Season 1, Episode 37
Co-Hosts: Nadine Vogel & Norma Stanley
Guest: Sue Strand
Intro: [Music playing in background] Disabled Lives Matter... here we go!
Voiceover: Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the disabled lives matter podcast with co-hosts Nadine Vogel and Norma Stanley… yay!
Nadine Vogel: hello, and welcome everyone to another wonderful episode of disabled lives matter I am nadine vogel your one of your co host with my other Co host norma.
NORMA STANLEY: Hello everyone.
Nadine Vogel: So norma and I, you know we talk all the time about this is not just a podcast, this is a movement.
Nadine Vogel: And you our listeners are helping us to make it a movement and bring it to.
Nadine Vogel: Not just people with disabilities, but people that don't have disabilities, because that's going to help them understand our world right and understand that people's lives, including the lives of people with disabilities do matter.
Nadine Vogel: And so today's guest, I think, is going to illustrate this point and probably better than anyone sue strand. hello sue.
Sue Strand: Well hello everybody.
Sue Strand: Nadine and norma and everyone out there.
Sue Strand: who happens to be listening.
Nadine Vogel: So I want you to tell us to start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and the background and about disabled bikers what it is why you started it things like that.
Sue Strand: Well, a little bit about me.
Sue Strand: I have.
Sue Strand: my brother is the one that started this.
Nadine Vogel: And he passed away in.
Sue Strand: 2012.
Nadine Vogel: I'm sorry.
Sue Strand: And he left the company to me, and I am not a motorcycle rider, but I do understand this disability.
NORMA STANLEY: Side thing.
Sue Strand: His wife and him got into a motorcycle accident back in the late 70s, I believe it was, and she broke her back, and so my brother who built motorcycles, then.
Sue Strand: Developed how to be able to ride as a person, that is paralyzed from the waist down so he built her up a trike and then put in the wheelchair carrier so carrier so that she could join them in their rides, because that was something they were very, very passionate about.
Sue Strand: So he kind of developed.
Sue Strand: Things to work for people with disabilities, he was an amazing motorcycle builder he built motorcycles for the CEO of St jude's hospital and his wife.
Sue Strand: Yes, he was very, very good and along the lines of this he helped people that were disabled get back on the bike again.
Sue Strand: When he passed away I picked up and wanted his dream to carry on I didn't want that to die.
Sue Strand: So I have gotten in touch over the years, with many people who have products that help disabled people ride again whether they're a paraplegic.
Sue Strand: or they're just an amputee or they just have nerve problems or what getting older, getting up there, you know that kind of thing and that's basically, what I do, I like to help people find the resources to get back on the bikes awesome.
Nadine Vogel: that's just amazing I you know i've learned through my husband, in particular, that.
Nadine Vogel: When someone rides a motorcycle they are committed like they are all in right it's a lifestyle, especially you.
Sue Strand: know.
Nadine Vogel: A certain brands right like indian and Harley whatever.
Sue Strand: So.
Nadine Vogel: i've also learned that when someone becomes disabled not born disabled but but has an accident like your sister in law, did you know it's it's very difficult for them to imagine doing things that they did prior to the accident, even just basic things.
Nadine Vogel: So talk to me about you know someone becomes disabled has an accent, how do they even get their head around but they could potentially ride a motorcycle again.
Sue Strand: that's the whole it's most of what we do and what we have are for people that had never thought that they could do it again and they come upon us by accident.
Sue Strand: Ah, when they go oh my gosh you know and there's some there are some programs out there, that will help disabled people right again, for instance, if you were a vet and were injured and.
Sue Strand: In the line of duty, the vets got, had they have a program that they will pay to get you back on the bike again they will buy.
Sue Strand: upgrades every two years to put on your motorcycle and so forth, so that's one good thing and an insurance company if you're injured.
Sue Strand: In an can no longer keep your lifestyle, the way that you were doing it before your insurance will cover this and they will pay for you to get back on your bike again and the upgrades and the modifications, most people don't know that.
Sue Strand: i'm shocked.
Sue Strand: Well, they need to I mean they're they're paying for you to recover your lifestyle as close as possible, so there are programs out there and there's a lot of people who do poker runs and they dofundraisers if you're with a group of other bikers, they can put something like this together.
