Bike month is about more than just Bike to Work Day, coming up on Thursday, May 10th. It is also about using your bike for all your everyday trips, to work, to school, grocery shopping, to the gym, the soccer field... and yes, to church.
To get cyclists into the spirit of National Bike Month this month, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition will host the first-ever Blessing of the Bikes for East Bay bicyclists. The blessing, organized by Rev. Lauren Van Ham, an interfaith clergy member, cyclist, and East Bay resident, will serve a three-fold purpose:
- to bless each bike and it’s cyclist for a safe summer cycling season;
- to celebrate the benefits of cycling for our health, our economy, and our planet; and
- to honor the fun and function of bicycles, plain and simple.
"This first annual Blessing of the Bikes will be a wonderful way to kick of Bike Month for our bicycle community and the diverse faith communities of the East Bay," said Renee Rivera, executive director of the East Bay Bicycle Community. "All are welcome to come bring a bike to be blessed for a safe and enjoyable ride this Bike to Work Day and every day."
To participate, cyclists should gather at the western end of Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park (2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Allston Way and Center Street) in Berkeley at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. A brief ceremony beginning promptly at 11:15 a.m. will include remarks by Rivera, Rev. Van Ham, and Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. Interfaith clergy and spiritual teachers will be present to bless the colorful line-up of bicycles.
An organized, celebratory ride follows at noon. For more information on the event and the after-blessing ride (co-sponsored by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and Buy Local Berkeley).
Many other cities throughout the United States will also be marking the beginning of National Bike Month with Blessing of the Bikes events. In New York City on May 5, cyclists will celebrate the 14th Annual Blessing of the Bikes at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Rev. Lauren Van Ham, first learned of the Blessing of the Bikes two years ago, when her mother sent her a newspaper clipping about the New York city event. EBBC’s Renee Rivera, a Buddhist practitioner, loved the idea and supported Van Ham’s efforts to work with the City of Berkeley to host the East Bay’s first-ever Blessing of the Bikes.
There is no better time to start bicycling for your everyday trips to work, school, errands and play then Bike to Work Day, coming up on Thursday, May 10th. Go to www.ebbc.org/btwd for everything you need to know to have a great Bike to Work Day, or look out for the “Bike to Work Day Guide” in this week's issue of the East Bay Express.
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition works for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling for all people in the east bay. We are supported by over 3,000 members, here in the east bay. Join us as a member at www.ebbc.org/donate and make the bicycle movement in the East Bay a powerful force for change.
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