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Rally concludes

Bikers say goodbye to this year’s event

Kathleen Murray was braving the traffic Saturday morning as she stood in the turning lane of Park Avenue offering cups of coffee to travelers.

Murray, a member of Christ Episcopal Church, was part of a hospitality ministry that the church created for this year’s Rally on the River.

Nearby at the corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue was a table with eight boxes of glazed donuts, a thermos of coffee and two jugs of orange juice.

“So far it’s a good time,” the Rev. Sallie Schisler, priest in charge at the church, said. “One guy passed by and serenaded us with a hymn. We’ve done some street ministry. We had always talked about exhibiting some kind of hospitality to the bikers here.”

Saturday was the next to last day for the annual event that brings out motorcycle enthusiasts to feast on pulled pork and beer, lemonade and Bahama Mamas.

The Hackney clan rode down from Columbus in the morning to check out the bikes lining Second and Vernon streets.

“We like to look at the bikes and the ride down,” said Jason Hackney who has been riding for about three years.

While his father, John, is a veteran rider of 25 years.

“I always liked bikes and finally I bought one,” John said.

This year was a first time for Eddie Smith, helping out the family food business, Amira Concessions of Richmond, Virginia.

“This rally is nice,” he said. “People are nice. The atmosphere is good. The cold beer is good and so is the music.

Saturday night on the main stage bands “Geneva,” “Rock and Roll Inferno” and “Drowning Pool” heated up the night.

The rally ends today with a continental breakfast at the First Church of the Nazarene followed by the “full throttle service” conducted by preacher Roy Bennett.

The service has been conducted for at least seven years.

“It is important for the community not to only see the bikers in town coming to party, but it is very important for the community to see the Christian bikers like Bikers for Christ,” Nazarene pastor Rob Hale said. “Many of them work Thursday through Saturday at the rally praying for the other bikers, passing out the Bibles. They invite the bikers to attend the bikers service. The bikers service is designed especially for them.”