10,000 flock to French religious biker festival

Get your bike blessed at the Festival of the Madonna of the Bikers

THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL of the Madonna of the Bikers, which took place last weekend in the sleepy French town of Porcaro, attracted nearly 10,000 motorcyclists from across Europe.

The event has everything one would expect from a typical bike rally: rock music, bikers and, of course, lots of booze.

But the festival also has a strong religious theme, with priests lashing out oodles of incense and holy water, along with a healthy dose of prayer.

The annual event celebrates the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Highlights include the blessing of the bikes and a 45-mile “pilgrimage” ride through the fields and dark forests of central Brittany.

“No one should leave here without having gotten what he really wanted out of it,” said Rev. Jean-François Audrain, as sprinkled holy water on thousands of bikes as they filed past one by one.

French Priests believe the event is a way of reaching out to Europe's substantial biker brotherhood.

May give it a go next year.