Turning Ryder into Riders: Harley-Davidson teaches entire town how to ride motorcycles

Imagine a town where everyone knows how to ride a motorcycle.

Where every person has experienced the joys and challenges of riding.

Where each of the residents understands the importance of sharing the road.

Sounds like a motorcyclist’s paradise, right? 

That’s exactly the atmosphere Harley-Davidson has set out to create in Ryder, North Dakota.

motorcycle coursesH-D is offering all willing and eligible residents free training throughout the summer in an effort to make Ryder the first town in the country where everyone has a motorcycle license. Participants will learn basic riding skills and motorcycle safety while building their confidence in a controlled environment.

Residents must have an active driver’s license and be able to ride a bicycle in order to be considered eligible. The town has a population of just over 80 people, and more than half of them qualify.

Ryder officials have embraced the idea. They’ve temporarily changed the town’s name to “Riders” in honor of motorcycle season and re-painted its water tower to create a replica of the iconic tower at Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee headquarters.

According to Mayor Jody Reinisch, residents “from ages 16 to 75” are ready to give motorcycles a spin. Reinisch, who rode frequently in his younger years, is excited to get back in the saddle.

“In Ryder, and across the country, Harley-Davidson is passionate about creating opportunities for new riders to experience and enjoy the sport of motorcycling,” says H-D’s U.S. Marketing and Market Development Director Anoop Prakash of the program.

While it may all seem like a publicity stunt, the new riders in Ryder will count toward H-D’s goal of getting 2 million new motorcyclists on the roads in the next decade.

Feeling inspired to brush up on your skills? Find a Harley-Davidson riding course in your area.

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