Harley-Davidson has revealed they are planning to teach an entire city how to ride a motorcycle in a bid to kick riding season into high gear.
The chosen “city” is none other than Ryder in North Dakota, with an estimated population of 85.
While the tiny farming community is only a small target, roughly 50 people are eligible for the free riding lessons.
“By ‘eligible’ we mean they have an active driver’s licence and can ride a bicycle,” explained US Marketing and Market Development Director, Anoop Prakash.
Harley are hoping to see all of the eligible riders in the saddle by the end of the summer, making the company a step closer to their goal of having two million new riders in the United States over the next decade.
“We looked at the town and said: ‘Why don’t we turn Ryder into Riders?’ It sealed the deal when we saw their water tank,” Prakash added.
“By teaching the entire town of Ryder we believe we’ll show others how easy – and fun – it can be to make the switch from four wheels to two.”
The mayor of Ryder, Jody Reinisch, is completely backing the plan and will even be partaking himself after falling out of love with motorcycling in his younger years.
“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,” Reinisch said.
“We are all fired up to give it a whirl, I got everybody interested… from ages 16 to 75”, he said.
Local dealership Magic City Harley-Davidson, of Minot, North Dakota, is heading to the city to show off the bikes on offer and sign up excited residents for their beginners courses.
To commemorate the historic event the city has renamed itself to ‘Riders’ and the town’s water tower has been painted to mirror the one at Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee.
“I think what tipped us over the edge [in choosing Ryder] is that they have a beautiful water tower that is the spitting image of our water tower,” Prakash explained. “It seemed like it was meant to be.”
Ryder used to be home to over 400 people and was a bustling city with hotels, restaurants and its own newspaper, however in recent years people have moved to places like Minot or Bismarck – meaning the businesses all failed.
Ryder officials are hopeful that the attention from Harley-Davidson, the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles, could rekindle interest in their town.