Sue Strand: They can make a motorcycle that was two wheels make it a trike with the trike kit and the dual brakes is up on the handlebars so you can run the front and the back breaks in one one motion.
Sue Strand: There are thumb throttles there are automatic clutches there's virtually so many different ways that we can get you back on the bike if you can still.
Sue Strand: ride a two wheel, but you just have trouble holding it up there's what's called kickstand that actually lowers down when you start to slow down and it comes up.
Sue Strand: onto the bike to keep it up right so that will help you get back on the bike that way too so there's so many different programs, and in fact I kind of forgot the question the you asked.
Nadine Vogel: I don't you know I need to because i'm so i'm so into listening to this i'm like.
Nadine Vogel: wow, so this is Marianne of products that I had no idea that exists
Sue Strand: Yes.
Nadine Vogel: That can adapt right So how do you where do these products come from are the are the brand the big motorcycle brands, you know embracing this, or is this just individuals, how do you get those parts let's start with that.
Sue Strand: The majority are individuals who have developed something either for themselves or saw the need and feel the need.
Sue Strand: larger companies like Harley they have reverse kits that are on the new bikes and stuff that will help somebody but they really don't have any products other than that and that's the whole thing so many people are. Um
Sue Strand: Not.
Sue Strand: knowing anything about this industry you look at all the motorcycle dealers, you have someone that comes in the door, and they have.
Sue Strand: A possibly a limp or they're having difficulty or they're an amputee or whatever, this is going to increase those dealerships.
Sue Strand: Sales because they can modify the bike if it's put on by a Harley dealership or a Honda dealership it does not void the warranty.
Sue Strand: So it's be included if it's put on by one of those professionals and most of the places out there don't if they just they don't know anything about it we've tried to reach out to them and, for some reason we're not getting the kind of response, but this would help everyone.
Sue Strand: Just so easy.
Nadine Vogel: Well, so oh gosh I have so many different things i'm thinking right so. there is
Nadine Vogel: NMEDA, which is the national mobility equipment dealers Association for cars way for automobiles to adapt them and have them.
Nadine Vogel: Adapting sort of in a certified way, so we know they're safe, etc, so what i'm hearing is there really isn't an equivalent of that for motorcycles at this point.
Sue Strand: Not that i've ever heard of.
Nadine Vogel: So your role, then, is in this process is really important process is what.
Sue Strand: I like to.
Sue Strand: I like to educate and try and reach out to the individuals to get ahold of if they're buying a motorcycle what we can do for them, or if they're looking for a motorcycle what we can adapt for them the modifications so it's basically not we individually, but.
Sue Strand: All of the the bike builders that are out there, the fabricators somebody that's within their area, there are certain things that we have on our website that actually.
Sue Strand: can be followed by someone, and so it doesn't cost them anything from us they're just some ideas and plans that they can use. Unfortunately this particular industry is very expensive.
Sue Strand: And that's The sad thing about it when we try and reach out to someone to make something.
Sue Strand: For us, that could be done on a regular basis, nine times out of 10 the ball gets dropped they don't go forward with it, so we have to buy what we can we have so many more ideas of what can be done if somebody is interested out there, they could make these things for customers and.
Sue Strand: and help to you know share it off with instructions, so the bike doesn't have to actually be there.
Nadine Vogel: So you have a so so disabled bikers has a collective, I guess, I would say, of individuals that can do the adaptations around the country, it sounds like.
Nadine Vogel: And then, as a result of that if people here of you have like through this podcast they will contact you and you put you kind of other connectors you put them together or help them understand how this is possible.
Sue Strand: Basically yeah but the honest thing is, we don't have a lot of people that we work with that are mechanics and so forth, if most of the motorcycle people out there have a mechanic that they go to anyway.
Sue Strand: They have someone.
Sue Strand: That they work with that person can contact us and we can tell them okay we've got this this and then since bike builder or fabricator or something they figure it out.
Sue Strand: And then they can help the customer with that we do have a few people, but not on a large scale it's mainly using your person that you already go to.
