With the advent of the riding season upon us, many towns and organizations will begin conducting their Blessing of the Bikes. The first Blessing of the Bikes was held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City in 1999, and is one of only three celebrations at which the cathedral opens its 3-ton bronze portal to accommodate larger crowds— the other two being Easter and the Feast of Saint Francis. And who can forget the Blessing of the Bikes done by the Pope last year to commemorate Harley-Davidson’s 110 Anniversary.
As part of the annual tradition, motorcyclists and their bikes are blessed by a priest (or the Pope) with the hope that it will guard them from peril in the coming season. From its origins, the ceremony has focused more on rider safety than religion. It strives to remain non-denominational, although the service does include prayers, the reading of scripture, and the bikes are sprinkled with holy water. Riders who have died the previous year are recognized with a brief memorial service.
The popularity of the service has broadened and now cities across the United States and around the world, conduct their own blessing services. These are usually centered on a festival-type atmosphere, and include food, beverages, and a ride.
Cities across the country are gearing up for the riding season, and getting things kicked off with their annual bike blessings. Here are a few that are coming up:
· Portsmouth, VA March 29, 2014
· Montgomery, AL March 29, 2014
· Dublin, GA March 29, 2014
· Woodbridge, VA March 29, 2014
· Hollywood, CA March 30, 2014
· Lexington, SC April 1, 2014
· Effingham, IL April 5, 2014
· New Haven, CT April, 5, 2014
· Elmont, NY April 5, 2014
· Auburn, CA April 5, 2014
· Oley, PA April 5, 2014
· Gaithersburg, MD April 12, 2014
· Ames, IA April 13, 2014
Motorcycle Safety Year-round
The Blessing of the Bikes is a wonderful way to kick off your motorcycle-riding season. It also helps to be mindful of the dangers riders face every day on the roads. Before you ride this season, take a minute to design your own safety strategy for avoiding a motorcycle accident this year.
Regardless of where you’ll be riding this year, remember to use common sense when riding. Drive defensively, don’t speed, and position your bike where it can be seen. Keep your eyes open for potential dangers, especially when approaching an intersection, and when riding after dusk. Use your headlamps at all times and wear reflective clothing.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® and BAM will be across the nation this summer at many major events. If you see us at an event stop by the booth and see how you could be in a new Harley Davidson motorcycle by the end of summer.
Ride Safe and see you on the road this summer.