Blessing of the bikes

I had known of the tradition of the Blessing of the Fleet, in which invocations were intended to ensure safe and bountiful fishing, but Pennsylvania is home to a number of traditions to which I had not been introduced when I moved here. Among these are Buck Season, Doe Day, Spring Gobbler, Black Powder, the First Day of Trout, Spot Lighting, Pon hous, Pig’s Stomach, the ‘Regatta’, River Lots, and the Fanny Float. Although nearly all of these out-of-door traditions center around hunting or the Susquehanna River there is one which does not and that is the Blessing of the Bikes. Like its maritime equivalent this blessing focuses on very good wishes for a safe season of biking. One of the guys down at the feed mill belongs to a church which sponsors this event and last time I was down to purchase feed he suggested I drop by to view the spectacle which took place this past weekend. The event was scheduled for Sunday at eleven and Joanna and I had plans for an early afternoon bike along our local Rail Trail. When I arrived at the church I quickly realized that the schedule of events included a service which would take place before the ceremonial blessing which would be followed by a mass exodus (no pun intended) and road trip through the nearby Sugar Valley for an afternoon of fellowship. I was on a tight schedule so I grabbed a few images, none among them was the one I had conjured in my mind in anticipation of this event, and then left for my date with Joanna and the tandem. Although I was disappointed not to have experienced the Blessing of the Bikes I was able to marvel at several hundred tripped-out motorbikes and just as many very interesting people.

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11 thoughts on “Blessing of the bikes

  1. That looks like one tough woman. I wouldn’t mess with her! Love her leather ponytail decoration!

    1. Interesting observation. Most everyone there was dressed in leather and it gives the impression that they are indeed a ‘tough’ crowd. Turns out, of course, that the ‘leathers’ are worn for safety … to prevent ‘road rash’ in the event of a spill. There are lots of new, heavy, synthetics from which clothing is made for bikers but those who are more traditional still wear the leather. There were also lots of pony tails among the guys and tats. I would guess the average age among those who attended to have been 50-60 … so that tells you something right there. Everyone was very pleasant and they had a nice day for a ride.

  2. Blessing of the fleet is something I am used to … and it generally happens around this time; a bit earlier, but not by much, but this is new to me. Stands to reason, of course … it’s an offshoot of the original sentiment.

  3. BTW I feel I should comment on my not nominating you for the Liebster award in my most recent post – even if such explanations make it worse. I already had you on my list … and then deliberately removed your blog again and replaced it with a blog that had fewer followers and comments. But the main reason was: I come up with a better and more creative idea to appreciate your blog and to leave my eternal mark in the blogosphere at the same time. It will just take some time although I really feel the itching desire to “work” on that now – but I ought to continue writing my not that exciting thesis now. All I wanted to say was, stay tuned 🙂

    1. You’re being very, very, silly indeed! All of the blogs you listed were highly deserving of recognition and of your attentions. And, as you pointed out, my site did not fall within the boundaries established by the Liebster committee in any case! What’s more important is the following, taken from your comment to me, ” … I ought to be writing my not that exciting thesis …” Thesis? What thesis? Are you working on a graduate degree? Whether or not … what are you writing about? D

      1. 😀 😀 It really depends on how you interpret the rules. You have a very active community of followers, but according to the number of followers I see in the WP reader your blog would meet the criteria (as WP does not know RSS readers, bookmarkers…)
        I am also a part-time student, going for another degree in a master’s degree programme called Sustainable Energy Systems. However, I picked a topic that allows me to “combine anything”: Physics, energy engineering, IT security, geekiness – I am writing about security in smart metering. But it is a different thing to write something following academic standards … in comparison to indulging in geeky details and sensationalist hacker stories in the media 🙂

        1. Wow! Security in smart metering – very cool (and geeky-to-the-max) indeed. [Excuse my ignorance … does smart metering happen when the gas meter outside my house sends electronic signals to the gas company about my rate of consumption? Or is it about the automatic regulation of my consumption by real time analysis by the meter of my rate of gas consumption?] If I were to tackle another degree it would be in the Fine Arts, photography in particular. Perhaps someday, who knows? It must be nice to have the blog to vent your thoughts after a day of more ‘serious’ work (it works that way for me at least). Good for you … balancing so many things simultaneously. More power to you. D

          1. Mostly it is only called ‘smart’ if the communication is bi-directional (utility can cut your supply) – but there is no unambiguous definition. I have bored myself to death with definitions by EU agencies about what the smart grid is 😉 e.g. the smart power grid should be ‘self-healing’. Yes, I need some creative blogging to compensate for that 😀

  4. I am really learning something new by reading your blog! Whenever I will encounter a reference to a weird US tradition I have not known yet, I will return to this post in the future!

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