Sue Strand: or someone in your area that you can start going to that we can help with and anyone that's a custom builder should be able to figure it out pretty easily actually so.
Nadine Vogel: This is this is this is amazing to me norma I i'm just like you know i'm thinking about this and.
Nadine Vogel: If you're in general about motorcycles and then you think about this live here in general about motorcycles whoa how amazing.
NORMA STANLEY: Very cool I mean it makes me think maybe i'll get on one of those adaptable ones.
Nadine Vogel: [laughter.]
NORMA STANLEY: Me and Sierra. Do they make them for two.
Nadine Vogel: You never know.
Sue Strand: I tell you i'm with you i'm not a rider, and when I used to write on the back of my brothers, I was a little nervous, whereas.
Sue Strand: He was very cautious and very careful and there would be no need to be nervous, but when you think about all of the people out there that.
Sue Strand: don't consider a motorcycle when they're turning lanes when they're turning into something, and all of a sudden, they get hit.
Sue Strand: And then they're either dead or disabled or not, the same way that they used to be and their their bike is mangles or whatever it might be.
Sue Strand: But like I was saying, if it wasn't an accident that you're getting that cause you become disabled your insurance company or their insurance company, whoever paid for your medical bills has to pay for you to get back on your bike.
Sue Strand: And they have to pay for a bike and so forth, and so you can't just let these people go.
Sue Strand: Hold them to it, because they can they can take modifications and pay for it on a new bike and you can be back on the road again that's one thing about motorcycle riders they're just they.
Sue Strand: Being able to ride the motorcycle is everything to them, and when you take that away from them, they slowly basically just kind of sink into the distance.
Sue Strand: If they have the opportunity.
Sue Strand: Okay yeah i'm going to get a bike it's going to have a dual handbrake you'll have an auto clutch everything will be on the handlebars.
Sue Strand: or whatever it might be, we can switch around left side right side if something's not working well on their body and get them back in the wind that's amazing.
Nadine Vogel: that's something that I mean that's important on so many levels, but you know, like myself, I couldn't even imagine that this was possible, so we do need to go to commercial break as soon as we come back, though I do want to ask you about the disabled bikers initiative.
Nadine Vogel: and love to hear a love to have our listeners hear more about that so give us just one minute stay tuned everybody don't leave we'll be right back.
Voiceover: And now it's time for a commercial break.
Have you attended a springboard Consulting event? Well, you should, we have the best events and our 2022 events are just under way. Firstly is the Brg Summit happening on Tuesday, April 26th, and then following that is Disability Matters. North America Conference and Awards that's happening Wednesday and Thursday, April, 27 and 28. Both events are being delivered by a live stream. If interested in attending, please visit www.consultspringboard.com for more information.
Voiceover: And now back to our show.
Nadine Vogel: Hello everybody welcome back to today's episode of disabled lives matter Norma I today are talking with Sue strand owner of disabled bikers, first of all i'm i'm shocked at what can be done i'm shocked it if the what i've learned is how easy This can be done and.
Nadine Vogel: Without a lot of money right that insurance companies will actually help fund this so that if you are a rider or you were a rider before your accident, you can be a rider today.
Nadine Vogel: And Sue Sue you know we were talking before about how do we turn this into really an initiative that we can get the big biking brands arms and legs around, and I was, I was shocked to hear what you share with us so, can you share with our listeners how you've tried to do this.
Sue Strand: Absolutely within the past 10 years i've actually tried to contact every single Harley dealership by email and or phone in the United States, I have a full list of them, as well as in Canada and basically nothing no response they're not i'm not asking them to buy products.
Sue Strand: i'm just trying to.
Sue Strand: get them aware that if they have someone who is disabled or having just has you know little issues and stuff like that that they can ride again.
Sue Strand: And, and to be able to say to a person that walks into the dealership I know exactly where we can go, so you can get back on a bike.
Sue Strand: But no, no response, however, there has been customers who go into some Harley dealerships, for instance, and they say hey i've heard about this, can you get ahold of this company and see if you know you can get me on the win on the bike again, and they have called me.
Sue Strand: But for them to just have the information to the parts in the sales department or wherever it might be have someone and just say hey I know of a company that can help you with this and we can put it on your bike i'm not asking them to send it somewhere else i'm trying to make them. know that they can have an answer for this person.
