maintenance. This applies to those at Level II and above.
Curriculum is in place through Home Office to help maintain the Members’ Level. This is not new and has been in effect for several years now. This curriculum includes both the Advanced Rider Course (ARC) and Trike Rider Course (TRC), is based on an every three year schedule and alternates as follows:
Full Course including classroom and range
Range Course only (known as a recertification course)
Now, there are Members that currently take the IRC on an annual basis to brush up on their skills and “shake off the cobwebs”. That’s great and encouraged! Our Members need to understand that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Range Course alone will no longer keep their Level current.
Please let me know if you have questions about this information – I’d be happy to discuss it with you. I can be reached at 612-834-2682.
Thank you and ride safe!
MN District Educator
Rider Course Instructor
Posted: 02 Jul 2018 09:32 PM
Level IV: Safety by Enhanced Commitment and Preparedness
Level IV is the most prestigious of the REP levels and is referred to as Master Tour Rider/CoRider.
It represents the highest commitment of the Rider and/or Co-Rider to safe riding and preparedness. This commitment is shown by a demonstrated history of safe miles and current certification in both First Aid and CPR. These Master Tour Riders/Co-Riders are the finest example to every Member of the highest commitment to safe motorcycle operation and preparedness.
Level IV of the REP, the Master Tour Rider, was designed for those special caring individuals who desire to "be all they can be" with regards to motorcycle safety. The requirements are more stringent than Level III and require a greater commitment. These individuals are caring, trained and prepared with the experience to back them up. While Level IV is not for everyone, for those who desire to be of greater service to their fellow man, it is the correct prescription.
Why desire to be a Level IV Master Tour Rider? It's a worthwhile goal. Being prepared to save a life is a high calling indeed! These individuals are shining examples to the rest of the GWRRA membership. Others aspire to practice the same commitment as displayed by those who have attained Level IV. For that reason, because these individuals are ambassadors to the members at all levels, GWRRA provides a special gathering to celebrate the Master Tour Rider commitment each year at the District Rally and Wing Ding.
Requirement: (Rider and/or Co-Rider) Current in Level III for one year and have taken both First Aid and CPR training. Have 25,000 Safe Miles and must be committed to riding with "Proper Riding Gear" at all times.
Cost: $35.00 for each participant (Black and Gold patch is available for another $8.00).
Receive: "Special Triangular" patch with dark blue border and your individual Master number embroidered on it.
There are three elevations within the Level IV Master Tour Rider/Co-Rider Level. From the time one achieves the worthwhile goal of a Level IV, for every five consecutive years that the Master Tour Rider/CO-Rider maintains their Medic First Aid and Rider Course certifications, there is recognition of that achievement as well. The first elevation is Senior Master; the second elevation is Grand Master; the final elevation is Life Grand Master.
This concludes my informational dialogue of the Levels Program. Stay tuned for more Rider Education information and fun!! Join us at the MN & ND District Rally on July 6 and 7 in Beautiful Willmar, MN. We look forward to seeing you there!
Posted: 07 May 2018 10:07 PM
Level III - Safety by Preparedness
Level III of the Rider Education Levels Program represents the commitment of the Rider and/or Co-Rider to be prepared to, in the event of an accident, render aid and possibly (hopefully) save lives. This is achieved by becoming knowledgeable in First Aid and CPR through training and by carrying a first aid kit on their motorcycle at all times.
It would be great if we could achieve a goal of zero accidents; however, we know that accidents will happen. Because of this, it is important to 1) be fully prepared to lend aid to unfortunate accident victims and 2) to always be prepared to save a life. Level III of the Rider Education Levels Program was developed to deal with such circumstances by recognizing and encouraging proper First Aid and CPR training. CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) has been used to save many lives. Being trained to render CPR and/or First Aid is a tremendous asset to people that the Rider Education Levels Program participant come in contact with.
While not required, a Motorist Awareness Seminar at this level exposes the Member to our program to improve awareness of all road users to the presence of motorcycles and trikes. When interfacing with the public, the Level III Rider or Co-Rider can inform them about what we have available to help others share the road with us.
