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Iola offers old cars and new information about motorcycles this weekend


IOLA, Wis. (WSAU) -- There’s something new at the Iola Old Car Show this weekend. Along with acres of classic automobiles, you can learn more about riding or driving with motorcycles.

The Department of Transportation has teamed up with The Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program to bring “THE REF” to the car show.

Julie Roth is the coordinator of this weekend’s training, and says THE REF is an acronym for a specialized portable teaching facility. “THE REF stands for Transportable High End Rider Education Facility, and we’re dedicated to providing training, education, and information to motorcycle riders and the motoring public, as well.”

The trailer has information about motorcycles and how driving them is different than other vehicles. There’s also information about training classes for new and experienced riders.

Roth says THE REF also gives people who have never ridden a motorcycle an opportunity to safely find out what it’s like. “We have two Honda SMART trainers inside that, even for people who don’t ride motorcycles, we can get them on. There are tutorials in there. One of them can go through the shifting pattern, or we can get them on there and they can actually ride a (simulated) scooter.”

Roth says so far, visitors to THE REF in Iola Thursday have been an equal mixture of motorcycle riders and motorists that want to learn more about motorcycles.

THE REF will be at the Iola Car Show all weekend, and is located near Gate #4.