Rider Education

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

December 2018

Posted: 10 Dec 2018 02:55 PM

Today is Thanksgiving and unfortunately, my article is just getting finished.  I really do need a couple extra hours in each day! I would like to take time to reminisce about the many things I have to be thankful for this year. 
·  Scott had a safe season over the winter months on his snowmobile.  He made it home safely every time he went North. 
·  We had a good, although what felt like a somewhat short, season on the motorcycles.  We managed to make it both to our destinations and back home safely.  Some of the touring was a little on the stressful side, but it was a learning experience riding alongside the many 18 wheelers…..up the mountain in North Carolina!
·  We are so very close to becoming fully certified as Rider Course Instructors.  We’re on course to become fully certified for two-wheel training next Spring and then moving forward to become certified for three-wheel training.  We managed both heat and cold in the five days during our training….all without either of us catching cold!
·  Scott and I both have rewarding positions within the District and enjoy what we’re doing.  There are a few things being done differently, but we’ll figure it all out….eventually.  Thank you all for your continued support.
Yes, it’s been a good year and somewhat sad with the recent loss of Scott’s father in October.  We have so many things and people to be thankful for.  We’re thankful for our family, friends and our many extended family members we’ve met through GWRRA. 
Now we set our sights on the next upcoming holiday and the parties we’ll attend with our Chapter friends & family.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you.  You’re all required to be safe in all you do as I look forward to seeing you down the road.

Wishing you a Joyous Christmas / Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

November 2018

Posted: 01 Nov 2018 09:24 PM

November.  As I write this, it seems that the season went directly from Summer to Winter.  It never felt like Fall even though the leaves did change and left a mess in the patio!  We (Scott, actually) just finished winterizing the bikes and getting them ready for their long winter naps.  You know, it’s pretty amazing that two bikes, two trailers and a camper fit in one half of a two car garage!  That’s strategic planning!

November 4th is the 25th Annual Swan Ride (two, three or four wheels).  Many of you probably know by now that Bill Bassett has retired from the motorcycle world and is enjoying the first few months of retirement RVing with wife, Bonnie.  We sure wish them the best!   Bill has done much for the Gold Wing brand and they will both be missed by those that know them.  Bill is a Member of GWRRA so has a BIG extended family out there!

I would like to say THANK YOU to Tim and Anna Grimes for their past contributions and support as Directors of the Rider Education Program.  I also want to CONGRATULATE Susan and George Huttman on their appointment as our new Directors of the Rider Education Program.  We’re looking forward to the new year and new opportunities that may (and will) arise. 

With the onset of colder temperatures, our GWRRA off-season training sessions are sure to start soon.  Please reach out to Eric Purdy, District University Coordinator, with your training requests.  Eric and I will be working together to get a seasonal schedule of training pulled together and posted.  More to come on this.

With the upcoming holiday, we give Thanks for our extended family and friends.  Scott and I would like to wish you and yours a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!  We look forward to seeing you at the Chapter Holiday parties that are scheduled.  It’s always a good time with good food and great company!

Till next time, be safe out there!