28th Annual Tijuana Toy Run
Story by Randy Twells; Photos- RT and (in TJ) Jorge ‘Dr. Cancun’ Sandoval, Solo Angeles MC
December 15, 2013—San Diego, CA. San Diego Harley’s huge new location on Morena Blvd. in San Diego, just a few miles from their now-secondary location on Kearny Mesa Rd., is the newest launch point for the country’s ONLY International Toy Run, 2013’s 28th Annual Tijuana Toy Run. With complimentary breakfast burritos served up right inside the vast showroom area with tables to enjoy it on and sunny weather outside greeting the riders, bikes soon filled the parking lot.
New York Myke, his beautiful wife Petrina, and Myke’s right arm/daughter & GM Jennifer, were on hand to greet all as Trisha Orsborn the Marketing Coordinator made sure of the details. Radio Latina brought their big blue bus to accompany the ride, and a snowman character to greet visitors at their booth inside the dealership. In past years we’ve met some who remember the Run from their childhood, and today we met Solo Angeles MC member Jorge “Dr. Cancun” Sandoval who would do our TJ photos, now a respiratory therapist in Chula Vista, who recalls as a child getting in line in at the toy run in Tijuana to get a toy, since his parents could not afford to buy any toys. Now here he was, helping deliver the toys to the kids himself. So the kids in Tijuana at the run today, may be the ones making it happen 30 years from now too.
Members of many various clubs of all colors & patches showed up with toys, and soon everyone had either put their donated toys into the Solo Angeles’ big trailer that would take the toys to Tijuana, or had secured their toys/stuffed animals to their bikes for the ride south.
As the last instructions were given, the bikes then pulled out on Morena Blvd. for the final staging. Headed up by the Solo Angeles officers, with their large club flag on the lead bike, kickstands went up and the Tijuana Toy Run was ON! Some riders would later split off, and head over to the Landing Strip Bar at Brown Field, near the border. At the Landing Strip, the UMF Club was holding their annual Christmas Party, so I decided to follow some of our compadres there, while the Solo Angeles took care of covering the photo duties in Tijuana.
In Tijuana, the childhood wonder of toys at Christmas is alive and well, as is Santa—and for this event, Santa’s sleigh is a big flatbed truck or several actually, parked along Avenida Revolucion and loaded with toys; his reindeer, the estimated 5,000 total motorcycles ridden by the Solo Angeles MC, their fellow Baja California MC’s and the US riders, for a huge uproar all along the heart of Tijuana’s colorful restaurant and shopping area. (That’s a lot of reindeer..) Santa has radio personality helpers, large motorcycle riding elves, and several rock n roll bands all making it a fun day for these kids who look forward to this ONE day, ALL YEAR. Tickets in hand to get one toy each, their parents bring them to patiently line up and wait their turn for one of the thousands of bicycles and toys handed out. The look on their faces is like nothing else.
Toy Run participants can grab an awesome lunch on Revolucion or, follow the Solo Angeles over to their clubhouse for some carne asada, before heading back to the US of A.
Wayne-O and Hollywood of the Messengers MC escorted me over to the Landing Strip, where we got to hang out with the UMF guys and gals and others who stopped here on the ride from San Diego H-D. New York Myke came by later as well, visiting with Portuguese the UMF President. A good number of other clubs’ members showed up too and all mingled sociably. A slew of raffle prizes were drawn, the big prize was a nice large flat screen TV, and the 50/50 was a nice chunk too.
All in all, we had a great time watching the game on TV up on the wall or listening to the tunes the DJ spun, a great Christmas dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy & salad, and you could hang out inside or out on the patio as many did just grouping around the tables in the shaded sunny warm weather. All while the planes take off and land just over the fence at Brown Field Municipal Airport, including some occasional military jets that streak by in thrilling practice runs! All viewable through the large window areas at the back of the room.
Set up outside at the Landing Strip there were also vendors here to serve all the motorcycle riders with leather, some beautiful fine knives, and other motorcycle type items.
Whether you went with the main ride into Tijuana, Mexico or stayed on the US side, you could participate in the Tijuana Toy Run to the extent you wished, and have a full day of socializing and riding. Way more photos were shot than we can print here, so check out our Gallery for the whole collection, and see you next year in December for the 2014 Tijuana Toy Run!