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Harley-Davidson ridership course at UWM sees growth after second semester

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by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com/

Last spring, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offered its first Harley-Davidson one-credit ridership class through the College of Health Sciences. Four students enrolled the first semester followed by an additional 16 students in the fall of 2019.

As students begin enrolling in classes for spring 2020, the director of the College of Health Sciences Ron Wiza said there are only four remaining slots available.

As the program grows, so do the amount of motorcycle riders, coinciding with Harley-Davidson’s “More Roads Lead to Harley-Davidson” strategic plan. Part of Harley-Davidson’s plan is the Broader Access goal to “create new pathways to Harley-Davidson, expanding access and appeal to more people around the world.”

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer detailed that it hopes to create high-engagement customer experiences across all retail channels. The company’s “Amplify Brand” goal also encourages “enhancing the Harley-Davidson experience to inspire interest in riding, fostering Moto-culture and build an even bigger, more passionate community of Harley-Davidson riders.”

The program began as a partnership between Harley-Davidson and UW-Milwaukee. The company connected Wiza with Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership at 11310 W. Silver Spring Road.

“The other reason that we chose the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson location is because even though UW-Milwaukee is a commuter college where a lot of people don’t live on campus, there are still several thousand students that live in the surrounding community around UWM,” Wiza said, noting that it was important to pick a dealership that was either close to the campus or accessible on the transit line.

“Here at UWM, we’re kind of an urban campus. One of our selling points is we are always encouraging students who attend our university to experience the vast array of things that Milwaukee has to offer,” Wiza said. “With that in mind, we strive to create partnerships and develop opportunities with local well-known businesses and attractions in the Milwaukee area.”

Twenty-year-old Grace Oddis, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at UWM, took the course in its inaugural semester.

“I knew the class was really expensive. I saw that UWM offered it as a credit. I thought that would be a great opportunity to take it and also get a credit, just for the goal of being able to ride on the road and feel comfortable,” Oddis said.

As a one-credit class, the students are required to commit about 48 hours of learning to that course. For the Harley-Davidson ridership class, students complete a pre-course and post-course assignment along with two evening sessions. The rest of the time is dedicated to a weekend at the dealership doing the physical motorcycle driving lessons.

“We learned a lot about motorcycle safety. That was the biggest thing — how to prevent things from happening, being able to go around different obstacles and keeping the bike straight on the safety course,” Oddis said.

Now the sophomore has her motorcycle license and is looking at buying a bike, something that would have taken longer if she had not participated in the course.

“I thought it was a great experience. You felt comfortable. You felt safe. I think it’s great to get more women involved in motorcycles and teaching them. This was a great way for a college student to be able to do that no matter what you’re going to school for,” she said.

Harley-Davidson did not respond to a Milwaukee Business Journal request for comments on the UWM program.

Veterans find purpose, support through motorcycle rides

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by Patrick Filbin from https://www.stripes.com/

(Tribune News Service) — Chris Mathison served three tours in Iraq over a 14-month period.

As a U.S. Army infantryman, he was in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment, led a team of fellow infantrymen and, all things considered, was a soldier who was depended upon and good at his job.

When he came back home to Tennessee, he had a hard time adjusting.

The Nashville native moved to Cookeville after he got out of the service in 2011 and tried to find a stable job.

“I’ve probably been through 10 jobs,” Mathison said. “It’s hard to find something that fits. You don’t feel like you belong, there’s no sense of purpose or belonging.”

He went to school and received an associate’s degree, but even school was a tough adjustment.

“I remember very fondly when I got out, I was going through a sociology class,” Mathison recalled. “As we were flipping through the book, I found a picture of my unit in Iraq and it just kind of blew my mind.”

Mathison, 35, had a whole life behind him that he had a hard time talking about. Not only was the subject matter sensitive, he couldn’t find like-minded people to talk to. As an infantryman, he was surrounded by people who were going through the same things as he was, living through the same experiences.

When he came back home, he was taking general education courses with 19-year-olds.

“That was interesting,” he said with a smirk.

Soon after he got out, Mathison signed up for his first program with the Wounded Warrior Project, the country’s largest veterans charity organization.

He enrolled in the organization’s TRACK program, which had a curriculum meant to heal, develop and train the mind, body and spirit of each wounded warrior through two semesters of college.

It also incorporated peak performance training, health and wellness training, personal finance advice and a physical education program.

Ever since, he’s been a loyal supporter of the organization that helps veterans in a number of ways.

Wounded Warriors also helped Mathison get certified in scuba diving.

One of the newest programs in Georgia is a 12-week mental health workshop that kicks off with a three-day motorcycle road trip across North Georgia.

