The Red Iron Motorcycle Club of Mohave County is much more than a group of riders. It’s a brotherhood; a tight-knit faction dedicated to each other, their families and the local community.
The club originally formed in 2009 as a bike club for firefighters and veterans, inspired by the heroic acts of first responders following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Nearly 10 years later, the club is no longer a focused firefighter club, welcoming members of all backgrounds.
“We have evolved and grown over the years,” said club President Doug “Bo” Bryson.
Bryson has been a member of the club for eight years, and is serving his third term as president.
“What differentiates us is that we are a family-oriented club,” Bryson said. “All of our members would do anything for each other.”
“Motorcycle culture has a lot of unwritten rules,” said Vice President Clay “Ratchet” Fitzgerald, who has been a member for five years. “But the biggest thing is respect. You learn to take care of your brothers and your brothers take care of you.”
The club also takes care of the local community, participating in or planning events such as food drives and charity fundraisers.
“We try to keep the money we raise local,” Bryson said.
Bryson said the Red Iron Motorcycle Club’s mission, as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is to promote motorcycle safety and to help local children who have been diagnosed with cancer. The Mohave County chapter is one of four Red Iron chapters in Arizona: the others are based in Maricopa County and Sierra Vista and includes a Nomad chapter.
In the last three weeks, the Mohave County chapter has donated to two local children undergoing cancer treatment; Shelby, 14, and Jordie, 2 ½.
Bryson said the club first connected with Shelby about six years ago. She was born with lymphatic venous vascular malformation, which started to grow aggressively around the time she turned 4 years old. She receives sclerotherapy treatments in Phoenix every six to eight weeks, in addition to bleomycin chemotherapy.
Jordie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2017. She and her family make frequent trips to Phoenix for her blood and platelet transfusions and chemotherapy, a process that Bryson said has resulted in Jordie spending more time in the hospital than out of it since her diagnosis. She is facing at least two more years of treatment.
Red Iron Motorcycle Club recently donated gift cards, gas cards and cash to both families.
“These kids, these families, need help, day-to-day, month-to-month,” Bryson said. “It is ongoing; it doesn’t go away.”
The club has a review process for children who may be candidates to receive assistance. Potential candidates and their families are welcome to reach out to the club, but club members will also seek out sick children in the community who may need help.
“However it happens to come about, we’ll take a look at them,” Ratchet said.
The club holds events each year to raise money for these kinds of donations to local children and their families. They also participate in activities with the other Red Iron chapters.
The Red Iron Motorcycle Club Maricopa County chapter and Original 13 Motorcycle Club will host the fifth annual Ride for the Children Poker Run on Feb. 10 in Phoenix, benefiting the Arizona Burn Foundation’s Camp Courage.
The Red Iron Motorcycle Club Mohave County chapter’s next event, Red Iron Support Poker Run, will be April 7 in Lake Havasu City. Following the poker run will be cash giveaways (poker hands), raffles, auctions, a live band and DJ.
“These runs are always a good time,” Bryson said. “And the bike community is very supportive of each other. We want people to come out and donate and participate.
“We also want to thank everyone who came out to the Coyote Cares For Kids Run [in November] and supported the cause.”
More details on the Feb. 10 Poker Run can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/RedIronRide. Times and details for the April 7 Support Poker Run in Lake Havasu City will be released soon, and available at https://www.facebook.com/Red-Iron-MC-Mohave-County-359040881186781/.
For more information on these events or to donate to the Red Iron Motorcycle Club Mohave County chapter, contact Bryson at 928-486-5623.