Motorcycle club lends a helping hand
Bill Ogan and Kevin Riddle were filling their motorcycles with gas when they met a young family in need and came up with an idea.
Ogan and Riddle, members of the Christian Motorcycle Association’s Wheels of Faith Chapter 959, are preparing for their Christmas in July to Christmas Everything Drive, culminating with a live concert from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Moose Lodge, 567 25 1/2 Road.
“Bill and I were at 29 Road getting gas,” Riddle said. “We came out the door, and there was a young man in his late 20s, early 30s, and I was commenting on his chopper and my bike. I told him mine was a gift from God. He said, ‘I wish God would give me a gift like that.’
“We started talking and come to find out his wife and five children were sitting in a little, red economy car. The children were ages 2 to 10, I’d say. He came here to work in the gas field. He lost his job and consequently his home. He had no way to get out of here.”
Riddle went to his chapter’s president and vice president and told them about their encounter at the gas station and their idea to lend a helping hand, and they approved it. Since then, Riddle and Ogan have kept busy planning and preparing for the big event.
“We talked to people about what we had in mind,” Riddle said. “We went to 95 Rock, and Tommy Rocker jumped on board. Ron and Greg (of 96.1 K-STAR) have been helpful.
“We need new toys and food.”
Riddle and Ogan are asking for anybody and everybody to bring a new toy, school supplies, clothes, nonperishable food items and any other items of necessity for families in need. The public is welcome to drop off a new toy and food at several sponsorship locations — Acorn Travel, Advance America, All Terrain Motorsports, Area 51 Cycles, Army Recruiters Station, Blackjack Pizza, Co-op Country, Palisade & Fruita Farmers Insurance, Mason Agency, Flying Roosters, Grand Junction Harley Davidson, Grand Valley Power Sports, Marine Recruiters Station, Moses Leather, Mr. C’s Bail Bonds, Navy Recruiters Station, and Orchard Mesa Market.
Monetary donations may be given in care of Wheels of Faith, Chapter 959, Christmas Fund at Alpine Bank.
Proceeds go to Catholic Outreach, Habitat for Humanity, Homeward Bound, Latimer House, Salvation Army, Rescue Mission and local food banks.
Riddle and Ogan are doing more than putting on the event at the Moose Lodge.
Another member of the Christian Motorcycle Association local chapter, Pat Miller, is dressing up as Santa Claus to lead a parade from Motorcycle Accessories to Moose Lodge.
“Hopefully, we’ll fill the place to max capacity,” Riddle said. “We’re working with the Grand Junction Police Department to have a parade like a toy run.”
Riddle and Ogan have been involved with the local chapter of Christian Motorcycle Association for three years.
The Wheels of Faith chapter started 15 years ago. There are 30 active members and as many as 80 members.
“Our first ministry is to the motorcycle world,” Riddle said. “That includes the dual-sport bikes and crotch rockets.”
The Christian Motorcycle Association, which has been around since the mid-1970s, blesses motorcycles.
“We might be at a rally, and a guy asks us to bless his bike,” Riddle said. “We’ll lay our hands on the bike, pray and put a sticker, ‘Blessed in 2009.’”
Riddle, 52, is the chapter’s current road captain. He is responsible for organizing rides.
Christian Motorcycle Association chapters make their presence known at as many rallies as possible.
They help with anything from motorcycle rodeos to cleanup to policing the area.
“It’s like Jesus washing the feet of his disciples,” Riddle said.
Ogan, 59, is forming a drag-racing ministry with the help of Area 51 Cycles.
“It’s something God laid on my heart,” Ogan said.
The Christian Motorcycle Association is trying to get a jail ministry started as well.
The Wheels of Faith participated in the Veterans Day Parade a couple weeks ago.
The local chapter helps with poker runs and the Fallen Bikers Rally in Salida and participates in rallies in Mancos, Durango and Ignacio during the Labor Day weekend.