Posts Tagged ‘Blessing of the bikes’

A small group of cyclists joined together with local clergy and church-goers for a Blessing of the Bikes followed by Sitka’s first Worldwide Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 16, at the Crescent Harbor Shelter.

This was the 16th annual Worldwide Ride of Silence, which last year featured rides in 390 cities in all 50 states and 22 countries. The Worldwide Ride of Silence honors those bicyclists who have been killed or seriously injured by cars. It also is a way to remind drivers that cyclists legally have a right to share the roads, and to promote bike safety.

In Sitka, only five cyclists showed up for the event — Doug Osborne, Holly Marban, Bill Foster, Nate Stearman (pastor of Sitka Seventh-Day Adventist Church) and Charles Bingham (who also took pictures while riding) — which was preceded by a Blessing of the Bikes from Rev. Julie Platson (Rector of St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church) and Fr. Andy Sensenig, OMI (Priest at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church). There also was a small choir of women from St. Peter’s.

This was one of several cycling events in Sitka for National Bike Month (May) and National Bike To Work Week (May 14-18). The Ride of Silence always takes place at 7 p.m. local time on the third Wednesday in May. Upcoming events include National Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 18; the Julie Hughes Triathlon on Saturday, May 19; and the annual Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 26.

A slideshow of scenes from the Blessing of the Bikes and Sitka’s event in the Worldwide Ride of Silence is posted below.

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Monday through Friday, May 14-18, is National Bike To Work Week this year, and the schedule of Sitka events is fuller than normal for the week.

As usual, people who bicycle to work each day can stop by Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop and fill out an entry ticket for the contest to win a gift certificate from the store (the winning ticket is drawn at the Julie Hughes Triathlon on Saturday, May 19). But this year there are other events each day of the week to help keep people riding their bikes.

On Monday, cyclists can start of the week with a free morning cup of coffee or tea (eight ounces or 12 ounces) from the Backdoor Café between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Riders must show a helmet to qualify.

On Tuesday, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) hosts one of its Doc Talks at 6 p.m. at the Sitka Public Library. The Doc Talks speaker will by physical therapist Gio Villanueva, who will discuss “Exercise as Medicine.”

On Wednesday, Sitka joins the Worldwide Ride of Silence with a short, quiet ride through downtown Sitka. Cyclists are asked to meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Crescent Harbor Shelter for ride instructions and a brief Blessing of the Bikes with Rev. Julie Platson before we start riding at 7 p.m. The Worldwide Ride of Silence is a series of rides that take place in communities all over the world at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday in May to honor those cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding. Bike helmets are required for this event.

On Thursday, cyclists will be able to use pedal-power to make their own smoothies at North Sister Juice & Crepe Co. from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and they’ll get a 20-percent discount on lunch. Again, cyclists need to show their helmets to get the discount.

Friday, May 18, is National Bike To Work Day, and there will be a celebration of cyclists at the Sitka Health Summit‘s monthly Wooch.een luncheon at noon at the Sitka Community Hospital downstairs classroom. Some businesses in town are hosting special events for employees who ride to work on Friday (for example, SEARHC employees who show their helmets and ID badges can get a free lunch at the Island Skillet in Mount Edgecumbe Hospital).

Don’t forget there is a variety of other events during May, which is National Bike Month, so click this link to see a full schedule of events in Sitka. Other National Bike Month events include a Cross Trail guided bike ride, National Bike To School Day, the Sitka Bike Rodeo, and the Sitka Community Bike Ride.

• 2018 National Bike Month list of Sitka events (PDF flier to print and post)

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During a Sitka winter you never know what type of weather you’ll get — freezing rain, snow, hail, wind, even the occasional sunny day. But Sitka cyclists are a hardy bunch and many of us ride all winter long.

With that in mind, the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition will host the inaugural Sitka Winter Cycling Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Crescent Harbor shelter and Harrigan Centennial Hall. This is several events in one, so come join the fun and bring the entire family. And make sure you bring your bike, recumbent, cargo bike, tandem, adult trike, or even one of the dog-pulled bikes we see around town. We encourage safe cycling, so please bring your helmet and wear bright, reflective gear.

We will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Crescent Harbor shelter for free bike safety checks, free reflective tape and other winter safety items. At 10:45 a.m., we will have a few contests, such as the slowest rider, most visible cyclist, most winterized, best sound, etc. At 11 a.m., Sitka clergy will offer a blessing of the bikes.

At 11:15 a.m., we will depart the Crescent Harbor shelter for a short community bike ride/parade through downtown Sitka. Our course will be down Lincoln Street to Harbor Road (turning left after city hall), then Harbor Drive and back to the start. We have an approved parade permit from the Sitka Police Department, which is supposed to provide traffic control for the event (which should help make it safer for kids). We will ride regardless of the weather.

We will gather again at Harrigan Centennial Hall at 11:35 a.m. to warm up with hot cocoa and popcorn. We will distribute door prizes and announce the winners from the bike contests.

Then at 11:45 a.m. we will show the award-winning film “Fat Bike,” a 27-minute movie by Anchorage filmmaker/photographer Carl Battreall. The movie is about winter mountain biking in Alaska using specially built snow bikes. This movie follows a couple of racers as they prepare for and compete in the 2009 Susitna 100 wilderness mountain bike race over part of the historic Iditarod Trail.

After the movie ends, about 12:15 p.m., we will have a brief discussion about how we can make Sitka more bicycle friendly. We also will provide some safe winter cycling tips. We expect to be finished by 12:30 p.m.

To learn more about this event or the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition, contact Charles Bingham at 738-8875 or charleswbingham3@gmail.com, or contact Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or doug.osborne@searhc.or, or you can check out our website at https://sitkacycling.wordpress.com/. We also are accepting donations of items for door prizes (we encourage donations of winter outerwear, bike items, safety items, punch cards for hot coffee, etc.).

• Sitka Winter Cycling Celebration flier as a PDF file (please feel free to print and post around town)

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