FRONTENAC, Kansas (AP) -- Rumbles of thunder and heavy rains were replaced by the rumbles of hundreds of motorcycles and a sprinkling of holy water.

Leading the gang and wearing riding boots beneath his vestments was the Rev. Robert McElwee, who offered prayer during the annual Blessing of the Bikes in downtown Frontenac.

"Did I get you?" he asked Sunday, weaving through a cordon of more than 1,500 brightly painted motorcycles from as far away as Utah and Idaho.

McElwee, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and an avid motorcyclist, has seen the event grow in the past eight years from an informal gathering after Sunday Mass to a regional affair in this town of 3,000