Hundreds ride to honour fallen bikers
Motorcycling is dangerous; that’s what makes mainstream bikers such a tightly-knit community. Being there for the family of a fallen rider becomes all the more important when you realise that someday your riding buddies may have to do the same for your loved ones.
Which is why the Bikers Church in Brackenfell, north of Cape Town, was packed to capacity for the annual memorial service at the weekend, as hundreds of riders on an astonishing array of machines turned out in support of the families – 52 of them between 1 January and 10 October this year – who had lost a rider on the roads of the Western Cape.
Two motorcycles, each carrying a wooden plaque honouring the names of riders who had died on the roads of the Western Cape in the eight years since the memorial service was first held, rumbled down the aisles, led by Piper James McGowan of the Mighty Men, to the measured strains of that most poignant anthem of hope, ‘Amazing Grace’.
Pastor George Lehman welcomed the riders with the assurance that the Lord is always close to the broken-hearted, just as bikers rush towards a crashed rider – not to offer empty words of sympathy but to be strong for him when he can not.
As an illustration he called up a member of the congregation and had a paramedic connect him to an oxygen mask; too many riders, he said, had experienced waking up with those funny little pipes up their nostrils, but oxygen, he reminded them, helped them to breathe more easily when ribs and lungs weren’t up to it, soaking into the tissues of the body and promoting healing.
“Faith is oxygen for the soul.”
It helps us to breathe, he said, when carrying emotional burdens that seem beyond bearing. He quoted Psalm 139, in which David seems almost paranoid about how well the Lord knows him, knows what he is going to say before he does – but is comforted that the same knowledge shields him front and rear.
“Stop running,” said Pastor Lehman. “He’s onto you; put your trust in Him.”
Motorcyclists Association of the Western Cape president Bruce Reynolds knelt by the plaques and read out the names of the fallen in a voice gruff with emotion, as their family members came up to be presented with a single red rose for each rider they’d lost.
He reminded the congregation of the literally hundreds of names that had been placed on these two wooden boards over eight years – and that each one had a family, before Pastor Lehman asked them to stand in support of those families as trumpeter Regan sounded the Last Post.
And, as the last, long notes faded away, nobody smiled at the sight of burly, unshaven guys in badge-encrusted leathers openly wiping the tears from their cheeks.
They were too busy wiping their own.
Deputy director of road traffic management David Frost, himself a righteous biker, committed the government of the Western Cape to a programme of action focused on biker safety – but also pointed out that change was a two-way street, that one in four motorcycle deaths did not involve another vehicle and that those deaths could only be addressed by a change in attitude from the riders.
“Albert Einstein once said,” he quipped, “that a man who is driving safely while kissing his girlfriend is not paying enough attention to the kiss.”
Do one thing at a time, he said, and do it right. If you’re going to drink, drink; don’t drink and ride. If you’re going to ride, just ride. Give it your full attention; that might just be enough to keep you alive.
Then he closed the circle with that beloved quote from Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
It was left to Piper McGowan to be lead the congregation out into the early summer sun to the skirling sounds of ‘When the saints go marching in”. And they were comforted, for more important than that those 52 bikers had died was that they had lived, and they had ridden and they were loved
By Dave Abrahams
Suzuki the bike to have and ride
Suzuki the one I love
Suzuki the only one far and wide
Suzuki fits my love for biking like a glove
Unfortunately not loved by all
Unfazed I am till the end
Undying dedication even if I fall
Until the end and not just a Trend
Zero to hero is how I feel
Zigzagging the highways and byways
Zooming in traffic so glad not behind a wheel
Zero to hero a full set of A’s
Unparralelled in power and style
Unlike the others
Until it is felt and seen it takes a while
Uniting all on the road like brothers
Killing the competition in all the days
Kawasaki Honda Yamaha and the rest
Kicking the butts in many ways
Keep trying as you know we are the best
I say live for road
I say Suzuki the leader in all ways
I believe this will unfold
I will follow until the end of days
Time fly’s by and another CMA Blanket Run has happened and this year it was held at the Somerset West Mall in Somerset West.
It was a combine effort from CMA Cape Town & Strand and it was fun to do.
You know us bikers, we like to give to the less fortunate and so a group of about 150 bikes and their owners arrived to support this year’s CMA Blanket Run.
This is a good amount of support seeing the date was changed and the location was also moved and the ads got out about a week before the Blanket Run would take place.
We thank the Lord for His intervention and guidance in organizing this event.
Next year things will be running better and the date will be set sooner and all the parties who participate will be called sooner.
We collected 211 blankets in total, and R1330.50 in cash, we also gave our two trophies:
1 = Individual with most blankets – to Merwin from Knights of St Christopher – 5 blankets.
1 = Club donating the most blankets – Universal Riders – 93 blankets.
This event was wonderfully supported by Emma from Centre Management of Somerset Mall providing space and security resources.
Wilma from Pick & Pay who sponsored the coffee, sugar, milk and the cups as well as advertising banners. Pick & Pay also made blankets available @ R39.00 each.
Sencit Old Age Home – We donated 40 blankets
Bright Star Shelter - We donated 20 blankets
Masibulele Crèche - We donated 20 blankets
Cotlands Children’s home - We donated 48 blankets
Zandvliet Old Age Home - We donated 20 blankets
Met YS - We donated 20 blankets
43 Blankets were donated towards the Dop & Chop Rally. - These were handed to Web.
Thanks to ALL the Bikers and Clubs and Sponsors who were part of the CMA Blanket Run 2013.
Drive save and keep the Lord in your heart, and the Bonies on the road.
Morné Mundey – CMA Strand Chapter – President