By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Blessed Bike Rally rocks downtown Great Bend
Bikers for Christ and other Christian motorcycle enthusiasts attend the Third Annual Blessed Bike Rally in this file photo from 2021. The event is sponsored by Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church in Hoisington. - photo by Susan Thacker

The prayer for bikes and those who ride them ended with one of the loudest “amens” on record, as motorcyclists lined up south of the Barton County Courthouse started their bikes and revved their engines Saturday afternoon.

The prayers for safety extended to the bikers’ families as Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church held the Third Annual Blessed Bike Rally in Jack Kilby Square.

Throughout the day, there were bike games, vendors, kids’ games and music, sponsored by Christians who believe in the Bible but who may prefer to wear their leathers to church, Yvonne Link said. Her husband Victor “Diesel” Link is the pastor and founder of Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church, which started in 2017.

“We were birthed out of Faith Community Church,” Link said. “That’s where Vic and I plugged in and then we asked one of our friends, ‘what’s the reason you don’t go to church?’” That’s when they discovered the need for a church where bikers could feel they fit in.

They started holding Sunday services that year at Veterans Lake in Great Bend, and when the weather turned colder motel manager Loren Unruh said they could hold services one Sunday a month at the Best Western Courtyard. 

Then, a friend from the Bikers For Christ group in Salina let them know about a vacant building in Hoisington, and the Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church has been there ever since.

The church is located at 354 West First St. in Hoisington. It opens with coffee and doughnuts at 9:30 every Sunday morning, with a church service at 10:30 a.m. The service is also livestreamed.

The new church led to the Blessed Bike Rally, Yvonne Link said.

“This is our third year,” she said, noting the event was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsors were reminded that the pandemic isn’t over when one of the three Christian rock bands scheduled to perform Saturday had to cancel because of COVID.

The family-friendly event featured free bouncy houses, sidewalk chalk art, and the City of Great Bend made sure the splash pad in Jack Kilby Square was operating.

“The scavenger hunt was a big hit,” Link said. Children could ask bikers for signed do-rags and look for someone with colored hair or someone wearing a vest. 

Everything was paid for by sponsors and donations. Link said they hoped the event would bring at least 500 people by the end of the day.

“Victor and I are just Bikers for Christ,” Link said. “We began with just hosting, and then the hosting led to an every Sunday church service. We believe things can either be God-allowed, or God-ordained. If it’s God-allowed, it’s probably going to fail. We believe that God has ordained this, for it to bloom.”