On Saturday, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, dozens of cyclists gathered for the 16th annual Blessing of the Bikes ahead of the Five Boro Bike Tour. The tour, which is essentially a traffic-free bike marathon around the city, took place yesterday.
Cyclists brought bikes of all shapes and sizes, and Rev. Canon Julia Whitworth led the procession with an excerpt from the Old Testament's Book of Ezekiel that talks about wheels. "To pray—for those of us who are people of prayer—pray for safety and joy and fun and appreciation for being in God's creation," she said during the service.
Riders didn't only pray for safety during the bike tour; they also prayed for cyclists who have been killed riding NYC's often dangerous streets. "I don't know if the blessings are helping, but they might," cyclist Debbie Friedman told NPR, noting that she has attended the service multiple times and has never been hit by a car.