Good Sports: Rich Oliver's Ride and Wrench program

Alec Nolan Image
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Good Sports: Rich Oliver's Ride and Wrench program
If you're curious about motorcycles, Rich Oliver's Mystery School in Prather is the one-of-a-kind facility that has all the answers.

PRATHER, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a ride and wrench day out at Rich Oliver's Mystery School in Prather.

Rich Oliver, founder of the Mystery School, emphasizes the use of actual tools and torque wrenches, following work orders on how to do things properly.

"No cell phones, no iPads, just using actual tools and torque wrenches," Oliver said.

The one-of-a-kind 13-acre motorcycle training facility was founded by the man with his name on the building.

"So we set up a king of a make-believe motorcycle shop with a service department and those are characters that I worked with growing up," Oliver said. "Makes it fun for the kids and it's kind of fun for me too."

Oliver, a five-time Formula 2 Grand Prix champion with more than 70 wins under his belt, retired in 2003. Using his connections and success on the track to kickstart the program.

"When you start winning, you get support from tire companies, motorcycle manufacturers, all the way down to someone who wants you to run their chains or break pads," Oliver said.

Major companies like Yamaha, Dunlop, and Shoei would all provide the equipment needed for the school. The idea was to expand from just teaching riding classes to the public to teaching mechanics as well.

Oliver worked alongside Sierra Unified School District to start educating students about the sport he loves, with the goal of instilling in them an understanding of how the metric system works, how tools work, and how to repair something they've invested money in.

"That is what we're trying to instill in the kids," Oliver said.

One former student, Jayce Marzette, now works for the Mystery School and emphasizes how the skills taught can apply to any vehicle.

"This can apply to your car, to a different vehicle," Marzette said. " We're teaching kids how to get hands-on experience with mechanics."

Oliver hopes to bring young people into the sport so they can be a part of it for their whole lives and provide a foundation for generations to come.

"And in the long run, they say if you build it, they will come. And now that have this here, it's a mecca for kids all over the valley," Oliver said.

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