Blessing of the Bikes
58“Through this event [Blessing of the Bikes], we would like to focus the attention…on the health benefits of bicycling… [and] the safety precautions that should be practiced by cyclists and drivers as they share the road together.” Andrew B. Leeka, President-Good Samaritan Hospital, Avid Cyclist
Blessing of the Bikes is an annual event to start the cycling year with a prayer for cyclists. This Catholic ritual began in Italy and has since spread world-wide with leadership and participation of many denominations and faiths during many times of the year. It marks a true beginning to cycling season or a cycling-specific event. It has several purposes that may include honoring alternative approaches to transportation, celebrating healthy living, safety, or a memorial service with a moment of silence for fellow cyclists who have died over the past year. Take today to thank God for your safety and health, remember those who’ve passed over their final Finish Line, and ask for a prosperous cycling year. In ancient Israel, tambourines and drums tapped a praise and reminder that God was always present; on the bike you have the clatter of spokes beating a rhythm that God is near and cares for you. We begin with a blessing in what promises to be many new seasons of global cycling experience.
Prayer for Racing Season
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.” 59Numbers 6:24-25
“Lord our God, You make the clouds your conveyance; You travel on the wings of the wind; You sent to your servant Elijah a fiery chariot as a means of conveyance; You guided man to invent this [bicycle] which is as fast as the wind: Therefore, O Lord, pour now upon it your heavenly blessings. Grant unto it a guardian angel that it may be guided upon the rightful road and be preserved against all harm. Enable those who ride…to arrive safely at their destination. For in your ineffable Providence, You are the Provider of all things, and to You we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.”60
Ponder Do I feel cared for and know that my cycling is a matter of focused prayer by many people? Affirm I know that God rides with me and with others. Watch and listen for God’s presence every time you’re aware of the music in your spokes and His power in the wind.
58“Good Samaritan Hospital Hosts 4th Annual West Coast Blessing of the Bicycles,” May 14th, 2007
59The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
60This is a Greek Orthodox version of a bike blessing. “Blessing of Automobiles, Bicycles, Cars, Motorcycles, SUV, Trucks, and other Means of Transportation, Number 1 in English,” Byzantine Melkite Euchologion published by the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, Sophia Press.