Friday, April 29, 2011

Knoxville's first Blessing of the Bikes

Sunday, May 1
Blessing of the Bikes
3-5 p.m.
Messiah Lutheran Church, 6900 Kingston Pike

A non-denominational blessing of bicyclists and their bicycles. All are welcome. Free maintenance checks by the Bike Zoo. Helmet safety checks. Free coffee provided by MoJoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse.

The Blessing of the Bikes is an annual tradition in which bicyclists are blessed by a priest or pastor in the hope that it will bring safety for the coming season. 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 non-denominational, focusing more on rider safety than religion. The popularity of the service has encouraged other localities to follow suit. Annual blessings are held from Burlington, Massachusetts to Los Angeles to Melbourne and incorporate varying degrees of emphasis on religion, environmentalism, fitness, cyclists' rights, and safety.

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