TRURO – Mike Devine is all smiles as he roars into Victoria Park.
He parks his motorcycle beside an ever-growing lineup of bikes, removes his helmet and shares a story.
"My wife (Cathy) and I were biking in Newfoundland a few years ago and we had trouble getting on the ferry with the motorcycle and trailer," the Debert resident recalled.
"Horns were beeping for us to get moving and (ferry operators) finally waved us through and I took off. I looked in my rearview mirror and there was my wife with her helmet on ... I had left, got on the ferry, without her," he laughed at the memory.
Cathy got on the ferry with the help of a stranger and Mike's "two-second lapse in memory" made for a "very quiet crossing" once reunited with his wife on the boat.
That was only one of many stories and laughs shared at Victoria Park Saturday morning during the 22nd annual Blessing of the Bikes, hosted by the Organization of Responsible Bikers.
Organizers estimated more than 2,000 bikes came to town for the event, whichis considered the unofficial first motorcycle ride of the year.The gathering also included prayer, fellowship, entertainment, vendors and a barbecue.
"Driving motorcycles is a sport that there's an element of risk to. We practice safety and if God is on your side that helps," said Devine, a biker for 40 years, in regards to the bike blessing.
Harmony's Vanya and Gerald MacKenzie have been motorcyclists for about 30 years. The bike blessing continues to be a favourite event for them.
"It's amazing the number of people who come," said Vanya. "It's another world when you are on a bike. You forget everything else."
Gerald said a lot of motorcyclists are retirement age.
"It's about fellowship and freedom and a lot of people grew up around bikes," he said.
There were, however, some young fans at the bike blessing. Tristan Adshead, 11, from Salmon River, has been attending the gathering for a few years.
"I drive on the back with a (family) friend. It's really cool and I've always wanted a bike for myself," said Adshead. "In a car there's not enough freedom and the wind's not in your hair. Sometimes I feel trapped" in a car, he said.
Bikers also hoped the event would remind motorists that biking season has arrived and extra care should be taken to remember motorcycles will be sharing the roads with other vehicles.
Truro police said a man and a woman were taken to Colchester Regional Hospital with serious injuries after a motorcycle and motor vehicle collision at about 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Prince and Golf streets.
The male driver of the motorcycle and a female passenger, both in their late 30s or early 40s, suffered undisclosed serious, but non life-threatening injuries. The female driver of the motor vehicle, in her late teens, was not injured.
The accident is under investigation.
BIKE BLESSING INFO BOX
What: 22nd annual Blessing of the Bikes
Where: Victoria Park
When: First Saturday of May
Hosted by: Organization of Responsible Bikers
Route driven around Truro to mark the event Saturday: Brunswick, Young, Glenwood, Willow, Prince, Inglis, Esplanade, Walker and Cottage
Participants: Come from all over the Maritimes