Northern Ireland

Biking minister in heaven on custom-made machine

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Media captionTrevor Kane has put a "little bit of gospel on his bike"

Derek Winter's workshop nestles among the apple orchards of County Armagh and is home to some seriously unusual machinery.

In one corner, the back end of a VW Beetle has been married to the front end of a motorbike; in another corner sits a trike built from the unlikely starting point of a tiny Honda Cub.

It is, however, a formidable machine squatting, almost menacingly, in the afternoon sunshine just outside the shed that overshadows them all.

It's a huge trike, bristling with power and blinking with chrome and it has been hand-built by Derek over the past three years.

But it's not just the bike that's unique.

There cannot be many people riding custom trikes who are also church ministers.

The trike is owned by Trevor Kane, a pastor in the Elim Pentecostal Church, and it's only when you take a few minutes to really look at it that you start to realise there is something very different here.

Trevor said: "A lot of the custom bikes that I see, and the paint jobs that are on them, the guys are depicting hell and flames and death and skulls.

"So I wanted to proclaim what I believe and put a little bit of the gospel on the bike."

Image caption A verse from the Book of Acts is engraved across the chrome

And that's exactly what he's done.

The bike is called Beautiful Agony, the tank and mudguards are adorned with images of the crucifixion and engraved across the chrome is a verse from the Bible's Book of Acts.

It reads: "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

"It's all a far cry from the darker imagery that usually marks out custom bikes, but Trevor says it has been well received by those bikers.

"I was chatting to some of them at a custom show last week just outside Lurgan and they asked me to take the trike down to their custom show in Belfast in the summer," he said.

"I think, generally, if you're a biker or a triker you're part of the scene and other people see that in you and respect that."

Image caption King of the road: There cannot be many people riding custom trikes who are also church ministers.

A biker for most of his life, it was an horrific accident in 2000 that first brought Trevor into contact with the world of trikes, in general, and custom trikes, in particular.

"My wife and I were coming home late one night, "he said. "We were on the motorbike that I had at the time; a 1200 Suzuki.

"A rabbit ran out. I swerved to miss the rabbit, caught the grass at the side of the road and my wife and I were thrown down the road.

"My wife, Vivien, ended up in a wheelchair as a result of that with a spinal injury. It was at that time that I went to see about getting her little bike converted so she could still use it.

"And through that whole process I got the bug for a trike myself."

Vivien still shares his passion for bikes, despite the terrible injuries she has suffered.

Indeed, it was she who bought the 'donor' bike around from which Trevor's trike was built.

So what about that name, Beautiful Agony? "It actually came from one day when I was thinking on the design of the trike and some of the ideas that I had and what I wanted to do," he said.

Image caption The name of the trike was taken from the lyrics of a song

"I was listening to the radio and the lyrics of the song caught me where it said 'bathing in beautiful agony'.

"Now they were talking about being under the influence of anaesthetics after an accident, but just those words caught me, the contradiction of them, beautiful agony, and made me think in terms of Christ's suffering; the agony that was in that but the beauty of the salvation that was provided."

On the back of the machine are the words Faith, Hope and Love and Blood, Sweat and Tears, all of which, Trevor says, were needed to bring his dream of a trike to reality.

One of the bike's most amazing features is that stunning artwork depicting the crucifixion.

Trevor said: "The guy that painted it, I don't know that he's a believer by any means, but he had people actually travelling up from Dublin and even further afield who wanted to come and see what had become known as 'the Jesus bike'.

"I put a lot of thought into it. I didn't want to be in people's faces with the message.

"I wanted the overall image of the trike and the engineering of it to be what attracted people and then, as they're drawn in, to realise that there's a message there."