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BLESSED BIKES - Annual downtown event featured fun, fellowship
Travis Sinn signals for motorcyclists to join in the “bike games,” Saturday at the 4th annual Blessed Bike Rally in Jack Kilby Square. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

You didn’t have to bring a motorcycle to downtown Great Bend to enjoy Saturday’s 4th annual Blessed Bike Rally. There were plenty of activities for all ages, courtesy of the Cross Winds of Kansas  Bikers Church.

Lakin Avenue on the south side of the  Barton County Courthouse was closed to cars, with dozens of motorcycles on display and “motorcycle games” going on. Jack Kilby Square was filled with vendors and the splash pad was available for kids to cool off after playing in a bounce house.

Yvonne and Vic Link – also known as Sleepy and Diesel – from the church said everything they offered was free. They organized the event to give community members and visitors a positive experience with fun, fellowship and Christian music, not to mention a corn hole tournament.

“It’s about sharing love,” Diesel said.

“This is our fourth (rally),” Sleepy said. They didn’t have one in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They followed the lead of the “Party in the Park” organizers, who also canceled their event in 2020 but brought it back in 2021 and 2022.

While most of the attendees were from Kansas, she said they knew people were here from Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri.

The Christian band “Forgiveness 490” is from Nebraska. The other featured band, “Hammeke Revival” is local, with some of the same personnel as the rock group “Homebrew.”

The rally lasted all day, starting with a “Bug Run” when motorcyclists took a ride to Ellinwood, Claflin and Hoisington, taking in some of Cheyenne Bottoms before returning to Great Bend. Matthew Thoren won an insect-like trophy because he had the most bugs on his headlight at the end of the run.

Rally volunteer Travis Sinn said it only took 10 bugs for Thoren to win.

“Usually, when you go through part of the Bottoms, there are more bugs,” he said. He thought maybe Friday night’s storm had something to do with that.

Sinn was easy to find on Saturday as he organized the bike games. He was one of two people sporting a black top hat on his head.

The other participant with similar headwear was “Abraham Lincoln,” a history buff from Russell who is otherwise known as Steve Burns ( email He’s also a biker, but said he did not ride a motorcycle to Saturday’s rally.

The Blessed Bike Rally will wrap up Sunday morning with a social time at 9:30 a.m. in Jack Kilby Square and a church service starting at 10:30.

Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church is located at 2701 17th St. in Great Bend. It is on Facebook at