Seen in a San Jose bike shop.
The story goes that a traveler named Ghisallo was attacked by roving bandits. He ran to a nearby shrine and sought refuge after he was drawn to the shrine by an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Religious leaders later proclaimed this apparition — the Madonna del Ghisallo — to be the patroness of cyclists.
As a young man, Mark Catalana set a goal for himself of 100,000 miles traveled by bike. He was 1,400 miles short of this goal when he was struck down by the driver of a gray Nissan on San Tomas Expressway over Winchester Boulevard on April 15, 2013. The driver drifted into the shoulder and sideswiped Catalana at near highway speed. Catalana went down hard and shattered his hip.
Catalana was well on his way to recovery when he suddenly fell ill, was transported to the hospital, and perished when a blood clot from his healing wounds caused a fatal heart attack. The sudden death of this 49 year old pastor stunned the congregation at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church in San Jose.
The Bay Area native used his bicycle as his main mode of transportation. He religiously tracked his miles as he meditated on his bike. One of the cyclists in Catalana’s congregation, Bill Wright, encouraged the other members of the church to complete the 100,000 miles. 115 people logged 8600 miles — six times more than needed — in memory of Father Catalana.
Read more about Father Mark Catalana in the Mercury News: — Cycling priest’s death sets San Jose congregation on a quest.
On a related now, Elly Blue is now accepting submissions for her latest project: Bicycling and religion.
Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, is a somber occasion marked with prayer, fasting, reflection and repentance. The entire nation of Israel shuts down. Although 75% of the population of Israel are Jewish, with a significant number of those non-observant, the residents of Israel almost universally avoid driving on Yom Kippur.
The result: on this day, Israeli highways become a biking paradise.
A personal note
The religious observations this weekend represent an event that’s a Pretty Big Deal for me. If you’re so inclined, feel free to visit my church in San Jose at 878 Boynton Avenue. You won’t see me at the morning service (10 AM) unless you ask somebody for me; there’s also an evening service at 6:30 PM. The evening tends to be a bit dressier than the
evening morning, if that’s important to you. If you find me in the morning we can probably go out for lunch somewhere (not sure what my lunch plans are yet).
And yes, of course you’re welcome to ride your bike there. Bring a lock.