North Texas Daily

Denton motorcycle group rides to provide

Denton motorcycle group rides to provide

Denton motorcycle group rides to provide
April 14
00:14 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

Every day, motorcyclists ride their down highways and back roads, revving their engines and wearing leather jackets. It may seem scary to some, but for others it’s a way of life.

Since April 2010, the Denton Motorcycle Riders Facebook group has been a way for riders in the community to get to know each other and learn more about their unique hobby.

Navigating the page

Through the Facebook page, members can interact with each other to show off their newest motorcycles or plan a day to ride together. It is open to anyone who appreciates the concept of motorcycling.

Michael Massey, the group’s creator, said his reasons for starting the group could be seen as selfish, not communal.

“Back in 2009, I had about half a dozen friends who rode motorcycles, but they could not always ride with me,” Massey said. “I love to ride with other people, so I started this group to find people who would want to go riding with me.”

Today DMR has over 600 members on Facebook.

14_motorcycle_web2The Denton Motorcycle Riders received a safe riding award from the city of Argyle.

“I never thought the group would have more than 25 people,” Massey said. “Then 25 more joined, and then before I knew it we had 100 members. I did not even know there were that many motorcycle lovers in Denton County.”

To join, the interested party just has to send a request via the page, and Massey said the group rarely turns anyone away.

“We are not cliquish,” Massey said. “No matter if you ride a Harley or a scooter, or you just love motorcycles but do not own one, it does not matter.”

DMR administrator Tony Keith said the group was a saving grace for him when he moved to Denton. He has been riding for over 25 years.

“I did not know anyone at all,” Keith said. “I eventually came across the page and was interested. I got a feel for them when I went on a ride with members of the group, and I knew it was the place for me. They are a great group of guys and girls.”

Ride all night

DMR hosts events throughout the year exclusive to members of the group.

One of these events is a dinner ride. The group will put up an announcement on Facebook providing information about an upcoming ride and what to expect, Keith said.

“For the dinner rides, we will all meet up and go to dinner together,” Keith said. “Then, we just really spend some time together and go riding all around for extended periods of times. We go to places like Munster and Krum, where they have all the backcountry roads. The scenery and the friendship is something special.”

DMR also goes on benefit rides for families in Denton County dealing with difficult situations, Keith said.

The benefits are usually open to family and friends of DMR and the group charges $10 to $20 to participate in these larger events, which may sometimes include giveaways or raffles. All proceeds go to the family in need.

“I remember we had a benefit for a lady in Krum,” Massey said. “She had to have a double mastectomy because she had breast cancer, and they were struggling financially. We held a benefit ride to raise money to help pay for all of their bills.”

Safety first

Keith said one of the most important things peopleneed to know if they want to ride with DMR is to not play around with safety. One wrong look can end in disaster, he said.

“Each rider is different, but you have to make sure that you are not a danger to yourself or those around you,” Keith said. “It is as easy as letting people see you or wearing a helmet.”

Keith said he wants DMR riders to be cautious and follow directions. Some members and administrators have Bluetooth receivers in their helmets so they can communicate without distraction.

“I want people to be safe while also having fun,” Keith said. “Before every ride, we give a speech telling people which roads we will travel and things of that nature. We want people to ride their own ride, but to also be safe.”

Criminal justice alumnus Joel Osarhiemen, a member of DMR, agrees with the focus on safety.

“I would advise people to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class,” Osarhiemen said. “It definitely teaches you what you need to know to properly operate your motorcycle. It just might save your life.”

Massey said it is also important for members of the group to know they do not need to worry about feeling left out.

“We leave no man behind,” Massey said.

Untrue stereotypes

Keith said the group is like his second family, and he wants people to know not all bikers are scary. Stereotypes like this come from the rough biker characters in films and television shows like “Sons of Anarchy.”

“Motorcycles and their riders get a bad reputation,” Keith said. “A large majority of people think of us as a gang, but we are the farthest thing from that.”

Massey said he hopes to increase the number of members by reaching out to the college population of Denton.

“I know that in the UNT community there are a lot of bikers who are looking for a safe haven,” Massey said. “We want to be that place they can go to and enjoy their love for motorcycles.”

Massey said above all, he is grateful for the lasting friendships and memories he has made with the group.

“I have gotten so close to so many other riders and have met people who I would not have otherwise met if it had not been for this group,” Massey said. “People may think that we are rough and awful monsters, but in all actuality, we are really just big teddy bears.”

Featured Image: Members of the Denton Motorcycle Club rumble down University Drive. While the club operates out of Denton, they often take the scenic route out to neighboring towns such as Krum where back/country roads are more abundant. Photo courtesy of Tony Keith

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