HEREFORD, TX (KFDA) - For the biker community, spring season is riding season and warmer temperatures mean an increased presence on the road.
At the First United Methodist Church of Hereford, the "Blessing of the Bikes" event was held not only to pray for safety, but to spread awareness to the community about how to keep roads safe for everyone.
Amarillo biker, Randy Laing, said with more motorcycles on the road, accidents can happen anywhere.
"We have a slogan: Look twice, save a life. And watch out for us because we watch out for you," he said. "There's a lot of bikes out on the road now. Just here in Hereford alone, there's probably over 200 bikers. And you know you get that many bikers out riding around, the chances of an accident are pretty good."
He believes the seventh annual "blessing of the bikes" comes at a time when the biker community needs it most.
"I've had a lot of friends that, you know, maybe have had an accident or one go down and didn't make it," said Laing. "So to me, I have a special place in my heart that doing this every year helps me with them being gone and helps me say to the others, come and join us. It's a good thing."
Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Reverend Kevin Bushart, shared messages of hope and prayer with each individual rider.
He believes this is an opportunity for the church to reach out to others beyond their congregation.
"We wanted a way for our congregation to bless a part of our community or bless our community beyond the walls of the building," he said. "We as a church don't believe that our primary purpose is inside the walls. We really need to be going outside our walls and reaching out into our community. This is a way for us to pray over them and offer them a blessing as they start the riding season."
The church also prayed with local first responders for their safety on the job.
Deaf Smith County officials were in attendance to show their support for the biker community.
Sheriff J. Dale Butler said with a large biker presence in Hereford, it's important to always be on the look out.
"We're all out on the road together," he said. "And, you know, if something happens then we're the first to come out and help them and, you know, we get to know people, we get to meet people and they get to know us. And it kind of brings awareness to the community that you know motorcycles are out there, it's time to get started with them and be careful and watch out for them. It's their road too so let's share the road."
Reverend Bushart hopes local bikers and first responders continue to attend the blessing each year, and more importantly, continue to be safe out on the road.