Blessing of the Bikes 2019

By Tracey “Gypsy” Kohman

On May 18th I attended my first Blessing of the Bikes ceremony at the Hilton United Methodist Church.

The Pastor performing the blessing, Jennifer Green was very welcoming…as was the small town of Hilton, NY; it appeared to be a very bike friendly town. Passerby’s stopped along the sidewalk to watch what was going on.

Pastor Jennifer came to introduce herself to me, offering coffee and donuts. She explained how this ceremony is performed each year in spring…. with the first one taking place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in NYC in 1999. It is hoped that it will keep the rider safe. There are varying degrees of religious emphasis, but its main focus is always about safety.

A reading from the Bible took place, specifically from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel: 1:1, 15b-22.

She also read from the Gospel of Luke 24: 13-35; however, it had been adapted (unknown source):

“May the sun rise up in front of me.

May the rain fall behind me, and the wind follow beside me.

May God guard my travels, for the Lord knows the road ahead of me.

Keep me safe, Lord, through swirling turns and rolling hills.

Let the eagle guide me to the mountaintops,

Let the moonlight guide me through the night.

Let the air of spring breathe life into my soul,

To bring a new journey and adventure

Out on the open road.”

Her final words were an individual blessing for each bike and rider:

And may you always keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.