San Remo revs up for bike blessing


SAN REMO is revved up to host the fourth annual Blessing of the Bikes event that has moved from Mirboo North after three successful years.

The official announcement was made last Wednesday in San Remo by Bass Coast Shire Council events coordinator Frank Angarane with mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield, Cr Stephen Fullarton and instigators of the Blessing of the Bikes event and Mirboo North traders Marcel and Sabine Widmer, along with San Remo business group members and pastors attending.

The event will be held on Saturday, October 14 and is expected to attract some 10,000 motorbikes.

President of the San Remo and District Tourism and Business Association Craig Edmonds said, “The event could really put the town on the map.

“I am sure this will be an amazing event with the whole main street closed off and so many bikes in town.

“This event will be great for business, not just in San Remo but for the region and while it is still early days, we will plan to keep the community informed and will hold a public meeting in July.”

The Widmers are motorcycle enthusiasts and are thrilled San Remo has embraced the event they have invested much time and energy in to making a success.

It was back in October 2014 when Marcel and Sabine, owners of Mirboo North’s Inline 4 Cafe, staged the first major Blessing of the Bikes ceremony in Australia.

Always held a week prior to Phillip Island’s MotoGP, that first event attracted more than 500 bikes and that number quickly grew to 8000 bikes last year, with many of those coming from all parts of the country, Melbourne and around Gippsland.

The Widmers are thrilled the event is “only a stone’s throw from the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit” and has been so warmly welcomed by the San Remo traders and Bass Coast Shire Council.

Only last week they made an approach to council to host the event in the shire and said, “They have been overwhelmed by the support and positive attitude shown to us”.

Sabine said the event has always been friendly and fun, with music and entertainment.

Mr Angarane said council looked all around the Bass Coast, including the towns of Inverloch and Wonthaggi, before deciding San Remo would be the perfect location, given it is the gateway to Phillip Island, the traditional home of motorcycle racing.

“It will be a great success in San Remo and in terms of visuals, it will be spectacular,” he said.

“We handle the traffic logistics for the World Superbikes and the MotoGP on Phillip Island each year and we like to think of ourselves as motorcycle friendly.”

Mr Angarane said the event was a European tradition to herald the end of winter and the start of spring, and to signal the start of the riding season. It is a spiritual gathering and one to remember those who have lost their lives on motorbikes.

Riders of motorcycles are blessed by a priest, minister or pastor in the hope it will bring safety for the coming season.

Sabine and Marcel said while it is a spiritual gathering, it is more a day of reflection, remembrance and celebration and people don’t have to be religious to attend.

Some 15 pastors are expected to carry out a group blessing and will be on hand for individual bike blessings.

Marcel and Sabine want to lift the profile of motorcyclists and to dispel the stigma that “Bikies are Bad”.

“You never know who is under the helmet; they could be doctors, teachers or any type of workers. People who ride bikes come from all walks of life and we have found the Blessing of the Bikes event to be one big friendly gathering,” Sabine said.

On the day, there will be community group fundraisers and local businesses will benefit.

“The whole town is getting involved,” Sabine said.

“All shops will be welcoming and open for business. Everyone in San Remo already has the right thinking and that’s the type of spirit we’re after.”

Spectacular news: from left, San Remo and District Tourism and Business Association vice president and Westernport Hotel manager Nick Say, association president Craig Edmonds, Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield, Mirboo North’s Inline 4 Cafe co-owner Sabine Widmer, Reverend John McMahon, Berwick and Inline 4 Cafe co-owner Marcel Widmer are now busy planning the 4th annual Blessing of the Bikes 2017 event that has moved from Mirboo North to San Remo. The event will be held on Saturday, October 14.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21530

Posted by on Jun 6 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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