I just have to tell you about a motorcycle podcast that I recently found! As you know, I do a lot with the Colorado motorcycle community, from sponsoring rides to joining the board of BikerDown to giving away bikes. Recently, I was in a conversation with a biker who told me about Wild Ride Radio, so I tuned in. It’s great!
I asked a friend, who is a freelance writer, to interview Dallas Hageman – host of Wild Ride Radio – so that we could get the word out about his great work to the local Denver and regional biker community. Read her story below and check out the podcast: I think you’re going to like what you read and hear…
“When I first got into riding, I was afraid to ask bikers how to get started.”
Wild Ride Radio: Spreading the Biker Gospel
Dallas is a motorcycle evangelist. Not only does he love riding two wheels on the open road, he also likes sharing his love with others, inspiring people to join what can be an intimidating hobby and culture.
“When I first got into riding, I was afraid to ask bikers how to get started,” says Dallas. “Some bikers can be pretty arrogant and will tell you that they’ve been biking since they were born. They make new riders feel unwelcome. But I found a lot of good people, too – bikers who helped me out – and I decided that I wanted to spread the word to people like me – people who are curious about biking, but don’t know how to get started.”
“Any idiot can start a podcast. I formulated mine as a news show.”
From that idea seedling, Dallas has cultivated one of the nation’s biggest motorcycle podcasts, with 1.3 million listeners tuning into 35 radio stations around the country. Called “Wild Ride Radio,” the podcast continues to grow annually, and has become Dallas’s full-time job. Some of the stations run Wild Ride Radio multiple times a week because listeners love it and advertisers want to be part of it.
Starting a Podcast
Initially, however, Wild Ride Radio was a leap of faith.
“I went to school at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting and I had an internship in Greeley, CO,” recalls Dallas. “I pitched the idea for a spot at the worst time slot at the station – a Saturday afternoon slot that never got any advertisers. They told me I could have the spot if I could get one sponsor to advertise during the show.”
Within a month, the show was sold out.
Dallas began pitching the show to radio stations around the country and, he says, it was an easy sell because his show appealed to an audience that a lot of radio stations hadn’t tapped into yet. It opened up brand-new advertising revenue streams for the stations that picked him up.
Key to his success: a professional format.
“Any idiot can start a podcast,” says Dallas. “I formulated mine as a news show and I create a good product that people are proud to have on their stations.
Since those early days, Dallas has built himself a professional studio in Ft. Collins, CO, but he plans to move to Florida in the spring of 2018.
“I am sick and tired of the cold,” he says. “I want to be able to ride year-round.”
Spreading the Biker Love
The Wild Ride Radio website states: “Regardless of industry changes, we will be the watchdog for breaking news and laws, protecting the integrity and abilities of Bikers to express their need for freedom and adventure that go much deeper than riding. We work to shatter the stigma associated with “Bikers” and show non Riders around the world that Bikers are some of the most accepting and genuine people who exist.”
Dallas tries to shatter biker stereotypes.
Dallas adds, “I’m sad that the biker lifestyle is shrinking. But I think it has a lot to do with today’s bikers not passing down their passion, experience and love for the open road. The biker culture has been cliquey. I want to grow our numbers.”
Certainly, one of the podcast’s major appeals is Dallas himself, whose energy, excitement and passion comes blasting across the airwaves. He covers everything from riding gear, to bike maintenance, to the recent Harley-Davidson plant shutdown. And Dallas pulls no punches. For example, he recently said that the people running Harley-Davidson were about as smart as the potted plant in his studio. (Dallas loves Harleys, owns a Harley, but is sick of the company’s long-running mismanagement woes.)
In addition to helping new riders launch their own riding lifestyle, Dallas tries to shatter biker stereotypes.
“Bikers have a stigma and Hollywood perpetuates it,” says Dallas, “and certainly there are rough, tough bikers out there. I don’t have a problem with that. But the majority of people who don’t ride think that all bikers are on the fringe and that keeps them from participating.”
To the contrary, Dallas tells stories about the many (many, many, many) charities to which bikers donate and the good that bikers do in their communities, from veterans’ rides, to hospital toy runs, to fund drives for fallen bikers.
He jokes, “I’ve met a lot of jerks and very few of them have been bikers.”
Take a Listen
As the podcast’s About page states: “Tune in and get in gear with all of the latest and greatest in the motorcycling way of life. Join Wild Ride Radio, because if you relate to anything we do, you’re home.”