Blessing of the Bikes

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The Blessing of the Bikes, also The Blessing of the Bicycles, is an annual tradition in which riders of motorcycles or bicycles are blessed by a priest in the hope that it will bring safety for the coming season. Many towns hold annual ceremonies to bless motorcycles at the start of the summer.[1][2][3]

The first mass blessing of bicycles was held in 1999 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Since its beginning the ceremony has been ostensibly non-denominational, focusing more on rider safety than religion. However, the service does include prayers and reading of biblical passages, and bicycles are sprinkled with holy water.[4] A brief memorial service is held to acknowledge riders who have died in the previous year.[5][6] The Blessing of the Bicycles is one of only three annual occasions—the others being Easter and the Feast of Saint Francis—on which the cathedral opens its 3-ton bronze portal to allow for larger crowds.[7]

The popularity of the service has encouraged other localities to follow suit. Annual blessings are held from Burlington, Massachusetts[8] to Los Angeles[9] to Melbourne[10] and incorporate varying degrees of emphasis on religion, environmentalism, fitness, cyclists' rights, and safety.

In 2013 Good Samaritan Hospital will be celebrating their 10th Annual Blessing of the Bikes in Los Angeles[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maynard, Shannon (May 8, 2010). "Motorcycle riders take part in 10th annual 'Blessing of the Bikes'". Michigan Live. 
  2. ^ "Lakeshore Blessing of the Bikes". 
  3. ^ "Southern Maryland Blessing of the Bikes". 
  4. ^ Zielbauer, Paul (May 16, 1999). "Blessing Wheels and the Spirit for Perilous Travels". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Dozens Pedal to Blessing of the Bicycles". CBS News. April 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Holy Rollers". Time Out New York. April 23, 2008. 
  7. ^ New York City. Fodor's. 2007. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-4000-1680-8. 
  8. ^ "Religion Notes". Burlington Union. May 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Blessing of the Bicycles". Good Samaritan Hospital. 2013. 
  10. ^ "Blessing of the Bicycles". City of Yarra. 2008. 
  11. ^ "Blessing of the Bicycles". Good Samaritan Hospital. 2013. 

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