Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Bikers and Veterans: Cycle Disciples, Kansas City Chapter

Written by  February 29, 2004

As I began this journey of reviewing veteran motorcycle related web sites, I quickly discovered that many of them have a motorcycle club as their support base. Each web site reflects the same mission, objectives and values of the supporting motorcycle club. So this journey will take us much deeper than originally thought. Hopefully we can discover what the riders behind each web site are really trying to accomplish.

I’ve always been fortunate to meet the right people at the right time throughout my life. This great blessing was again bestowed upon me a few weeks ago, while attending the Cycle-N-More motorcycle show in Kansas City. At that time, I was in the process of selecting a veterans’ motorcycle web site or club to highlight in my article. As fortune would have it, I came upon many members of the Cycle Disciples, Kansas City Chapter motorcycle club. After short introductions and an open discussion about their club’s organization and Christian mission; I also discovered their understated veteran support.

I was introduced to their President, Teddy Bitner, a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He maintains the Bikers and Veterans web site, which has great information and links for veterans, bikers and Christians. Teddy readily stepped up to this interview as their President and was very happy to share the following information and message about the Cycle Disciples, Kansas City Chapter motorcycle club:

CC: How did your club get its start?

Teddy: The original Cycle Disciples organization unofficially started in Whittier, California, 1993. After a few years of growth, they officially became a national organization in 1999, with their headquarters in Kingman, Arizona. With their official charter established, they began approving chapters throughout the United States. Our Kansas City, Missouri chapter started in September 2000, in conjunction with the St. Joseph, Missouri chapter. In March 2001, we were approved to establish our own Kansas City chapter and incorporated as 'Cycle Disciples of Kansas City.'

CC: What is the goal or purpose of your chapter?

Teddy: We started this chapter to provide for a focused, one-on-one disciple type ministry to bikers.

CC: What is the significance of the chapter name?

Teddy: Actually the name was adopted from a popular Christian biker T-shirt of the mid-1990s. For our chapter, it symbolizes our focus on one-on-one discipleship and a culture of accountability among our members.

CC: What message does your club want to send out to the community?

Teddy: We are low key and individually focused. Our desire is to be a witness by our actions and to minister people as God provides.

CC: Do you have any exclusion to your club membership: motorcycles, ages, sex, etc.?

Teddy: All types of bikes are allowed. Members are required to have an operating motorcycle, a valid motorcycle license and carry their own insurance.

CC: Where, when and how often do you meet?

Teddy: We meet every Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at our clubhouse. Our clubhouse is located at 15910 Kensington, Kansas City, Missouri (on Richards-Gebaur airport).

CC: What is the cost to become a member?

Teddy: We have no dues. We operate by donation and support; our chapter is a 501c3 corporation, so donations are tax deductible.

CC: How do you become a member?

Teddy: We have a prospect process; the length is dependent upon the individual. Not all prospects become members – it's an opportunity for us to observe a potential member in various situations, and for them to decide if they want to commit. Prospects complete a series of Bible studies, participate in events and demonstrate the basic skills necessary to share the Gospel. They also must be proficient motorcyclists: be able to ride in a group without difficulty, demonstrate mastery of the bike, and are encouraged to complete a motorcycle safety course.

CC: Do you have any local or national famous or influential club members?

Teddy: Not as far as we know. Having said that, one member is the morning host on a highly popular Christian radio station and columnist in a local Christian newspaper (Matt on Calvary 88.5). Another member was the National Chaplain for Rolling Thunder in Washington DC in 2003. Another member is president of an international Christian ministry organization (Integrity Ministries, International). Another member operates Cycle Nutz, a local motorcycle detailing business.

CC: What are some of your annual events you sponsor?

Teddy: Solely as a group. Bike Show (July) and an annual Christmas Party. However, we support numerous events and rides:


Although I've put this as 'support', we are assuming responsibility to coordinate the City Union Mission Run ('Bikers with a Mission') that has been coordinated by Disciples of Jesus Ministry for 15 years.
Gypsy National Tour – we provide support to the Jackpine Gypsies (Sturgis, SD) for their annual Gypsy National Tour during Bike Week at Sturgis.
Biker Sunday, Heart of God Fellowship, Buckner, MO.
Rolling Thunder – Washington DC.
Various other local activities that we are requested to support.


CC: Do you have both open and closed events and activities?

Teddy: Yes, most of our charitable rides and events are open; however, we do have some closed events for our chapter members and guests.

CC: In the last 12 months, what most singular event displayed the essence of your club?

Teddy: The most effective events – we provided support (financial, prayer) to individual bikers who needed help.

CC: Does your club have any special rules the members MUST follow?

Teddy: Yes, rules are contained in our By Laws and our Standard Operating Procedure. All prospective members receive copies of these for their review and commitment.

CC: Do you have a special club patch or badge?

Teddy: Yes, we have an eleven inch square patch for the back, along with identifying patches that we wear on the front of our vests. Prospects only wear patches on the front, nothing on the back. Our patches are acquired through a vendor under contract with the national organization and are locally recognized by various clubs.

CC: Do you have a website?

Teddy: Yes, we are located at www.cyclediscipleskc.org and the Bikers and Veterans page is at www.geocities.com/teddy_bitner/.

CC: What else should I share with our readers about your club?

Teddy: We all find it rewarding to be a ministry in Kansas City, Missouri and we hope to see all of you on the road.

CC: I wish to thank Teddy for his helpfulness with this article and his support of all veterans and bikers in spiritual need.

Bart


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