Published On: Tue, Aug 12th, 2008

Blessing of the Bikes

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HARTINGTON — Motorcycles roared into Hartington with a purpose Sunday night — to receive a blessing from God.
Members of the Solid Rock Riders from Sioux City, and Pastor Bob Bryan of Trinity Lutheran Church were on hand to pray for each person.
Close to 20 motorcycles, along with two four-wheelers, lined the street west of the church for the blessings and prayers that included requests for protection and safety.
“Watch over all family members as they ride – protect them from deer and other drivers,” Bryan prayed.

“I was Blessed in ’08 – Jesus Loves You” motorcycle stickers were handed out after the blessings.
Rita Pedersen rode into town on a red custom-built bike with Coco-Cola decals.
Her husband Leon, who did the work, finished the bike in time for her birthday last March.
Rita, Leon and their sons all ride cycles.

“It is a family affair,” said Rita ,who has been riding for about three years.
Besides spending time with her family, Rita has found a few other things she likes about riding a motorcycle.
“I like the freedom, feeling the air and all of the smells,” said Rita. “You can smell so much more on your bike.”
The Pedersens, who had been residents of Hartington, recently moved to the northern part of Cedar County and now live one mile east of the Lewis and Clark Dam.
”I ride to work every day – it is 28 miles one-way,” said Rita.
Dr. Roger Filips, who also came for the bike blessing, said he has been riding motorcycles since he was a young boy.
“I have been riding since I was old enough to balance the bike,” said Filips. “I started riding dirt bikes – I chased cattle, checked on cattle and chopped musk thistle on a dirt bike.”
The experience for Twila Anderson was the opposite – she took her first ride on a motorcycle Sunday evening.
“It was fun – the air felt good,” said Anderson. “It was similar to riding in a car.”
There is always a first time for everything said Anderson who claims her age is, “29 and holding.”
Anderson said she felt safe taking her first ride with LeRoy Beste from Wynot.
Beste gave Anderson a ride to the highway and then back to the church on his Harley Davidson that has been converted to a Motor Trike.
Beste said he has been riding bikes all of his life – he used to ride when he was on the farm.
Riding bikes has also become a family affair for the Bestes.
“Our three kids all ride,” said Beste. “We have a daughter and son-in-law that live in Sturgis. We have made it up to the Sturgis Bike Rally a few times.”
Pastor Bryan was enthused with the Motorcycle Blessing and the Worship Service that followed Sunday evening.
“We might have to make this an annual event,” he said.
The idea to hold a Motorcycle Blessing was sparked when a former member of the “Hell’s Angels” spoke at Trinity Lutheran Church in June, Bryan said.
“There are a lot of people in our congregation that have motorcycles – I have one, too,” said Bryan. “It is good to remember we are in God’s hands.”

Mark Roth, Sioux City, Iowa, spoke at the worship service which followed the Blessing.
Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) is a world-wide non-denominational ministry with a vision of “Changing the world, one heart at a time”.
The Solid Rock Riders is a chapter of CMA according to Roth.
“CMA was started with a Baptist preacher who needed to spend time with his son,” said Roth.
Riding motorcycles together helped heal the difficulties in their relationship and it also helped open up the door for a ministry.
“As they hung around with other bikers- the preacher knew there were needs that needed to be met,” said Roth. “God spoke to him and said this is your ministry – that is how CMA started.”