If there was a Godfather of the Oklahoma Mud Mafia, (OMM) it would be J. Scot Daniel.
Daniel started the OMM over six months ago to get local riders and friends together on the weekends. He and his wife, Pidge, operate the OMM Facebook group; which provides news about riding events and products for its members.
The Ardmore based group is comprised of 50 or so weekend riders from all over the state. The majority of the riders drive Polaris RZR side- by-sides, but some drive ATVs, as well as other manufactured side-by-sides. The OMM has several local riding locations they frequent: Thompson’s Bay at Lake Murray provides challenging terrain and lots of mud; The Red River near Waurika is another favorite hangout for the mafia; The Washita near Davis provides long sandy runs for the groups machines.
Riding off-road vehicles in a group has many benefits. Johnny Walton, Great Plains Salesman and OMM member, knows first hand the benefits of riding in a group.
“The OMM is a great group of people. During our first time out with the OMM, my wife, Sherry, and I got stuck. Sherry logged into the OMM Facebook group to let riders know where we were stuck. Within minutes, Scott and his RZR 900, along with David Camp and his Arctic Cat, came to help,” said Walton.
By having a Facebook group, other riders can learn where to ride and what products and practices work best in Oklahoma’s variable riding conditions.
Recently, Great Plains began sponsoring the OMM. Alex Robles, Manager at Great Plains Duncan proposed the idea to sponsor the group by offering discounts on products and services to members. Great Plains has also helped create OMM graphics such as logos and flags which better unify and identify the riding group. The “Godfather” himself had this to say about Great Plains involvement with the OMM.
“I love Great Plains. Alex was thinking outside of the box when he asked if Great Plains could sponsor us. I feel it’s a great service for the company to take interest in their customers because it gives them a better understanding of their customers’ wants and needs. We all get to know each other better, so business is handled on a personal level. Our members feel fortunate that we can afford to participate and enjoy this sport. As a group we try to give back to our communities, so in a lot of ways that is what Great Plains is doing for the OMM, they’re giving back,” Daniel said.
Recently, the group hosted Kickin’ Up Mud for Braiden Lee. Ten year old Braiden Lee was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past February after visiting a doctor for swollen lymph nodes. As a friend of the family, Daniel and his “mafia” jumped at the opportunity to help young Braiden. The ATV and UTV benefit ride was held November 2nd, at the Washita Hideaway in Davis Okla. All proceeds went towards Braiden’s medical expenses. The gates opened at 8 a.m., and activities included: a ride on the Washita River, an ATV poker run, raffle, V.I.P auction, live music, and over night camping. For information about Kickin’ Up Mud for Braiden Lee contact Scot Daniel at 580-371-5864.
Not every aspect about riding with the OMM is fun. There is constant maintenance and up keep on their machines. Daniel noted that most Polaris owners are satisfied with their vehicles, but added that some side-by-side riders are waiting for a machine that will better withstand the routine abuse to which these machines are subjected.
Side by sides have come along way in design and performance. The very nature of the powersports industry is defined by its’ riders. Powersports enthusiasts require a wide range of riding features to meet their vast amounts of riding styles and wants. For now the Polaris RZR is the OMM’s side by side of choice.
Riding groups are not a new concept and can be found everywhere. The Oklahoma Mud Mafia is more than a riding group. The OMM is about family, fun, and giving back to the communities in which they live. It offers benefits to both its’ riders and the community. As the powersports industry grows and changes, the OMM will surely change with it. They’ll continue to provide convenient ways to connect with members, and offer charitable ways to represent their beloved sport.