With the weather warming up, it is officially motorcycle season. As the days warm up, we'll start seeing more and more bikes on the road. If you don't ride, this may not mean much to you other than that you need to keep an extra eye out for our friends on two wheels.

If you do ride, you know that there are some superstitions and traditions tied to being out on the road. There's the Gremlin Bell - which everyone I've ever known that had a motorcycle has had hanging from the underside of the bike. The legend being that the ringing of the bell scares away any kind of road gremlins that might reach up and pull your bike to the ground. It's even said that it's bad luck to buy your own bell and that it should be gifted to you instead.

Another tradition in the motorcycle community, steeped in faith rather than superstition, is the annual Blessing of the Bikes. In the Tri-state, the blessing is hosted by A.B.A.T.E Region 8. The annual Blessing of the Bikes is a family-friendly event where riders from across the region will gather and a prayer service will be held to ask that the riders, their passengers and their bikes be kept safe when traveling. Once the blessing is through, there is traditionally a ride of some kind like a poker run or as is the case this year, a scavenger hunt.

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If you're unfamiliar with A.B.A.T.E. it stands for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education and the organization is geared towards doing just that. Started in 1975, A.B.A.T.E. of Indiana is the single, largest motorcycle rights organization in the entire United States.

ABATE of Indiana is the nation's largest state motorcyclists' rights organization. ABATE has a full-time staff, 350 volunteer officers, and over 100 certified safety instructors, dedicated to serving the interests of all motorcyclists.

Not only does A.B.A.T.E. work to spread safety and awareness, but they also work hard to fundraise for a number of charities as well as those in need.

Over the years, ABATE has raised over $4,250,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, tons of food and truckloads of toys are donated each year at Christmas time, through toy collection programs. In addition, ABATE has contributed over $70,000 to community charities and has been instrumental in raising over $6,700,000 for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

The 33rd Annual Blessing of the Bikes will kick off the month of May which happens to be Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. Taking place at Roberts Park in Evansville on Sunday, May 2, 2021, with gates opening at 8 am for this rain or shine event and the National Anthem, presenting of the colors and the blessing beginning at 9 am. The blessing is open to all who wish to attend and there is no admission to take part. There will also be vendors selling food and wares. Once the blessing is through, there will be a scavenger hunt ride with prizes and the cost to participate in the ride is $5 per person.


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