Blessing Of The Bikes – 2015 Pt1

Last year I covered the full event for Mirboo North’s first Blessing of the Bikes, establishing what the Blessing of the Bikes was all about; however, this year I thought I’d do wider coverage of the people and their bikes, and the bikes themselves, compared to what I did last year. It turned out to be a huge event this year, with significantly greater numbers and a much greater variety of attendees than last year. The weather was also excellent, but storm clouds were looming and by around 1:30 pm, rain was starting to fall.

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Anyway, the change in weather was much later in the day and, like last year, I decided to turn up early to cover things from the start. I must say that it was ironic that the first person I wanted to photograph also featured in last year’s story, Big Mo from Bairnsdale. In fact all the people that I approached this year came from around the region, though I understand that there were people from as far afield as Western Australia. It’s a pity that I couldn’t touch base with any of the more distant travellers and give them some coverage as well.

Big Mo from Bairnsdale - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Big Mo from Bairnsdale – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Andy and Val from Leongatha - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Andy and Val from Leongatha – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Nev from Thorpdale - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Nev from Thorpdale – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

What I found really great was the fact that some very old bikes were ridden here, though not too great a distance, as Andrew from Morwell explained; in his case, the Enfield wasn’t one that he’d want to ride any significant distance, as it could be just too much for the old girl. That said, it was excellent to see old war horses and others still able to do the miles when called for duty.

Andrew from Morwell with 64 Enfield- Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Andrew from Morwell with 64 Enfield- Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Ken from Inverloch with War Department Victor BSA - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Ken from Inverloch with War Department Victor BSA – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 Mirboo North Victoria

Alan from Korumburra with 68 Triumph Bonneville - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Alan from Korumburra with 68 Triumph Bonneville – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

As the morning wore on, the trickle of riders coming to town grew into a veritable flood, with individuals and group after group coming in. The coordination was much better this year and the flow of traffic was far smoother than last year, forewarned about the potential numbers was forearmed. Some came with a police escort, perhaps by chance only, as other groups were without escort.

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Not only do the bikes display their individual characteristic, that’s also reflected in their riders as well. No two are alike and there’s far more variation to style and substance than you’ll ever find in a similar car event.

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

The main street of Mirboo North was soon well and truly filled with bikes (I could not find a spot high enough to get a line down the entire main street) and the ever expanding numbers easily doubled that of last year. From all the discussions that I had with many visitors, everyone thought that the Blessing of the Bikes was a great idea; something different and well worth taking the effort to attend.

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

For 2015, the Blessing of the Bikes was a huge success, significantly larger than last year and, by all accounts, it looks like it’s going to be a regular feature on the calendar for the foreseeable future. And why not, it’s something that follows the AFL Grand Final and precedes the motor racing calendars that are part of the coming month as well. So it slots in nicely.

Now I deliberately held off posting this story earlier, as the Blessing of the Bikes preceded the Barry Sheene Tribute Ride, which travelled through Mirboo North the following Thursday. The tribute ride is a major part of the start of Moto GP season and I wanted to include some coverage of the riders as they went through Mirboo North, as I missed it last year. All I took was a video, as there was no point in taking stills and my apologies for any jitters, as I ended up hand-holding for the entire time.

Because of the large number of photos I took this year to cover specific aspects of the event, I’ve decided to split the story into two segments. The first is about the people and their bikes and the second will be about the bikes on their own.

Sharp eyed readers may note that last year I titled my article the ‘Blessing of the Bike’, but this year it’s become the ‘Blessing of the Bikes’. Last year’s flyer called it the ‘Blessing of the Bike’ and this year it’s a more appropriate ‘Blessing of the Bikes’.

Update: Rev John McMahon posted a note on the Inline Cafe Facebook page: Inline4Cafe and I’m absolutely gobsmacked. I’ve worked in the news industry for many years and have never heard of such a thing as Rev McMahon described. What Marcel, Sabine and others have done is absolutely central to the event and their efforts simply cannot and should not be ignored. And what’s worse, such a thing can inadvertently reflect poorly on the township itself, making it appear petty and insular, which is far from what the Mirboo North community is about.

Sabine (left), supporter (centre) and Marcel (right) - Blessing of the Bikes 2015 - Mirboo North Victoria

Sabine (left), supporter (centre) and Marcel (right) – Blessing of the Bikes 2015 – Mirboo North Victoria

Blessing of the Bikes – 2015 Part 2

9 thoughts on “Blessing Of The Bikes – 2015 Pt1

  1. Marcel

    What a great write up. The photos are excellent. Thank you so much. You could not describe this event better, well done.
    Inline4cafe

    1. Ray Post author

      Thank you Marcel

      More credit to you and Sabine for the idea and effort for the organising etc. This year really did go well.

  2. Paul

    Good stuff Ray! Great read, great pics . Was a great day, as was last year can’t wait for next year.

    1. Ray Post author

      Thanks, it was a great day and I look forward to next year, but have to think of a new theme. The second half of the story should be up later next week with the bike coverage.

  3. Sharlene

    I was in the police escort (blue helmet) Rob (the cop) is my brother so we did it for fun, there was 4 of us together, we wanted lights and sirens. It was a fantastic day and a credit to all bikes riders. Can’t wait for next year.

    1. Ray Post author

      It was definitely a top day and the overall camaraderie from such a large and diverse group of attendees was great to see.

  4. Geoff Luckins

    Great pictures and blog, Marcel and Sabine have certainly put Mirboo North on the map as a great bike riders destination. Well done!

    Geoff

    1. Ray Post author

      Thank you. Yes Marcel and Sabine have done a wonderful job. Mirboo North has been a thoroughfare for bike riders for some time, but thanks to them, it’s now a place to stop and relax as well.

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