Jon Blauvelt, a public relations specialist with Wounded Warriors, said the program is designed to give veterans an outlet to manage PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other invisible wounds of war while connecting with nature and fellow veterans.

Motorcycles play a huge role in the therapy. Through wind and throttle therapy, reflective discussion and several weeks of follow-ups, the group of eight veterans from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Florida will experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip while bettering themselves mentally and spiritually.

“When you’re on one of these big bikes, all you’re thinking about is the bike,” Blauvelt said. “I’m on this bike, here are my surroundings, here’s the weather, but you’re not thinking about PTSD or [traumatic brain injury], you’re not thinking about what happened before and you’re not thinking about the future. You’re thinking about the present moment.”

It’s a perfect fit for Mathison, who is also a part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

Mathison and the seven other riders strolled in at the Harley-Davidson store in Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday afternoon for a lunch hosted by the motorcycle shop.

Cynthia Allgood, manager of the store, said it was a privilege to host the veterans who sacrificed so much for the country without asking for anything in return.

“Something like this gets you together with like-minded individuals and you can talk about everything and it creates a really good atmosphere,” Mathison said. “You’re able to make some really good friends that I would not have met.”

Strider Bikes builds new riders – “Double Down Charity Program”

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Strider Bikes Announces the “Double Down Charity Program”

New program increases youth ridership and feeds two charities simultaneously via youth balance bikes.

Rapid City, SD – Strider Bikes, the leading manufacturer of balance bikes for children with over 2 million sold worldwide, launches a new direct-sale custom Strider program designed to further increase youth ridership and charitable donations. The Double-Down Charity Program (DDCP) will support partner-designated 501c3 charities and the Strider Education Foundation’s All Kids Bike, a national movement to install Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools. This all while delivering unique balance bikes designed by the Strider partner company or brand.

The Double-Down Charity Program enables a company or brand to design a custom graphics package including a competition style number plate and a complete sticker kit. Then, for each customized bike sold, the partner’s designated 501(c)(3)charity receives $20 and All Kids Bike receives $20.

As sales climb over 200 units, the partners designated charity will receive $4,000, and one school (of the partner’s choosing) is donated a Kindergarten PE “Learn-To-Ride” program care of All Kids Bike consisting of 22 Strider 14x balance bikes, training and certification for the PE teacher, helmets, pedal conversion kits, approved curriculum, and five years of technical support. Through the Kindergarten PE Program, children enjoy the mental and physical benefits of riding a bike, including the fun, freedom and mobility it provides. Donations are delivered via Strider Bikes in the name of the sponsoring partner. Partners will have the opportunity to present the donation and be on site to see their All Kids Bike donation in action, further increasing the public relations opportunity for the partner.

The DDCP is designed to increase ridership at every level and to empower those who share in the vision of more kids on bikes; learning balance, gaining health benefits and ditching screens. “We are very excited about the DDCP and what it means for increasing youth ridership,” says Strider Bikes founder and Chief Enthusiast Ryan McFarland. “We wanted to create wins at every level, and this program empowers our fans, like-minded companies, and brands to use their influence to help create more mobile, happy and healthy kids across the US.”

The Double Down Charity Program is directed by Robert Pandya, a 25-year motorcycle industry veteran known for working on new ridership initiatives, increasing female ridership and his general enthusiasm for motorcycling. “I could not be more excited to work with Strider and share the mission of All Kids Bike, as well as work with individuals and companies who see how positive and powerful it is for children to learn how to ride,” says Pandya. “I know through personal experience that getting out on two wheels, powered or not, is one of the most freeing and inspiring ways to move through life. Combining that inspiration with the opportunity to elevate charities and accelerate the All Kids Bike mission is truly energizing for the whole industry.”

Pandya will manage the DDCP, working directly with partners to assist with graphic design and communications and act as a liaison with Strider Bikes. Each unit will be sold directly via a custom-built website page at www.Striderbikes.com, meaning the partner has nothing to inventory and no responsibility for fulfillment. Pandya will work with the partners to increase program exposure to their audience through social media and PR, and high visibility events integrating with the partner’s marketing teams.

“We have developed a program for large companies, celebrities, and charity organizations,” continues Pandya. “With the goal of having an entire generation of children exposed to riding on two wheels, we know that there are many out there who will immediately understand the quadruple win of kids getting a custom Strider bike, two charities benefitting, and the partner being associated throughout the whole program.”

To kick off the program, on April 27th Arlen Ness Enterprises announced the debut of their Double Down Charity Strider that will benefit the Grand Muliple Myeloma Translational Initiative at the University of California San Francisco and All Kids Bike donations toward the schools of Moorhead, MN.

