Motorcycle Clubs and Groups

Cycle Disciples M/C - Kansas City Chapter

Written by  January 31, 2005

One would expect a club with M/C in its name to be motorcycle-centered. There is no doubt that the members of this club love motorcycling, but the heart of this group is their shared love of Jesus and their desire to minister and witness to others. The Cycle Disciples M/C Kansas City Chapter started as part of the St. Joseph, Missouri Chapter and began independent operation on March 21, 2001. Since October 26, 2001, the chapter has been incorporated in Missouri as a not-for-profit corporation.

Nationally, the Cycle Disciples club began informally in Whittier, California, in 1993 and was officially formed in Kingman, Arizona, in 1999. Those who founded the organization had the intent of forming an independent club for Christian motorcyclists to facilitate riding and ministering to the motorcycling community on a one-on-one basis. They recognize that the motorcycling public has become highly diverse, ranging from “lifestyle” bikers to “recreational” bikers to “RUBs.” They assert that all are in need of salvation.

The Kansas City Chapter has grown from five charter members to fifteen members counting prospects. Teddy Bittner, a.k.a. The Colonel, was the original chapter president and still holds that office. When I asked Teddy about chapter rides he replied, “Popular destinations include Lambert's in Springfield, Missouri, Freedom Fest (Skidmore, Missouri in September) and of course, Sturgis for the Black Hills rally - in particular, in support of the Jackpine Gypsy National Tour to Devil's Tower. Otherwise, destinations vary. The only 'mandatory' events we have are support for the City Union Mission, because it takes all of us to make it happen, and our annual 'Patch Day Party’ on the Fourth of July. The Patch Day Party is actually a family picnic as opposed to a run.”

Knowing that the Cycle Disciples are instrumental in putting on the annual Bikers with a Mission (BWAM) Ride to benefit Kansas City’s City Union Mission, I asked Teddy for his comments about that event and the group’s other charitable interests. “We assumed responsibility for BWAM beginning last year. It is a great honor to be involved in this event, which is in its 16th year and does so much to help the homeless in Kansas City. But there are many other individuals and organizations that help make this happen - and it could not be done without them. The BWAM coordinating committee includes a cross section of the overall Kansas City biker community, and they have done a great job for many years. My particular concern is the emerging issue of homeless Iraqi war veterans that have begun to show up around the country. Our club has taken on BWAM as our major contribution to the Kansas City biking community, but we also try to coordinate a Christian fellowship run each year (toward the end of the riding season) as well.

I've already mentioned our support to the Jackpine Gypsies during their National Gypsie Tour at Sturgis (our chapter assumes responsibility to act as road guards for this event each year). Additionally, we conducted a Christian Biker Workshop early in January that will probably become an annual event, and may be expanded to include other venues and additional topics. Finally, we conduct weekly Bible studies at our clubhouse that are open to anyone that would like to attend. More information is available on that at our web site.”

The club is independent, not affiliated with any church or denomination. There is no racial bias nor is there a preference for any particular make of motorcycle. Members are required to be born-again believers in Jesus Christ, maintain membership in a local church, and have a calling to minister, share, and serve. Increasing membership is not a high priority with this group. They are very particular about those they invite to “prospect” and are aware that one “bad apple” could ruin the outstanding reputation that the Cycle Disciples have worked hard to earn and could compromise their witness. The right to wear the club’s patch must be earned, usually over a period of 6-12 months.

I asked Teddy how prospects prove themselves and whether or not they had full members as sponsors. He replied, “Prospects are expected to demonstrate a degree of maturity, the ability to handle a motorcycle in various conditions, the ability to get along with others under a variety of circumstances, a basic knowledge of the Bible and spiritual maturity. There is no set time limit for how long a prospect takes to make full member. Presently, we do not use sponsors for prospects.”

On the first Thursday of each month the Cycle Disciples hold a business meeting, a portion of which is dedicated to dealing with issues specific to the members and is “closed.” Otherwise, visitors are welcome to attend. On all other Thursdays, the club meets for Bible study and prayer. The clubhouse is located at the corner of 159th and Kensington in Kansas City, Missouri, at the former Richards-Gebaur Airport. More information about Cycle Disciples is available on their web site.

By Stripe