Motorcycle enthusiasts once again have the chance to mark the start of the biking season with a Blessing of the Bikes tomorrow at Kersting’s Cycle Center south of North Judson. Pastor James Young from Heartland Christian Center in North Judson, a motorcycle rider himself, will share the message this year, before going around and blessing the bikes for safe travels.
Kersting’s Sales Manager Jason Kersting says the annual blessing has become a big event for the business. “This is something that started up probably about 17 or 18 years ago,” he says. “I actually sold a motorcycle to an orthodox priest out of Chesterton, and it was his idea and he wanted to give it a try, so we thought, ‘Well, let’s see what would happen.’ He just wanted to spread the great work of our Lord and Savior, and he thought maybe this would be an opportunity to do so. And the first year, we probably had about 50 people show up, and we tried it again the following year and the next thing we know, it really grew.”
Now, he says the event has expanded to include hours of fun activities, “There will be a band playing Christian-style music. They’ll play some rock songs too, but it’s going to be just a nice, family-style atmosphere, not a real biker party, but just a nice atmosphere with good music. And the Sons of the American Legion here in North Judson, they’re going to be out here serving steak sandwiches and that sort of thing. We’ve got a couple other vendors around town doing the elephant ears and the sweets and stuff like that, as well.”
Kersting says he’s hoping for good weather for tomorrow’s event, but says he expects a good turnout in any case, “When the weather is nice, we’ll have anywhere from 400 to 500 motorcycles here in our parking lot, and I think a really good message gets put out. And when the weather’s not so nice, we still have 50 to 100 people show up, even in the rain. We’ve had some pretty inclement weather show up in the past, and people show up because they really love it and they feel like they’re really getting a good message from it.”
Festivities start at 11 a.m. EDT tomorrow at Kersting’s Cycle Center, with the bike blessing service taking place at 1 p.m.