Michael Withers | The Ryde GuyThe Ryde Guy Logo

Y “Ryde Guy”?  There are times when we all come to a Y in the road.  What’s the next destination?  Ryde along with me as we discover the Latest on the Track.   Subjects that have inspired and encouraged me over the years, will be explored and shared here.  You will find stories, images and my thoughts on rides, entertainment, leadership and the importance of inspiring the next generation.




On my RYDES page I will be sharing stories, experiences, research and a deep dive into automotive history. I was fortunate to join the Detroit scene at the last moments of its glory. Join me as I go back forty years and share unique encounters and once in a life time friendships. If you are a Ryde Guy you will relate.



On the EVENTS page is where I will post outings, club runs, local festivals and other gathering of interest.  Join me as I hit the road in search of events and new adventures.



IMG_0802On the FIRST- ROBOTICS page you will find content about my passion and commitment to FIRST and its Robotics program and getting the next generation hooked on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I will add a bit of a twist to this STEM focus by adding the Arts. STEAM in our schools is my mission.


IMG_0781The LEADER BOARD page is dedicated to Leadership and Mentoring. Here I will share tips, tricks, stories and materials that I have found useful in my career. They come from both my own experiences as well as from leaders that have influenced me over the years,



imageThe ON THE ROAD page will highlight new adventures and re-discovery. Join Cassie and me as we take to the road and the skies visiting and exploring.   Expect photos and commentary on magestic views, amazing architecture, cars, great food, new wines and of course Rydes


Mike Withers retired on April 1, 2015 from Walt Disney Imagineering after 25 years of service.


In retirement, Mike continues to be active in the themed entertainment industry through his ongoing involvement in ASTM, IAAPA and AIMS International.   Because Mike has a passion for inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders, he is focusing his time and talent at supporting the FIRST Robotics Program.

Currently serving on the FIRST Robotics Southern California Executive Advisory Board,  Mike is committed to team growth, resource development and fundraising for the Southern California FIRST Teams and Regional competitions.


Mike retired as Vice President of Ride Engineering at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, California in April 2015.  In that role, Mike had responsibility for Ride Mechanical Engineering, Ride Electronic Engineering, The Engineering Labs, Global Technical Documentation, Standards Engineering as well as managing the Engineering Technical Development and Safety programs.

In addition to his engineering functional management responsibilities, Mike was the Project Manager for the Disney Global Ride Safety Enhancement Program reporting to the CSO of the Walt Disney Company from 2000 until 2015.  As Sub Chairman of the ASTM World Standard Task Force, Mike was also  responsible for the coordination and development of the new F – 2291 Standard Practice for the Design of Amusement Rides and Devices.  Mike served three years on ASTM COTCO and is representing ASTM F 24 on the Euro Norm CEN Technical Committee 152 for Fairground and Amusement Park Machinery and Structures – Safety (prEN 13814).  Mike also served seven years on the ASTM Board of Directors.

Mike joined WDI in March 1990 as Manager of Operations for the Show Ride Division.  The following year, Mike was promoted to Director of Operations responsible for division estimating, quality assurance, technical publications and document control.   In 2000 Mike took on the leadership role of Vice President of the Show Ride Engineering Division and Program Manager of the Global Ride Enhancement Project.

Before joining Disney in 1990, Mike spent 18 years in the automotive industry as a Project Engineer, Program Director and Vice President responsible for engine component testing, developing and testing automotive safety systems, and the design and fabrication of advanced concept vehicles at General Motors Corporation, AutoSafety Engineering Corporation, John Z Delorean Corporation and Triad Services in Detroit, Michigan.


Mike attended General Motors Institute and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical and Systems Engineering from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.image



Mike resides in Thousand Oaks, California with his wife Cassandra, his college sweetheart.  Mike and Cassie enjoy traveling and spending time in California’s wine country.  They have two extraordinary daughters who left the corporate world to establish their own businesses. Cara specializes in marketing theatrical, television and faith/family based entertainment.  Kristin  is a creative director, food and life style design consultant, writer and photographer.


A Favorite Quote:   “I Know I Hit More Than I Miss”  Source Unknown