Arlen Ness, the patriarch of the family custom motorcycle business, which includes his Daughter Sherri, son Cory, and grandson Zach, passed away on March 22, 2019 after a battle with Multiple Myeloma. “I know that Dad would have been really happy with this program,” says Cory Ness. “The Grand MMTI helped him manage his cancer and deserves our thanks. The chance to teach every kid in Dad’s home town about the fun and friendship that comes from being on two wheels is a perfect tribute to a man who simply loved to ride.” The Arlen Ness Edition Double Down Charity Striders can be ordered for direct shipping care of https://striderbikes.com/buy/charity/arlen-ness-double-down-charity-bike/.

For further information connect with Robert Pandya at Robert@StriderBikes.com, or log on to https://striderbikes.com/double-down-charity-bikes/

ABOUT STRIDER SPORTS INTERNATIONAL, INC. Strider creates and inspires future generations of riders by giving children as young as six months old the best first-bike experience. From rocking-horse bikes for babies, to patented balance bikes and pedal conversion kits Strider has revolutionized the learn-to-ride process and the childhood riding experience. Children across the globe are starting on Strider Bikes and becoming two-wheeling virtuosos – before they’re out of diapers.  Founded in 2007, in Rapid City, South Dakota, Strider has sold more than 2 million bikes and distributes products in over 75 countries.  Visit www.StriderBikes.com, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

ABOUT ALL KIDS BIKE

All Kids Bike is a nationwide movement to teach every child in America how to ride a two-wheel bicycle in kindergarten PE Class. The campaign is led by the Strider Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which facilitates donations of their Kindergarten PE Program to elementary schools throughout the country. The programs are funded by a coalition of parents, educators, health care providers, businesses, nonprofits and members of the general public.

California State Parks OHV grants and cooperative agreements program

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California State Parks OHV grants and cooperative agreements program seeking public comments – AMA Action Alert

The American Motorcyclist Association believes you may be interested in providing input to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. This period provides an opportunity for the public to review and provide factual comments to the preliminary applications submitted for consideration during the 2018/19 grant cycle.

To review and comment visit olga.ohv.parks.ca.gov/egrams_ohmvr/user/home.aspx for more information. The public review and comment period the began on Tuesday, March 5, and ends at 5 p.m. Monday, May 6.

You may also submit your public comments in writing to the OHMVR Division at the address below.

California State Parks
OHMVR Division
1725 23rd St.,
Sacramento, CA 95816
Attention: Grants Manager

If you are not yet an AMA member, please join the AMA to help us fight efforts to restrict responsible motorized recreation. More members means more clout against our opponents, and your support will help us fight for your riding rights – on the road, trail, racetrack, and in the halls of government. To join, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

Please follow the AMA on Twitter @AMA_Rights and like us on Facebook.

Thank you in advance for your interest in this important program. If you submit written comments please email a copy to the AMA at grassroots@ama-cycle.org.

2019 federal spending package increases infrastructure funding

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It took a while, but a 2019 spending package was finally approved by Congress, signed by President Trump, and enacted February 15. In addition to the $1.375 billion for southwest border barriers, the package also includes full-year 2019 funding levels for important federal infrastructure programs, including the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Engineering News-Record reports.

The 2019 package is the second year of a two-year, bipartisan House-Senate budget deal that included a pledge to raise overall federal infrastructure spending by $20 billion over 2017 levels. It sets the federal-aid highway obligation ceiling at $45.3 billion, up $1 billion, or 2 percent, from 2018 and equal to the amount authorized in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which comes from the Highway Trust Fund.

The legislation also contains $3.25 billion more from the general fund for highways, up from $2.525 billion in 2018. A 2019 “bonus” amount includes $2.73 billion for states, up from $1.98 billion in 2018, and $475 million for bridge replacement and rehabilitation, more than double the 2018 amount.

Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants received $900 million for 2019, down 40 percent from 2018, but it was not discontinued as President Trump suggested. The program was originally called Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER.

The Federal Transit Administration will receive $13.4 billion for 2019, down $67 million from 2018, with transit formula grants getting $9.9 billion and capital investment grants receiving $2.5 billion, down from $2.6 billion in 2018. An additional $700 million, down from $834 million in 2018, goes for transit infrastructure grants, which include bus facilities and “state of good repair” projects.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program was frozen at 2018’s $3.35 billion, an amount that comes from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Lawmakers also tapped the general fund for an additional $500 million in FAA discretionary airport grants, down 50 percent from 2018.

The EPA’s water infrastructure account will receive $3.6 billion, a 1 percent increase over 2018 levels. Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) will receive $1.7 billion and Drinking Water SRFs will get $1.2 billion.