As the warmer weather approaches, more motorcyclists take to the road. There are 8.3 million registered motorcycles in the country. Despite only accounting for 3 percent of all registered vehicles, motorcycles make up 14 percent of traffic-related fatalities each year.
The Blessing of the Bikes is an annual tradition in which priests bless riders of motorcycles in hopes it will keep them safe for the year. First held in 1999 in New York, the service is non-denominational, focusing more on safety than religion, although it does include prayers and holy water. As The Blessing of the Bikes spread across the country, it also expanded to include bicycles. Several years ago when I owned a Honda scooter, I always attended a Blessing of the Bikes event.
On Saturday, the Knights of Columbus Council 12173 sponsored a Blessing of the Bikes open-air Mass on the northwest side of Chicago. The parking lot of St. Francis Borgia filled with motorcycles of all types on this beautiful day. In a move befitting a movie opening scene, Fr. Gary Graf rode in on his motorcycle before officiating the blessing. In addition to the actual service, there was plenty of socializing as riders from all over exchanged stories while checking all the cycles. There were even a few youngsters on their bicycles.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As much as the Blessing of the Bikes is a wonderful event for riders, it also serves as a reminder for other drivers to look out for our two-wheeled friends on the road. Let’s keep everyone safe on our way to our destinations.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
For all its cosmopolitan trappings, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved gennery and the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
In this era of 6,500-passenger mega-ships, any cruise vessel conveying fewer than a thousand voyagers is considered a small ship, including high-end luxury liners, deluxe expedition ships and the world’s riverboats. The focus on many small ships is the destination rather than the conveyance, the expert chat rather than the Broadway show, the watersport rather than the casino, the scenery and culture rather than the full-service spa and specialty restaurant. Passengers make a travel style choice, forgoing the options and pleasures of a resort-sized vessel for the deeper, more immersive experience of a yacht-scaled ship.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT) last week. To welcome travelers back to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui offers fares starting as low as $775 round-trip from Los Angeles, and $789 from San Francisco (SFO). The airline also allows a free date change on all of its tickets.
Turkish Airlines, already flying to more countries than any other airline, announced its 10th U.S. gateway: Newark Liberty International Airport. Service will launch May 21, with four flights per week between EWR and Istanbul (IST). Beginning June 1, the frequency increases to daily.
Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.