Oohs and awe: Expanded Bike Fest aims to be thrilling, inspiring

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The hard rock band Remember Me will play at Greenfield Bike Fest.

Photo provided

GREENFIELD — Motorcycle riders spiral their bikes toward each other and spin with a grace and timing more reminiscent of figure skating.

BMX riders speed up a ramp and launch into loop-de-loops.

And in a nearby ring, the fierce competitors are micro wrestlers, all under 5 feet tall.

Watch such scenes unfold amid a live hard rock soundtrack, and you’ve got the recipe for this year’s Greenfield Bike Fest.

In two years, a motorcycle show in front of a local church has grown into a multi-act event. This year, Bike Fest will move to a new site to make room for more acts and more festivalgoers.

Evangel Church is still the primary sponsor for the event, set for 4 p.m. July 13 at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Jody Ballenger, pastor of the church and part of Greenfield Motorcycle Riders, said stunt teams will perform on a large paved area on the east end of the fairgrounds.

Twinstunts will be back with motorcyle tricks. The brothers duo has wowed auto racing fans, performed at Yamaha dealer events and inked multi-day engagements with several state fairs. Their touring journey has wound through every U.S. state and into Canada, said Sawyer Schmidtman, who performs with twin brother Shannon Schmidtman.

They performed at the inaugural Bike Fest in 2022, which drew an estimated 600 people, and have returned each year. Sawyer said the crowd at Bike Fest offers good audience participation.

“Everyone always welcomed us with open arms,” he said. “We’ve got a good amount of fans from the Greenfield area.”

An added group performing this year is StuntDudes. This team of BMX riders will fly high with feats that have amazed audiences around the globe, including Kenya, Pakistan and Vietnam.

StuntDudes’ John Andrus said there’s a reason the show can resonate with people in different cultures.

“Everybody wants to see something goofy, fun and dangerous,” Andrus said. “We kind of take all three of those and mix them together.”

But there’s more to it than that. For one thing, Andrus said, riders have practiced their stunts for years to consistently perform them safely. For another, Ballenger said, “They put on a show, but they also have a message.”

The same could perhaps be said of Bike Fest itself. Organizers present a family-friendly lineup of live entertainment, along with bounce houses for children, food trucks and other vendors. They cap the day with a fireworks show and charge no admission fee for the event, choosing instead to recruit sponsors.

At the same time, “We have chaplains that are going to be at the event, and they are out there to talk with people if they’re willing,” Ballenger said. “… We’ve actually had people that wanted prayer in the middle of the event, and we stopped and prayed for them.”

He said often people will wait for a person to go to a church, but the church can instead go to a person.

“We really see the Bike Fest as meeting them where they are.”

GREENFIELD BIKE FEST

When: 4 p.m. July 13

Where: Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 620 N. Apple St., Greenfield

Admission: Free

Featuring: Twinstunts motorcycle team, StuntGuys BMX riders, micro wrestling, hard rock band Remember Me, solo artist Christian Terry, children’s area, seven food trucks, 18 local vendors and fireworks

Group ride: Motorcycle riders are invited to gather at Evangel Church at 3 p.m. for a pre-event cruise through Greenfield before going to Bike Fest

Information: greenfieldbikefestival.com