BALDWIN, Mich. — Thousands of motorcyclists traveled to Baldwin to take part in the annual Blessing of the Bikes on Sunday.
It started in 1972 with four bikes and eight riders. The event has grown over the past four decades to include thousands of people. Riders received a blessing not only for themselves but for their motorcycles.
“It’s a chance for all us motorcyclists to get together one big family-hood," said Andy Pavona. "We arrive under one umbrella and leave under the same umbrella ready for season, in a safe riding season is what we’re looking forward to, is kind of what of blessing is.”
Pavona was one of the motorcyclists that headed to Baldwin Sunday for the event.
“Our family has grown substantially," said Pavona. "Originally it was, they would walk around and bless the bike individually. Now that it has grown substantially, you’ll see someone on stage, give a blessing to a large group of people, they’ll do it a couple times throughout the day.”
Tim Overbeek, who has been riding for a decade, said this was his first year taking part in the blessing. “It’s fun to hang out with a group of fellow bikers," said Overbeek.
He said not only is the blessing a special time for motorcyclists to get together, they also hope people who don't ride get something out of Sunday's event as well.
"There are too many motorcycle accidents, and I think people on the roads are too busy and too preoccupied with other things and they don’t always look enough.”