Although there was already an established BMW club in Dallas/Fort Worth (BMW club of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Club #26, established in 1972), 20 or so individuals saw a need for a club in the North Dallas area since getting to the west side of Dallas, through the mid-cities and into Fort Worth to make a club meeting during rush hour traffic had become extremely difficult. Lone Star BMW Riders was formed in April, 1995 for the sole purpose of enhancing the enjoyment of our sport with group activities centered around one common bond: Motorcycling. Over the years, our membership has grown to 127. We have a very diverse membership, which includes many from different professions that share a passion for the sport of motorcycling.
We are not a rally club (we do not host an annual rally), but we do have a number of scheduled annual rides. We start in March with alternating years between the Texas Hill Country and Big Bend National Park. April is the real start of the riding season with our Crawfish Run to Natchitoches, LA, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory during the weekend of the Jazz / R&B Festival on the banks of the Cane River in historic downtown. The crawfish are in season and you'll find some of the best food this side of the Mississippi. Natchitoches is home to one of the official state foods of Louisiana - the Natchitoches Meat Pie. When you think of Natchitoches, think "Steel Magnolias" as this was the filming location. This ride has the greatest participation with approximately 60% of the club members attending. In May and June, we have a number of activities including tech sessions and rides with destinations in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The summer brings trips to New Mexico and Colorado and of course, the MOA national rally. Riding slows down a bit in August as the Texas heat can be absolutely brutal to even the most seasoned rider. In September, we hold our annual "give back to the motorcycle community" event: our RTE (Ride to Eat) Hamburger Cookout in Sulphur, Oklahoma, at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area open to all motorcyclists.
Word must be getting out as two Beemer guys from Illinois made the journey to join us last year! We had more than 200 attendees from five states. October brings us deep in the heart of the Ozarks to Eureka Springs, AR and our annual Fall Colors Ride. The weather can be hit or miss as can the colors, but the roads in north western Arkansas and southern MO are some of the best this country has to offer. In addition to our annual multi-day rides, we have a monthly 3rd Sunday breakfast ride. From time to time we hold educational seminars based on member requests and the fellowship lends itself to small groups of members striking-out on their own rides.
We are a very active club whose success is truly measured by the commitment of the officers resulting in a high level of member participation. Despite today's challenging economy, we have already experienced an 11% increase in membership this year. The critical success factors of our club come down to three fundamental areas: fellowship, riding and communication. We are fortunate to have a very accommodating meeting location for monthly fellowship and an exceptional Tourmeister at the helm providing leadership to the ride committee availing our members a multitude of riding opportunities throughout the year, both day rides and multi-day rides. In addition we are fortunate to live in a location with over 15 BMW clubs within a day's ride. Looking at an annual calendar for this region, there is an event going on somewhere every weekend from spring through the fall. Our lines of communication through our Yahoo!® Groups and the information on our website provided by our webmaster have proven to be very effective in maintaining a high level of interest from mechanical help questions to members letting others know they have returned safely home from a trip and everything in between. We provide online registration which shows who is attending events and we always make sure all rides and events include time and an opportunity to socialize.
We certainly were not always as successful a club as we are now. We took steps to revitalize our club:
- Constant evaluation what seems to work and what doesn't.
- Creation of a ride committee.
- Getting more members involved in planning.
- Lots of club ride offerings.
- Organized leadership.
- Pre-rides: they're fun and make planned rides much more organized.
- The right monthly meeting location (this can make a huge difference!).
- We make a real effort to communicate with our members.
They say everything is bigger in Texas but that's because we are the second largest state comprising 268,820 square miles ranging from the shores of the Gulf Coast, to the Piney Woods, to the Hill Country, to the West Texas desert, to the Guadalupe Mountains with an elevation of 8,724 feet. If you've never been, come take a peek; you won't be disappointed and while you're here, stop in and see us; we'll show you a good time, Texas style.