NORMA STANLEY: But you're driving traffic to them.
NORMA STANLEY: that's interesting.
Sue Strand: yeah yeah.
Nadine Vogel: Do you think so, do you think it's an issue of they're worried about liability that if they do it, and they do it wrong that the person, you know will get hurt further I mean I don't know i'm just. speculating.
Sue Strand: Well you know.
Sue Strand: Even a brand new bike if a person doesn't know how to ride, it can get hurt as soon as they leave the parking lot, you know that. that's just a
Sue Strand: Possibility this as long as it's put on if you're bike's under warranty as long as it's put on by a Harley dealership if you've got a Harley bike a Honda dealership so forth, and so on, they put it on it's included in the warranty you don't lose anything and.
Sue Strand: it's.
Sue Strand: it's no different a modification of this is no different than putting in a handicap ramp or a handicap.
Sue Strand: bathroom it's something that should be allowed to every dealership So if you walk in and you say hey I heard about this disabled bikers place an, and I know that they have.
Sue Strand: Left sided foot controls.
Nadine Vogel: or right side.
Sue Strand: You know, whatever it might be, can you reach out to them that's perfectly fine we even helped them get a discount to.
Sue Strand: To people, we also offer a veterans discount personally and we offer anyone who belongs to motorcycle association a discount as well, so just trying to get them unfortunately most parts are very expensive.
Sue Strand: yeah and a lot of these people don't have the money for it.
Nadine Vogel: Well norma, I think you and I need to noodle on this and.
NORMA STANLEY: yeah.
Nadine Vogel: Just feel it, you know I don't know if if they're afraid of how it's going to associate with the brand I you know, I would just love to I would love to have a conversation with someone.
NORMA STANLEY: I agree.
NORMA STANLEY: And again, people have to understand that you know we're all just one incident away from being absolutely part of this Community so many opportunities for them to.
NORMA STANLEY: a leveraged by reaching out to not only the people who may need.
NORMA STANLEY: That for a family network and friends, I mean they would love that.
Nadine Vogel: But i'm wondering i'm wondering if it's not like a brand issue right.
Nadine Vogel: They don't want to have their brand associated with.
Nadine Vogel: You know you're going to get you're going to fall you're going to get disabled on your bike and ever blah blah blah right so i'm just wondering if they're trying to just be quiet about it, but having said that.
Nadine Vogel: That you know, promoting it is different than at least taking the information and saying hey we're a resource, if something happens so that's that little different, but.
NORMA STANLEY: At least be be amenable to the idea.
Nadine Vogel: is absolute just like I said, like NMEDA right.
Nadine Vogel: for cars, I mean everybody knows at some. point. they'll have an accident.
Nadine Vogel: or whatever so that's just troubling on so many levels so.
Sue Strand: It is, I've been bashing my head against the wall for 10 years trying to get them to to notice.
Nadine Vogel: I was going to say.
Nadine Vogel: No go ahead, go ahed.
Sue Strand: Well, I was just going to say we contacted Harley and they were very interested, but they wanted us to send a.
Sue Strand: will have to make at least 100,000 in one year to be considered to be somebody that they would send out to their people so.
Sue Strand: With That said, you know there's no way we can show that we make a hundred thousand dollars a year.
Sue Strand: And so we stopped with that, but we contact the individual ones, and they can contact us they have put these parts on their customers motorcycle in their shops, they are the ones that have contacted us yes it's perfectly they're happy about it.
Nadine Vogel: Okay well we're gonna have to add this list. there is more work to be done.
Sue Stand: so okay.
Nadine Vogel: So, so you know well, first let's start it is folks out there, listening to this how do they get in touch with you let's start with that.
Sue Strand: Well it's disabled, just like the word says di a ab l E D dash bikers, with an s.com and then there's contact information they're.
Nadine Vogel: Disabled bikers COM.
Sue Strand: disabled dash bikers dot com
Nadine Vogel: bikers days or disable dash bikers, yes.
Sue Strand: Thank you. So.
