Bonn/Sankt Augustin Nine motorcycle riders decked out their bikes with Christmas trees and lights, dressed up in Santa costumes and provided a delightful surprise for children and grown-ups alike. They did it to support a good cause.
Nine motorcycle riders rode from Sankt Augustin to the Rheinaue in Bonn on Saturday as part of the initiative “Bikers for Kids Rhein-Sieg”. With their white beards and red Santa costumes, their performance caused a sensation in the city center of Bonn.
Videos and photos of the nine Santas on motorcycles made the rounds on social media. Many were wondering what it was all about.
Frank Nieß, who is an optician in Sankt Augustin when he is not wearing a Santa costume, was part of the event. He explains the reason for the holiday motorcycle ride: "Every year, we collect donations as “Bikers for Kids”, which we then pass on one-to-one to organizations that support children and senior citizens in the region.”
About 6,000 euros have been collected on average in recent years. This year the motorcycle riders had to think about whether they could continue the initiative during the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, they took a ride which had only been planned as a test run, said Nies. Nine of the 14 members of the group were on hand for a greeting from children at the Parkhotel Rheinaue, where managing director Dirk Dötsch had spontaneously agreed to the visit the day before. He later shared his thanks on Facebook: "Dear bikers, you didn't just put a smile on people's faces - you did much more. You alone have given us a very small piece of normality. Something like this is priceless these days."
On the way there, the first stop was a beverage market in Sankt Augustin. The Santas also left a donation box there. Nieß says: "We are not primarily concerned with donations this year. We simply want to put a smile on the faces of the children.” A Christmas tree with lights, mounted on the motorcycles, is always a must. One of them is even a real tree, says Nieß.
The “Christkind” also rides along sometimes
With Christmas lights and an elk, the riders show that motorcycles can also spread Christmas cheer. On the next ride, even the German “Christkind” could be riding along as a passenger, according to well-informed Santa circles. (“Christkind” literally means Christ Child and is the traditional giver of gifts at Christmas time in Germany.)
On the return trip, the motorcade of BMW motorcycles, Harleys and a Suzuki also passed through the city center of Bonn. Nieß describes some touching moments: "Many cell phones were pulled out at the traffic lights and people gave us a thumbs-up.” Last year even a tram driver in Bonn stopped his tram to watch the men.
(Orig. text: Anja Wollschläger / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)