In the humid April air, the sounds of motorcycle engines could be heard the entire length of the five-mile road that leads up to Bald Knob Cross, indicating that it is once again time for the Blessing of the Bikes.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which was founded by Bradley Rogers, Jim Davis and Rick Wesely of the Lord’s Paheece, a chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
According to Wesely, the original Blessing of the Bikes catered to around 50 riders and has since grown with more than 5,000 motorcyclists some years.
“This year, it’s been a real good success,” Wisely said.
Roger Gibson, caretaker of Bald Knob Cross, said the event brings riders from various states and biker organizations.
According to Gibson, some of these bikers are from rival groups, but the event neutralizes the rivalry.
“We see this as holy ground,” said Chad Nalley, president of the Lord’s Paheece. “This is a place where we can all get together and there is no problems.”
Nalley said the event is important because it brings people with similar interests together where they can enjoy food and music and pray for the safety of the riders.
David Vaughn, vice president of the Lord’s Paheece and one of the day’s prayer leaders, said he has attended the Blessing of the Bikes for 11 years and been a prayer leader for four.
“It’s a blessing to be on the other side of it,” Vaughn said.
By 2 p.m., 2,177 bikes, 3,487 people and 86 cars had attended the event.
“We stay until the last bike leaves,” Gibson said.
Pat Sutphin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 536-3311 ext. 251