Photos by Pete Alva, Stephanie Nidess, Ray Seidel
Saturday, October 25, 2014 saw another fun-filled day of biker events and great entertainment featuring Buckcherry & Robby Krieger with his band, Jam Kitchen. Yes, that’s correct, this year the ride was held on a Saturday, not Sunday. Also, the ride did NOT start at Glendale (though some still used Glendale Harley Davidson as a start point with friends) – riders went directly to Castaic Lake Recreation Center with the gates open at 9AM (and close at 5PM – longer hours). The longest-running motorcycle fundraising event in the world benefitted its original charity, MDA to send kids to summer camp. Proceeds help send local children to a weeklong, “barrier-free” summer camp in Southern California, offering a wide range of activities specially designed for youngsters who have limited mobility or use wheelchairs. Those who registered in advance got a Love Ride 31 pin and patch and a free Opportunity Prize Ticket. Big prize was a 2015 black Street Glide, and additional Opportunity Tickets were just $10 each.
This year included the Peter Fonda Ride-In Bike Show (near the entrance) with winners in 7 categories (ride-in from 6AM – 9:30 AM.) New this year, select dealers rode to Castaic Lake co-hosted by a Harley-Davidson Motor Company executive. And as usual, the man whose name is on my motorcycle, Honorary Chairman Willie G. Davidson was on hand.
COME FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT –
10:00AM – First band up was Wildwood Highway, unique in that they combine their individual songs and styles, alternating between lead vocals and soulful, tight harmonies to create what they call a feel-good, bluesy, modern country/southern rock sound.
I caught up with Robert Patrick, who rode in on his ’06 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic. Robert is in the TV series Scorpion right now, 9:00PM Mondays on CBS. The series is loosely based on the life of self-proclaimed genius and computer expert Walter O’Brien, and in the series, Robert plays a Federal Agent . In real life, he’s in the BOOZEFIGHTERS MC Chapter 101 and you can often see him at events starting at Glendale Harley Davidson.
While we were talking, Robert looked up with a “What’s that!?” Above us was Freddy Nock doing his dare devil tight rope act above the stage without a net. Then turns around and walks back. Next – Freddy does the William Tell shoot the apple off the wife’s head act, with a cross bow. Jay Leno asks if any guys want to volunteer their wife, but no one speaks up. First shot, success. Two out of two? Another apple gone. Jay asks “Ten out of ten?”
Speaking of Jay, many of you are familiar with “Jay’s Garage” on the Internet – short videos where he talks about one of his cars or motorcycles, then takes it for a spin while giving commentary on its performance (or lack thereof). CNBC will be doing a full television show “Jay’s Garage” so what can he tell us? Jay: “I don’t know anything about it.”
The producers, I assume, have yet to get their fingers in it. But I’ll just go out on a limb and predict it will be similar in giving history/background of the featured vehicle, a ride, plus guests of other enthusiasts, particularly those with their own collections. In any case, Jay assures us we’ll be doing a story as we get closer.
By 1:00PM the Victor McLaglen Motor Corps, which has been at almost every Love Ride, returned to do their classic motorcycle stunts. You may also have seen them at the Laughlin River Run. A fitting follow-up was UNKNOWN Industries, Harley riders pushing the limits of physics on their motorcycles.
More ACTION followed as Juli Moody “The Female Human Link” did her stunt holding two motorcycles riding in opposite directions at full power.
Buckcherry then took to the stage with their high voltage performance. Though their first time at Love Ride, their albums have gotten them a following, including those in front of the stage.
I got a little time with Emilio Rivera, who was close to wrapping up his stint as “Alvarez” in the final week of the final season of Sons of Anarchy. Happy to say, he was asked what he would like to keep from the show, so he’ll get Alvarez’ cut and boots. The other actors will also get their cuts, which Kurt Sutter so far has framed for them. We’ll get the see Emilio in a couple of feature films this coming year – a boxing movie, and a sort of “Mission Impossible” thriller.
Bike show winners and 10 top fundraisers were announced at 3:25PM by Emilio Rivera, Robert Patrick and Chairman Oliver Shokouh. Prize winners in each category gets a tour of Jay Leno’s garage (how cool is THAT), plus other prizes. Certainly worth putting your ride on display, and giving thousands of people something to admire.
STAY FOR THE FOOD –
While the Charlie Brechtel Band took the stage, I took to the food trucks and vendors. I could go on and on about all the incredible food choices from the expected BBQ truck to Roll’n Lobster, Crab etc.. A favorite of mine is The Grilled Cheese Truck, and the “Rushed Art Food Truck” know for their pan seared salmon wrap. Anita’s Famous Louisiana Sausages had two grills loaded and a line of customers, but I was holding off for later.
Over at the Victory/Indian of Orange County booth, I had to check out the new Indian Scout. Journalists have been tripping over themselves in praise for this bike, and so far – just short of a test ride – I’m eyeballing getting one of these 100 hp rockets myself. Walking from one booth to another the Budweiser girls just seemed to be everywhere, which was really nice.
David Uhl Fine Art, often used as a cover for QUICK THROTTLE, had a gallery booth on display. Great stuff. And at the end of the day, if those muscles needed some TLC, massage therapy had a number of chairs to fix you up ($10-$20 range for 10–25 minutes) with the proceeds going to MDA.
AFTER PARTY –
Once I checked out the bike show, it was time to leave the thinning crowd and head over to Canyon Country and the After Party at the Route 66 Classic Grill. I’d been there before for the start of the “BOOT RIDE” a couple years ago, but my first time for the After Party so didn’t know what to expect when I pulled in.
OMG!!! It’s like everyone from the Love Ride just teleported over here, filling the parking area, with another stage for even more hot entertainment. In this case “One More From The Road” – the premier Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band at 5PM. Rebel Heart had already played before I arrived. By now I was hungry, and there was food on the grill outside so I opted to go for the grill and a bratwurst & chips. Now, getting dogs/sausage/bratwurst anywhere is a crap shoot, so I had no great expectations. The fact of the matter is, this was good sized, in a roll with fixin’s, and was hot & juicy! Dang – I’ll come back next year just for this!
Vendors were typical, and for those who were cigarless, there was a booth with some Rocky Patel and Oliva for sale. I had a Cuban with me, so sat back and enjoyed it while listening to the Red Not Chili Peppers that began at 7PM. If that wasn’t enough to keep one entertained, the Globe of Death took place between performances. While the Wall of Death is exciting in its own right, seeing multiple motorcycles criss cross each other inside a big ball tops even that.
Okay, that’s about as much fun as one can pack in in one day of events. Sign up next year (in advance, and save) while helping send MDA kids to Summer Camp. See you there!