· Be enrolled and current in Level II of the Rider Education Levels Program, having completed a formal approved bike Rider Course within the past three years
· Maintain current First Aid, CPR or MEDIC First Aid certifications
· Carry a First Aid kit on the motorcycle.
· Be a current GWRRA Member
· Maintain current First Aid or CPR or MEDIC First Aid certifications.
Note: copies of the validating completion cards are not necessary as long as the expiration date for the courses are noted on the REP Application form when completed.
Talk to your District GWRRA Educator and ask him/her to help you complete the appropriate paperwork. There is a nominal fee for patches if they are desired.
Stay tuned for next month! May the snow go away and warm weather finally arrive!!
March 2018 Article
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 10:21 PM
Happy St. Patty’s Day!!
Within the Rider Education Program (REP) is a program called the “Levels Program”. There are four steps to this program, each requiring a higher level of commitment. I’m going to start with an in-depth explanation of Level I.
Level I – Safety by Commitment
Level I of the Rider Education Program is also referred to as Safe Miles. It represents the commitment of the Rider and/or the Co-Rider to practice safe motorcycle operation whenever they operate their motorcycle. Safety is a state of mind and doesn’t happen by accident. That state of mind can only be attained through total commitment.
Every successful accomplishment begins with a commitment to reach the intended objective. This is also true of the Rider Education Program and includes a promise to learn for the sake of Rider, Co-Rider, friends and family, and others on the road.
Though there is no mileage requirement to enter Level I, the commitment to safe riding is tracked by the number of accident free miles since joining GWRRA. Accident free miles are accumulated in 5,000 mile increments and may be updated at yearly intervals.
The requirement for Level I is current membership and the expressed commitment of the Rider and/or Co-Rider to strive for and practice safe riding. Enrollment in the Levels Program is free. There is no cost for Level I unless you wish to purchase pins and patches. We would encourage you to then display your patches as an outward sign of your commitment to riding safely.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at Level II.
Joy & Scott Mattson
MN District Educators
February 2018 Article
Posted: 21 Jan 2018 02:17 PM
As we flip the page of the calendar to February, we can only hope that the weather has started to moderate. The frigid temperatures have warmed, but we still can experience snow flurries, freezing rain, and ice/black ice. We see the most accidents/spin outs when conditions include these kinds of conditions. There was recently a 20 car pile-up near our home because of these very conditions. People were driving too fast and couldn’t stop due to the icy bridge surface.
When the road surface is icy, traction is greatly reduced so the best thing one can do is to stay home which, for many of us, usually won’t happen. If you must drive in icy conditions, slow down and, similar to riding in the rain, be smooth with braking/accelerating.
When we lose traction, we lose the braking and steering control of our vehicle. Even with four tires on the ground and ABS, it is easy to lose control of a vehicle on ice. When braking, remember to brake first then steer. That applies to motorcycles, trikes and cars. This allows you to retain some steering capabilities.
To increase traction in icy conditions, look for “roughed” surfaces – perhaps an unplowed or unpaved gravel shoulder or snow that may be present where tires haven’t packed it down. Almost any surface provides better traction than ice! If you find yourself in such a situation, try to move your vehicle smoothly onto the other surface.
Keep in mind that accelerating, braking and steering should all be done smoothly to maintain traction and control of your vehicle. Use a light touch on the accelerator. With the limited traction available on ice, stepping on the gas will cause the tires to spin. Give yourself plenty of time and slow down before entering curves.
Increase your following distance behind other cars to allow for additional stopping time and distance. You will need it when ice or snow on the ground limits your traction. The additional space will also give you a cushion if the vehicle in front of you loses control and spins out. That space can, hopefully, provide enough room to maneuver and time to react to avoid a collision. Also, stay alert for other drivers who might lose control. Think about your best escape route or your how you would react to various situations that might arise. Be mindful of your options.
If you have a new vehicle, it’s important to see and feel how it reacts when you are traveling at low speed and step on the brake or turn the wheel. By learning how it behaves, you are better prepared to take the right action in a surprise situation on the road. Remember, it’s all about the traction!
Joy & Scott Mattson
MN District Educators