In this North Dakota town, everyone is getting a motorcycle license

ryder nd all motorcycle licenses harley davidson davidsons on city street
ljooc / 123RF Stock Photo
Wisconsin and the Dakotas are Harley country, no doubt. Milwaukee is home to Harley-Davidson‘s headquarters, and the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, is the largest in the U.S., with a record 739,000 attendance in 2015. And now Ryder, North Dakota, is gearing up to be the first fully motorcycle-licensed town, according to Motorcycle.com.

Ryder is a one-third square mile town in southwestern North Dakota with a population of 85. On Saturday, June 3, 2017, everyone eligible, more than 50 Ryder residents aged 16 to 70, signed up to take motorcycle riding classes this summer at South Prairie School in neighboring Minot, North Dakota.

According to Forbes, only a few Ryder residents own motorcycles and most, especially the town’s millennials, had a perception that riding a bike was hard to learn. Harley brought a JumpStart Rider Experience setup to the event. The “experience” is a special stand that supports a motorcycle so people can get a sense of the controls and what it feels like to sit on a motorcycle.

ryder nd all motorcycle licenses harley davidson hd jumpstart experience
Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson

“The town of Ryder welcomes the roar of Harley-Davidson motorcycles down Main Street,” said Ryder Mayor Jody Reinisch. “We’re excited to see several generations of Ryder residents on motorcycles learning together, trying new life experiences and enjoying the beauty of our town and surrounding area like never before.”

To encourage and support the event, Harley-Davidson paid to have the town’s water tower painted in the company’s orange and black colors with the brand logo. The water tower needed painting and the town couldn’t afford to have it done, according to Mayor Reinisch. In return, the mayor presented Harley-Davidson representatives with a ceremonial key to the city. Ryder is also changing its name to “Riders” until Labor Day.

ryder nd all motorcycle licenses harley davidson key to the city
Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson

All sides declare the event a success, even though some townspeople were initially skeptical. “Some citizens thought it was horrible that I was inviting Harley-Davidson to town,” Reinisch said. “All we knew about motorcycles was biker gangs in movies, so they were scared. But Harley came and made a bunch of videos and took a lot of photographs, and before the event on Saturday, 100 percent of the town was behind us.”

Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.