I’m sitting down at Boonie’s, going over my notes and preparing to do my first ever interview. I take a drink of my beer and think to myself, “I really don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m not a reporter. I didn’t go to school for this. I’m just some dirty biker who likes to talk about bikes a lot. I hope I don’t bomb this.”
As I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with this “Down Shift” thing, in walks Craig Carey, President of the Pearl City Disciples (PCD). I stand to meet him with a firm handshake, and I remember that bikers are just good people. Good people with great stories. And that’s what this “Down Shift” thing is all about. A rider talking with other riders, sharing their stories in their own words. This is the PCD.
PCD is the Muscatine chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). A lot of acronyms in the motorcycle world, so try and keep up! The CMA is an interdenominational riding organization with the standing vision of, “changing the world, one heart at a time.” It was founded in Hatfield, Arkansas in 1975 by Herb Shreve. In an attempt to reconnect with his estranged son, Shreve purchased some bikes and they headed out on the road. Attending rallies across the country, one thing Shreve noticed that was missing was a Christian presence at these events. Well, that’s no longer the case. There are now CMA chapters in every state, 20 in Iowa alone, with over 160,000 members worldwide.
PCD is in the service of, “making connections and building relationships,” says Craig. “It opens doors for me to witness to people about the Lord,” he stated. Since its founding in 2012, the PCD has been busy providing for local families at Christmas time, serving meals for the Salvation Army, and aiding fallen riders by providing rides, prayers, and support, just to scratch the surface. Carey extended an invitation to the community saying, “anyone is welcome to come to a meeting, ride, or event and get to know who we are.” The PCD’s open door policy extends to everyone, but as Carey puts it, “the biker community is our mission field.”
Speaking of invitations, Craig and the rest of the PCD, along with First Baptist Church, would like to invite you to the 2nd annual Blessing of the Bikes on May 3rd right here in Muscatine. This year’s event is still in the early planning stages but it’s never too early to start getting the word out there.
I had the opportunity to attend last year’s event and it was a great time. The PCD provide an event that allows for a gathering of all tiers of the motorcycle culture world to come together and enjoy a ride, fellowship, and refreshments. And don’t forget about the door prizes! Everybody loves the door prizes! The PCD would like to encourage you to check out their Facebook page and the Blessing of the Bikes event to stay up to date on developing event details to come. More information on the CMA can be found at their National Website CMAUSA.org. Officers, Chapter searches, events, you name it.
The amount of good done by the motorcycle community is often overshadowed by exaggerated, hyper-negative media attention and a series of bad TV narratives meant to entertain and not to educate. Where there is money to be made, there will always be culture vultures, but if you’re looking to find real people, good people, riding people, the CMA and the PCD have got them. The great and selfless acts of these riders and their profound reach into the motorcycle community and beyond is undeniable and more than worthy of getting the proper respect that they’re due.
Before I shook hands with Craig and parted ways, I asked him if there was a message he would like to relay to our community. So, until we Down Shift again next month, I will leave you with his resonating words. “Get to know the Lord. ‘Cause he’s real. And eternity is forever.”