Naval Station Great Lakes Safety Office highlighted motorcycle safety by hosting the annual Blessing of the Bikes onboard the installation on June 5.
"This is an annual tradition in which riders of motorcycles are blessed by a priest in the hope that it will bring safety for the coming season," said Ross Johnson, safety and occupational health manager at Naval Station Great Lakes. "Many towns hold annual ceremonies to bless motorcycles at the start of the summer."
Before the blessing, riders performed "TCLOCK" checks on the assembled motorcycles. TCLOCK stands for: Tires and wheels; control levers; lights and battery; oil level; chassis; and kickstand.
"The snow has melted in the north country. It's time for bikes to roll out of the garage, roar to life, and start roaming all over the countryside again," said Lt. Cmdr. John Rudd, a chaplain at Lovell Federal Health Care Center. "The good thing about today is that we're asking for God's blessing as we start a new riding season."
The chaplain read a version of the 23rd Psalm modified for motorcyclists at the end of his homily.
The days between Memorial Day through Labor Day are the Navy's "Critical Days of Summer," during which an average of 17 Sailors die per year due to off-duty mishaps.
The Navy continues to promote motorcycle safety worldwide to ensure that its members practice safe and proper riding habits and remain fit for duty. The Navy has lost eight shipmates in motorcycle accidents already this year.
Navy policy requires military personnel operating a motorcycle, on or off base, to complete Level I and Level II training initially, and a refresher course every three years.
Register for classes today at navymotorcyclerider.com