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First Ever Blessing of Bicycles in DC Set for Downtown

Sat., May 7  (11am): All are welcome, with or without bikes,  at this free, non-denominational event to be hosted by the Church of the Ascension & St. Agnes at 12th St. & Mass.Ave. on its lawn. In case of rain event will be held inside the church. (Since the mid-1990s, similar events have been held in New York and San Francisco.)

churchWhat is this “Blessing of Bicycles”? The church’s Rev. Dominique Peridans explains as follows:

“A blessing is a shower of divine goodness. Our parish priest, Father Dominique Peridans, will say a prayer over all the assembled bicyclists (and their bicycles!). While the service is rooted in the Anglican tradition, all are welcome — regardless of religious (or any) affiliation, fat or thin tires, and brand of bike.We gather as a diverse community seeking blessing and protectionfor all who brave DC streets on two (or perhaps three!) wheels.

“The actual Blessing will be preceded by a few words from representatives of other dimensions of the bicycling community in DC: District Department of Transportation, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and National Museum of Women in the Arts (who will be having an event in honor of National Bike Month the following weekend).  The ceremony of blessing will be concluded by a few remarks by Mariann Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (an avid cyclist).  We will also have ‘blessing stations’ for those who may wish a more ‘personal blessing.  We will close our event with two community rides (one shorter, one longer).

Your will notice an image throughout the event: Madonna de Ghisallo (patron saint of cyclists).  The broadly appealing image has been produced by Cycology Gear, which has most graciously allowed us to make use of it for our purposes.  Prior to the two rides, there will a time to mingle.  Gearin’ Up Bicycles will have a pop-up tuning station.  We will be selling pizza, savory and sweet baked goods and drinks, as well as t-shirts bearing the image of Madonna de Ghisallo.  All proceeds from this event will go towards making our church wheel-chair accessible (“from wheels to wheels”). Free spoke cards and stickers will be offered to all participants. And, by drawing, we will be giving away bike lights, bike bells, and 24-hour Bikeshare passes (generously donated by the District Department of Transportation).”

For additional information, please call the curch’s head and event chair, Fr. Peridans at (443) 223-1565).