CLEMSON—Knights of Columbus in the Upstate are combining faith with a love for hitting the open road on motorcycles.
They’re members of the first South Carolina chapter of Knights on Bikes.
Founded in 2005, the group is an international organization based in Fort Worth, Texas (www.knightsonbikes-usa1.com). Their mission is to serve the community through charitable work and promote camaraderie among Knights with bikes.
Mark Wisniewski, a member of St. Andrew Church in Clemson, bought a Harley-Davidson Softail around the same time he joined the Knights four years ago. He enjoys taking trips with his wife Patti and their friends.
“I soon discovered I loved the motorcycle and being a Knight, and I didn’t know why the two things had to be completely separate,” he said.
He met some Upstate Knights who also owned motorcycles, and the group decided to organize.
Wisniewski was appointed president for the S.C. fraternal organization in March. The group meets on the fourth Monday of each month and currently has seven full-time members from the Greenville, Clemson and Anderson areas.
Their activities include trips to scenic areas around the Upstate, North Carolina and Georgia, and various motorcycle rides for charity.
Wisniewski’s goal is to increase membership, and attract participants from other regions of South Carolina.
He would eventually like to organize Knights on Bikes charity events and hold a statewide rally.
Pete West, group secretary, said he rode a small motorcycle to St. Paul the Apostle Mission in Seneca for about five years before deciding to upgrade to a Yamaha 950, a cruising vehicle he could take on longer rides.
West said members recently purchased vests with the group insignia, which includes a cross. Wearing it gives him a chance to connect with people in his parish and community he might not otherwise get to know.
“It’s great to meet people who share your faith and have a common interest,” West said. “Knights on Bikes is just a chance for great fellowship while doing something you love to do.”
Membership is open to Knights of Columbus council members who own a motorcycle of any make, model or size, or plan to purchase one within six months. Associate memberships are available.
For information, call Mark Wisniewski at (864) 280-6412 or visit www.knightsonbikes-sc.org.