Nadine Vogel: You know, there was an article that that that I had seen that i'd read about what you were doing, I think the title was the road doesn't end here.
Nadine Vogel: And I love that right so thinking about this, the road doesn't end here, what do you see for the future, for the work you're doing for people with disabilities, relative to bikes, what do you see.
Sue Strand: Well we're just going to still hammer it out just try and we're there in case somebody contacts us we've tried so many different avenues but, honestly, I just want to keep my brother's dream alive that he was passionate about this and.
Sue Strand: So many people that i've spoken to a lot of them say oh my gosh I didn't know this even existed.
Sue Strand: wow you mean I can get back on my bike i've not been able to ride for 10 years you're kidding me right and it's just it's exciting so.
Sue Strand: i'll be here i'll be waiting for anyone who wants to contact us we've tried so many different ways and possibilities and it just people just are not opening up to it.
Nadine Vogel: And what about for someone who's never written before, but now they are disabled, and they would like to take up motorcycle riding as a disabled person How does that work.
Sue Strand: For the first and foremost, is to take some lessons, you need to learn how to ride a bike prop properly and in every state or every city, most of the This is very easy to do.
Sue Strand: If you that's your first and foremost, if they're disabled get a trike or buy a bike that you can afford or that you like.
Sue Strand: And then we'll get a trike kit so they take off the back wheel they put on a two wheels and and makes it into a three wheeled trike very simple if they need a wheelchair carrier, we have those.
Sue Strand: If they need the handle bars to be accessible only we can do that anything I mean, even if you're a very, very short person very short and you have trouble reaching the handlebars and the foot, yes, one there, there are ways of adapting to that as well.
Nadine Vogel: wow that's that's just amazing.
NORMA STANLEY: That's awesome.
Nadine Vogel: And so my.
Nadine Vogel: last question, because we are running out of time is you are located in South Dakota I believe you have sturgis which is like you know is a large motorcycle event.
Sue Strand: yes.
Nadine Vogel: Do you see individuals with disabilities at sturgis riding there.
Sue Strand: my brother used to go to sturgis every single year, since he was like 17 years old, and he died when he was 56 I believe so, anyway, he.
Sue Strand: He had a booth there, and he would go there every year, and he would talk to people and get involved with other companies and show them So yes, there are a lot of people out there with disabilities, that that do ride and.
Sue Strand: Many of them that that don't just show up and they walk around you know so because they don't know.
Sue Strand: That they could ride again so yeah it's and especially age wise, as we get older many things are.
Sue Strand: Not as easy as they were before you know, and so they stopped riding because of that well we've got ways to work around that too, so you know, whatever it might be let us now we'll figure it out together we'll get in touch with you and talk about what you need.
Nadine Vogel: Is this amazing, I mean norma isn't this incredible.
NORMA STANLEY: This is so awesome and I just ask any media coverage about what you guys do because I think if more people knew that you existed in with the kind of work that you're doing.
NORMA STANLEY: I think you would get a lot more, you need the visibility that's that's going to be important, and I was just wondering had there been any you know major network.
Sue Stand: No.
NORMA STANLEY: So we have to do something.
Nadine Vogel: yeah yeah yeah you know on of the things I love about these podcasts is that you know norma you and I, like we.
Nadine Vogel: We get the you know we get the pleasure and the honor of hearing about these amazing these amazing businesses and programs and thing yeah disabilities that even for us that work in this space didn't know about so.
NORMA STANLEY: yeah.
Nadine Vogel: This is terrific so Sue Thank you very much.
Nadine Vogel: Norma and I are going to noodle and figure out how to get you out there more and.
Nadine Vogel: For our listeners, we hope you enjoyed today's session, as much as we did hearing about this, if you have a disability, you know if someone that has a disability they love to ride they road before or they're just getting older and need some help.
Nadine Vogel: Please contact disabled dash bikers.com so wishing everyone a wonderful week and we'll look forward to seeing you on disabled lives matter for our next next version norma take care.
NORMA STANLEY: Thank you everybody.
Sue Strand: Bye! Thank you.
Closing comment: [Music playing in background.] Thank you for listening to this week's episode of disabled lives matter. We look forward to seeing you next Thursday. Have a great week!
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