Semites on Bikes to Welcome Santa
SOBs to ride around 695 in annual event
by Nicole Rodman (Dundalk Eagle, Dec. 15, 2012)
Semites on Bikes (SOB) is not your average motorcycle club.
In the group founded by Parkville native Ken “King” Shapiro in 2004, each member is Jewish.
According to Shapiro, who spoke with The Eagle for a December 2008 article, he was interested in bringing together a group of “non-stereotypical Jews who wanted to ride.”
Though they participate in a number of community events throughout the year, their biggest event is the annual “Circumcision of 695.”
During the event, SOB riders dressed as Santa and his reindeer will ride from Dundalk, around the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), to Hampden in Baltimore.
The riders will gather at the home of Dundalk member Troy “Rabbi” Pritt before beginning the ride at Beltway exit 41 (Cove Road) at about noon.
Led by a biker dressed as Rudolph, the caravan of motorcycles will ride counterclockwise around the Beltway to exit 11 (I-95 North) before exiting at 395 to head downtown.
After a ride past the Inner Harbor, Rudolph will lead Santa and his other reindeer to I-83 North and into Hampden.
The ride will conclude on 34th Street, where the group will be available for pictures.
The event is not a fundraiser. Rather, the group holds the ride each year to bring cheer to their hometown of Baltimore.
“In its eighth year, our ‘Circumcision of 695’ has always made the children (and many adults) of Baltimore very happy,” SOB member Kevin Goodman noted in an e-mail to The Eagle last week.
According to Goodman, who will portray Santa this year, the ride is “a totally unique event.”
He explained, “You may have seen us before, even seen the Santa Sleigh on the local news, but you must see it in person to appreciate it.”
During the ride, Goodman (dressed as Santa) rides in his customized Harley Davidson Santa sleigh while Shapiro leads the caravan as Rudolph.
Riders who are not a reindeer or Santa usually dress either as elves or wrapped presents.
Spectators may watch from bridge overpasses along the route or meet the riders when they arrive at 34th Street in Hampden.
Those interested in seeing the ride in person are encouraged by Goodman to “bring your grandchildren, children and children of all ages” to see the annual event.
“They’re SOBs” (Dundalk Patch)
“Gimme Shtetl” (Violet LeVoit, City Paper)