Love Ride 24 rolled out of Glendale last Sunday morning, hosting more than 10,000 bikers who gathered at Glendale Harley-Davidson as early as 6 a.m. to register for this year’s ride.
Grand Marshall this year was TV celebrity and local gearhead Jay Leno, who also hosted the proceedings at the Fairplex. Leno who took the opportunity to razz some “faux bikers” KTLA TV’s Sam Rubin and Mark Kriski. Leno teased them for riding three-wheel trikes and said “you don’t even have a license to ride those!”
This years event raised “over than $900,000 and will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, (M.D.A.), Reading by 9, a Los Angeles Times literacy initiative, the Glendale College Foundation and other local charities,” said Emily Vindeni, Love Ride treasurer.
The ride, which started in Glendale, required a $75 minimum registration fee. So far more than $20 million dollars has been raised for charities over the 24 year history of the ride.
Founded by Oliver Shokouh, owner of Glendale Harley-Davidson and a GCC benefactor (the press box at Sartoris Field was a gift from the dealership), as a way to raise money for “Jerry’s Kids,” (M.D.A.).
Mike Geiger, 56, a GCC computer graphics major, has been a Love Ride participant since 2003. After a motorcycle accident in 1998, which resulted in a one-year hospital stay, his left leg is mostly metal now.
Geiger still rides and owns two Harleys, he is also part of the disabled students program here on campus.
As a Love Ride staff volunteer this year, Geiger was at Glendale Harley-Davidson ready to start setting up for the event at 2 a.m. Sunday.
“Having an event that brings so many bikers together, with the proceeds going to charities it’s a win-win,” Geiger said.”If you were there then you know what the impact of thousands of motorcycles starting their engines at the same time [was like!].”
The riders rode to the Fairplex in Pomona where they enjoyed a barbecue lunch, a motorcycle trade show and a stunt riding exhibition ending with a concert by Gregg Allman.
Former Love Ride participants from GCC include former President John Davitt and Wendy Grove, public information coordinator.