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75th Anniversary of CGS!

Celebrating 75 Years of Christian Ministry and Mission

 

 Through the Years

The Bike Team …

Fellowship and Fundraising

 

The Bike Team at Church of the Shepherd has had a long, successful, and endearing history. It raised funds for various groups, numerous riders have come and gone, and memorial rides have honored several people. Biking began in the early ‘90s with, on average, 20 bikers.

 

When our church began supporting the Mexico Medical Mission in Tatoxcac, Pueblo, the bikers raised money to support the Mission. Their goal was $10,000, which came from donations and pledges. When Church of the Good Shepherd no longer helped support the Mexico Medical Mission, the Bike Team raised money for Foothill Unity Center, and others.

 

For the last three years of their fundraising, Family Promise was their beneficiary. Bikers rode every weekend for 3 or 4 months to get fit before the 100 mile plus, two-day Annual Bike Ride to Solano Beach. The annual ride was a full-fledged operation, complete with a support staff, which Bonnie Rooker headed up for many of the early years. Support members procured and toted all the food for meals, snacks, and stops. Others carried medical and emergency equipment.

 

Art Leatherman was ride designer for 15 years, planning even the smallest detail for both bikers and supporters—where to turn, where freeways were, where to eat. Following Art’s design, Bob Talty scouted the route a week ahead. The Thursday before the big ride, there was an orientation dinner at Steve and Lori Philippi’s. The Merri-Mates gave the Bike Team a rousting sendoff with a church breakfast the Saturday morning of the Annual Ride.

 

Early on, the Bike Team bunked overnight at their host church, the San Clemente UMC Church, sleeping on the floor. The support staff prepared dinner and breakfast. Sometimes they ingeniously improvised their amenities. Once David Steinmeier fastened a hose to the kitchen faucet, hooked it up to some PVC, and fashioned a shower in the parking lot!

 

Walkie-talkies provided communication in pre-cell phone days. Mike Sullivan blew a horn or stopped traffic, guiding the bike caravan to pass through safely. So they rode bikes to their destination—but how did they get home? That, too, was partly provided by the support team. A big truck carried the bikes back to Arcadia—although some stalwart bikers were known to have braved the ride back on two wheels! And a few friends or family usually drove down and carpooled home with their tired bikers.

 

The Bike Team became known for their red shirts. At first, La Victoria Foods donated t-shirts via Art Leatherman. Then later, with help from a Foundation Grant, they got some “real bikers’ shirts.” Pedro Galindo designed the handsome logo on the shirt backs. We remember the bikers wearing those red shirts when, upon their return, they triumphantly entered the chancel during the service.

 

The annual ride was named the Steven Searfoss Memorial Bike Tour from 1992 until 2004, dedicated, after Steve’s untimely death, for his heavy involvement in the Mexico Medical Mission. It was changed to the Bonnie Rooker Memorial Bike Tour in 2005 to honor her many years of leading the support staff.

 

Since then, various people have been honored or memorialized. As riders aged-out, they softened up a bit. They shortened the ride, overnighted at a Seal Beach hotel, ate in restaurants, and shared tales of their adventures.

 

The Bike Team, as such, eventually dwindled and dissolved. It would be a challenge—a miracle, really—to name all the dedicated bikers through the years! Suffice it to say there were dozens who enjoyed the satisfaction and camaraderie of the Bike Team, whose motto might well have been “Fellowship and Fundraising.”


 

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400 W. Duarte Rd Arcadia, CA 91007      [email protected]      (626) 447-2181
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