Motorcyclists gather in Xenia for 18th annual Blessing of the Bikes

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bikers gather for annual Blessing of the Bikes

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hundreds of motorcyclists and their families gathered at Kil-Kare Raceway for the 18th annual Blessing of the Bikes Sunday afternoon in Xenia.

Always held on the 3rd Sunday in May, the event raises money for veterans and charities, and tries to promote a positive image of motorcycling in the community.

Clergy pray for bikers who have the opportunity to have their motorcycles blessed during a ceremony for safe riding.

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GreeneBucs, a local chapter of Ambucs, an organization dedicated to the mobility of children and people with disabilities, presented Amtrykes therapeutic tricycles to five children and two veterans before the ceremony.

In addition to raising money for charity, the event also promotes driver safety and teaches other drivers what they can do to avoid collisions with riders.

Attendees walk around Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia at the 18th annual Blessing of the Bikes.
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Attendees walk around Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia at the 18th annual Blessing of the Bikes.

Lawrence Taylor, Blessing of the Bikes Chairman, says people have to understand that motorcycles are different and you have to adjust the way you drive.

"They are smaller, they are in your blind spots more often and they tend to come out of the middle of nowhere it seems," Taylor said. "If you look over your shoulder when you are changing lanes, you will be able to see them a lot faster."

Attendees enjoyed live music, sampled food from several vendors, received T-shirts, bandannas and door prizes.

Volunteers from Kil-Kare, Dayton AMVETS, Wright Patt Air Force Base, Moose Riders, Buckminn's D&D Harley Davidson, ABATE and other motorcycle clubs helped sponsor the event.