JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Blessing of the Bikes is an annual tradition in which motorcycles or bikes are blessed by a religious cleric in the hope that it will bring safety for the coming season.
“What we usually do at events like this is ring a bell,” the hostess said explaining the rituals of the Blessing of the Bikes.
Riders place a small bell on their bikes to honor riders that have been killed in motorcycle accidents.
“My bell is on the front of my bike," said Kervin Brandon point at a little silver bell.
Brandon has been riding bikes the majority of his life.
“This is a 2016 Road Glide Special. Harley Davidson,” he said proudly.
For Brandon, riding his bike is his therapy.
“You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist office,” he said with a smile.
“Take care baby. Bye,” Helen Brown said as she hugged a fellow rider.
Brown is an investigator with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department. She is also a long time rider.
“Like, if I’m working all day I can just jump on this Harley Davidson and everything just goes away,” she said.
Both Brandon and Bell agree that riding is relaxing and freeing. But they are the first to admit that it’s dangerous.
“All bikes are not loud. All motorcyclist don’t weave in and out of traffic. Some of us like to ride casually. It’s recreation. It’s a sport. We loved to ride and we have rights to the roads also,” Brandon said.
“I have scars here where back in 2009 a young lady hit me on Northside Drive. She actually turned in front of me. I hit her, it threw me into oncoming traffic in 5′o’clock traffic,” Brown added.
Riders want drivers to understand how little it takes for a motorcyclist to get injured or even killed.
“If cars could just look. They have rear view mirrors. Turn and look before you change lanes. Put the phone down and stop texting,” Brandon explained.
There is one thing that drivers do they said that is especially dangerous. And that is slamming on the breaks..
“We have ABS on these bikes and a lot of built in safety features but nothing in motion stops on a dime,” Brandon said.