Richard “Blake” Farrill is the president of Soldiers of the Cross, an affiliate of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Farrill is gearing up with about 20 fellow members of the group to check out Laconia Bike Week. The Run for the Son ride will start on May 5th.
Soldiers of the Cross befriend fellow riders on charity rides, host motorcycle blessings, hand out free water and coffee at various events, and have even been known to offer mechanical expertise and assistance to riders who have unfortunately become stranded along the road.
"We use our chapter to spread the news of who Jesus is," said Ferrill, "Motorcycles are just something we and other bikers love and have in common."
The Brockton, Massachusetts club rides weekly when the weather is seasonable. They also own and maintain their own chapel, The Broken Chains Biker Church.
Soldiers of the Cross member Linc Todd rides a Honda Gold Wing, often with his wife as a pillion. "It combines my love of Jesus with my love of motorcycling," said Todd, "The people we meet respect us, and it's a good opportunity to get to know each other. They're very open to it."
Another member, Ralph Hansen, has been touring throughout the Midwest and Canada on a motorcycle for around 25 years. He currently rides a three-wheeled Victory Crossbow. He enjoys helping fellow riders and spreading the Christian message. While spreading the Gospel on the back of a motorcycle may seem strange to some, it makes sense to Hansen. "Jesus didn't talk to people about things they didn't understand. He talked about things they knew," he said. "He talked in terms common to a shepherd or a fisherman."
The Christian Motorcyclists Association has more than 1000 local clubs across the US. The Run for the Son collected more than $3.7 million for charity last year and more than $40 million since it began.