Rider Education

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

Trike Course

Posted: 08 Jul 2019 11:25 AM



SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019

TIME: 8:00AM – 5:00PM CENTRAL (may be done sooner)

Lunch WILL be provided and is included in the fee per bike



RSVP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We have room for 8 more trikes.

Note that this class will include both classroom and range time as Scott and Joy are working to gain their certifications.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please remember to wear or bring full riding gear: helmet, glasses, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, over the ankle boots.


These courses are not District Fundraisers. The charges for the Courses are to cover only the cost of expenses. As Instructors, our time is donated. It is our hope to have enough participants in the Rider Courses that we present to be able to provide lower costs to you, the Member. Remember, the more participants, the lower the charge!

Thank you for your consideration.

March Educator Information

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 08:42 PM

Emergency Information

With the change in the weather, particularly with the snow and cold, there has been a big rash of accidents on the road ways. Those accidents got me to thinking about my emergency contact information. I know… but just go with me for a minute!

So, I have emergency contact information on my cell phone but not on my person or in the trunk of my bike.  I haven’t ever carried any in my car or for that matter have a copy in my house, or in my wallet.  I’ve always assumed that I would be coherent enough to tell the EMS personnel who to call on my behalf.  I might be WRONG. I could be DEAD wrong.

Here is a link to a great emergency contact form in the GWRRA Rider Education section This is a downloadable/fillable PDF that you can keep and edit as needed. While this form might be cumbersome it will provide EMS personnel with the information that they need to help you.  You can always fill this out, take a photo of it, or upload the form into your smart phone and place it with your phone’s emergency contact information. I’m working on mine now.


Another thing that I’ve been thinking about and have never gotten around to is a formal advanced health care directive. Do you have one? If you do, Is it up to date?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few years.  If anything happens to me, then what?  I need to get this done as well – right after I finish that Emergency Information Form.

I did a little research and found a great planning tool kit from the University of Minnesota. There is a downloadable/fillable 16-page pdf that explains the facts regarding Minnesota’s health care directive, step by step instructions how to fill out the forms, and the forms themselves.


I’ve decided that I’m going to start my 2019 resolutions right way. My main goal is to have the health care directive, emergency contacts and hopefully a will completed in the coming year and to let my family know what my requests are.

I bet you are asking “What in the world prompted you to start thinking about all of this??”. Well, part of it was the number of the winter weather crashes in the metro area, part of it has been the bitter cold and the icy conditions, part of it just being a good thing to finally do since I’m not getting any younger.  Hopefully, it’ll help you to decide to do the same thing if you haven’t already done so.

Family and friends are counting on you to arrive safe at your destination. Other families are counting on their loved ones to arrive safe as well.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay warm

Joy Mattson
MN District Educator

February Educator Info

Posted: 10 Feb 2019 11:54 AM

District Educator Ramblings

The first month of 2019 has already come and gone.  I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of the cold.  It seems like it’s been hanging around way too long.  BUT, it doesn’t help that we had our bikes put away in Mid-October because they needed to replace the roof on our garage!  I think I’m suffering from PMS ----- Parked Motorcycle Syndrome!  Made you look again, didn’t I!!

Winter is the season that the Minnesota District does a lot of training.  Classes such as Medic First Aid® (CPR/First Aid/AED) and the Co-Rider Seminar needed for the Levels Program; we also do a lot of classes that are both fun and interesting.  Check the District Calendar or the University Facebook page for training events near you.

The month of February brings the International Motorcycle Show to the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The Minnesota District is hosting a booth at the show again this year so stop by and say “hi” to whoever might be working at the time!  Rumor has it that there will be a drawing for a one-year Individual Renewal Membership for one lucky Member that signs in! 

Did you know that you can check the status of Levels on your own?  Just follow these simple steps:
  Log in to www.gwrra.org
  Click on Programs then Rider Education
  On the left side of the screen, click on My R.E. Information
  Your username is your member number
  Your password is the number of your street address + the expiration (MM/YY) of your  Membership.
  You can also click on “I Need Help Logging On” for instructions.  If you do this, by entering your email address at the bottom of the page, you can request               that your password be emailed to you.

If you’re not comfortable checking your own Levels status, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll help.  My contact information is below.

Stay safe and stay warm!!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Joy Mattson
MN District Educator

January Article

Posted: 01 Jan 2019 07:31 PM

Happy New Year!

Every cold day that goes by is bringing motorcycle weather closer.  I think I should move south in the winter so I can ride year round!  That would be the ultimate fun!  Maybe not practical, but fun just the same!!

Tis the season of many different weather types.  Sometimes they all show up at one time!  From snow to rain/freezing rain and/or black ice.  When the road surface is icy, traction is greatly reduced so the best thing to do is to stay home – if you can.  If you must drive in icy conditions, slow down and, similar to riding in the rain, be smooth with braking or acceleration.
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. 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.

Wishing you the healthiest and prosperous New Year!

Joy Mattson

MN District Educator