Off-Road Adventure Riding
Name a continent, Bill Dragoo has biked it. Name a terrain, he’s navigated it. Now, Bill is bringing adventure riding to Oklahoma through Dragoo Adventure Riding Training (DART).
An adventure journalist and decorated racer, it seems that in many ways teaching chose him. As he gained international popularity and titles, people wanted to know how he was doing it. And they wanted to experience his brand of adventure riding themselves – a brand Bill defines as “riding big motorcycles in bad places”.
“While touring in South America, people asked if I would come back and teach them to ride,” Bill said. “I eventually created my own curriculum and taught in Colombia, and 12 years ago, we started DART here in Oklahoma.”
At first, Bill questioned the potential for adventure riding interest. “Here in Oklahoma you’d think, who wants to learn adventure riding?” The answer (a whole lot!) has been proven by the steady enrollment in DART courses.
DART offers a variety of course levels, as well as private and custom classes, and they partner with others to offer immersion tours. “We’re very flexible and have enough staff on board, we can customize and tailor to each student’s needs.”
Bill says DART’s mission is to provide quality off-road training at a fair price for all who wish to learn, and students come from all ages and stages of life. He notes that more women are joining the sport, and DART has welcomed students well into their eighties.
“Anyone with an adventure motorcycle owes it to themself to take a DART course,” said former DART student and Edmond resident, Murray Hamilton. “It definitely improved my riding skills and confidence. The instructors and course curriculum are top notch. I’m so glad to have crossed trails with Bill and Susan!”
“It’s looking more exciting because you can throw camping materials on the back of your bike and take it to a destination,” Bill said. “When you reach the end of the pavement, that is when the adventure begins.”
Though the sport requires a certain amount of stamina, using muscles and body positions most are unaccustomed to, it is also intensely mental. DART curriculum incorporates achievable wins to build confidence as students progress.
“Fear is one of the most significant factors in causing fatigue. If they’re really concerned about the bike or falling or being embarrassed, or comparing, all of these things lead to various forms of fear,” Bill said. “But where fear drives them down, confidence builds them up.”
Bill enjoys the opportunity to infuse a spirit of adventure into each student’s life – something he believes is missing all too often in today’s society. He and his wife, Susan, find adventure across the United States, and beyond.
Though they’ve ridden around the world, Bill says the American west is his favorite. “There are such vast expanses of magnificent terrain, resources and history. We’ve camped on beaches and ridden across deserts. We recharge out there, just the two of us, exploring.”
Bill says Oklahoma has plenty of adventure-worthy destinations, mentioning Cross Bar Ranch in Davis, Soggy Bottom Trails near Wanette and Cross Timbers at Draper Lake.
“People need to give themselves permission to seek,” Bill said. “There are tens of thousands of reasons not to pursue a dream. You just need one reason to go do it. This can be an exciting life.”
Those looking to heed this advice can find DART schedules, information and more exciting tales of adventure riding at billdragoo.com.