For each of the last 15 years, the King’s Riders of the Washington State Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) host a special meal in the park for other bikers. Like, for the Bandidos, the Hombres, the Eagles and other Rebels. Christian bikers, laying a spread for scores of biker families who have little or no exposure to anything Christian.
“Our life goals are completely different,” says Patrick Murph, CMA road captain. “We ride to share Jesus, and they ride to create mayhem. Not being much good at mayhem, God’s led us to share Jesus with these bikers through food. Each year we reserve some tables at the Everett City Park and invite ’em all in for a biker picnic.”
The park fills with Harley roars. When the music stops and the eating begins, you can hardly tell one group of well-leathered bikers from the others. Everyone is talking, telling biker tales, comparing exhaust systems and dreaming their next ride. God’s love over paper plates filled with a biker picnic.
“It’s amazing to see the faces of these guys when we tell stories about being led by God to take a specific road, to stop at the next rest stop, speed up or slow down — all at exactly the right moment. Each of our stories shows how Jesus cares about bikers so much that we know we can depend on His guidance. Most of the Bandidos have never even thought such thoughts,” says Pat.
Stay with him for a minute, and Pat shifts into storytelling mode.
“I was riding one day in Idaho, uncomfortably watching a large black cloud growing in the sky ahead. No shade or protection anywhere. That’s when God told me to turn into the rest area. There hadn’t been any ‘Rest Area’ warning signs, but sure enough, right there was a turnoff for a huge rest area with lots of room for me to park under shelter.”
Pat gives you a minute to imagine the situation, to feel the cool blow of thunderstorm air and wonder how the rest area showed up right then.
“I parked,” Pat says, “threw a rain-cover over my black leather T-bag and huddled down in the shelter as the storm dumped. And I mean dumped!!!! Sure is nice to know God cares.”
Stories flow around the banquet, as riders and families share together. Before the riders leave, Pat asks for their attention.
“If you would like to have your bike blessed today, just stand by your bike, and one of our riders will come by and offer a blessing for you and your steed.”
They stayed and stood. Bandidos, Hombres, Eagles and the others, standing tall by their bikes, awaiting a personalized blessing from one of God’s Warriors.
They came. CMA riders, the King’s Riders, members of the Seven Warriors team, each armed with “I Was Blessed in ’18” stickers for rebel windshields and prepared to give a blessing link between riders and God.
“You ought to join us next year,” Pat invited. “Bless a Rebel, and be blessed!”
To some, the values of veganism may seem out of place in a motorcycle club, an organization normally consisting of three core elements: men, motorcycles, and leathers. The international Vegans Choice Motorcycle Club (VCMC), however, is slamming stereotypes and proving that men can love both motorcycles and the animals.
According to founder Phil Nicols, “The purpose of VCMC is to spread awareness of veganism, [and] educate and support people who are interested in making a change to their personal lives while making a contribution to the greater good.” He writes on the groups’ blog, “What kewler way to do that than with a motorcycle club.”
Whilst some women are members of motorcycle clubs, VCMC included, according to the website Motorcycle Philosophy, men are often more drawn to these groups as they are frequently founded upon the concept of “brotherhood.” Veganism, however, often attracts more women than men. According to a recent UK study, many men struggle with switching to veganism for fear of not being “masculine enough.” This doesn’t mean, however, that many men do not want to reduce their intake of animal products.
“We found that many men are interested in eating less meat, they just need social permission to do so,” said Emma Roe, a researcher at Southampton University. “Men in the year-long research experienced social isolation among groups of male friends and acquaintances after reducing animal protein intake.” There is hope, however. She added, “As more men make vegetarian and vegan choices, that permission is becoming more readily available.”
With members all over the globe, VCMC is one group readily offering not just permission, but celebration of the movement. It encourages its members to wear its patch with pride, don cruelty-free clothing, and spread the word about veganism. “Believe me,” notes Nicols. “You get a few bikes riding down the street with our patch, people take notice and people ask questions. There is no better way than making people aware than [with] a one on one conversation with someone that is interested. They, then become your best spokesperson.”
To learn more about VCMC or to become a member, click here.