By Ray Seidel
Photos by Art Hall & Randy Twells
Rip’s B.A.D Ride, Bikers Against Diabetes again had a festival July 1st, this year at the former El Toro Marine base in Irvine, CA – The Orange County Great Park. There were 7 escorted starting points who were offering a free BAD Ride bandana when you left from their location, those who wanted to could ride in with Sons of Anarchy’s Emilio Rivera. I came in from the south, and found an open road all the way to the event parking, which was plentiful. The patriot feel started right at the opening ceremonies with a presenting of the colors by the 5th Marine Regiment and continued throughout the day allowing active military in FREE. For the kid at heart and for the actual kids they had a magician roaming the crowd doing all sorts of biker tricks. Saw Emilio right off.
QT: Emilio, good to see you.
Emilio Rivera: Good to see you brother.
QT: What brings you out to RIP’s BAD RIDE?
Emilio: I’m the Grand Marshall this year for the Bikers Against Diabetes – I’m really proud of that. It’s happened to my family and it can happen to anyone.
QT: What are your current projects you have in the works?
Emilio: Sons of Anarchy is back for its 5th season. In June, a movie OBAMA EFFECT opposite Charles Dutton, Sept 21st a movie called Philly Brown with Eddy Olmose and Lou Diamond Phillips, Water and Power comes out in December. And starting a movie called Go Getters with Adam Arkin who directed [and starred in] some of our episodes of Sons of Anarchy.
QT: Done any rides recently?
Emilio: I’ve been filming, but I just did a ride yesterday [Grand Marshal at another event], that’s why I’m so burnt right now. But I’m here, and I always try to give back.
QT: What would you like to say to the readers of Quick Throttle?
Emilio: You know what, thank you always for the support – and for this ride today. Go get yourself checked – it could be you, it could be your kids tomorrow. Diabetes isn’t something to mess around with.
Once at the entry I was approached by some young ladies who informed me there was a health pavilion, and would happily provide a screening for diabetes (high blood sugar) for FREE by real MD’s. Folks – do yourself a favor, at some point DO get a screening for this disease. Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless, but having acquired it myself in later years (a Baby Boomer), I can tell you first hand it is something you want to get on top of before it causes you damage where you don’t want it.
“There was plenty of seating under the trees on this breezy day to enjoy 3 bands: “Z” ZZ TOP tribute band (amazing how much they look like the real ZZ TOP), Keston and the Rhythm Killers, and the BFC Full Throttle band. Making a surprise appearance in front of the microphone was our own Publisher Chris Dalgaard, who can actually carry a tune.
Among those out there was the man whose name is on my motorcycle.
QT: What brings you out to RIP’s BAD RIDE?
Willie G. Davidson: The BAD ride has been a favorite charity of ours because of its great support of diabetic research, and both my son and I are diabetic, and we try to support our favorite charity.
QT: How’s retired life?
Willie G.: Well, that word is kind if misleading. I’ll never be disconnected from Harley-Davidson. I have an office in our Harley museum, and I’ll be at a lot of these events, and I’m doin’ some design work; it’s just that I’ve shifted a little bit so I have more free time.
QT: How many family members are still in The Motor Company?
Willie G.: My son and daughter.
QT: At this point do you still have a say in the future of the company as far as goals and such – do they still listen to you (ha ha)?
Willie G.: Well, I’ll never be totally not associated with Harley-Davidson; I see the people… the museum itself has all kinds of events. We get a thousand riders there on Thursday nights called Bike Night, and if you’re ever in Milwaukee, you have to see that place. It’s fabulous.
QT: Where would you like to see the company go? Maybe electric bikes?
Willie G.: Well…I guess you gotta be a student of the economy and the world to understand what we should do. But we certainly try to be relevant to the existing times – what’s going on. We do a lot of research, a lot of testing; we have a lot of vehicles in the works. They all don’t make it. But it’s part of the process.
This event made some big changes this year. Not only did they change the location but also the cost. $20 bucks got you admission, a ride pin, free water, raffle ticket and free parking. Not bad in this economy. On site was a vendor village with four rows of booths to browse, including Quick Throttle where you could pick up some past issues besides the current one. Next to the vendors was the motorcycle show; always a favorite to see some cool rides. An eye grabber and award winner was a trike with an Avatar theme (from the movie of that name)… murals on every square inch of the body; really well executed artwork. One of the bikes on display was that of Gypsy from Discovery Channel’s The Devils Ride.
The biker art was pretty amazing but you could also take home some original David Mann paintings from their silent auction. Several David Mann pieces were donated from Larry Giltner’s estate. Larry was one of the BAD Ride’s top fundraiser over the last several years. He passed last year and his wife still continues to support the cause. Easyrider Magazine has been and continues to be a proud sponsor of Rips BAD RIDE since Rip was from Easyriders. Also had some artwork from Harley artist Scott Jacobs which was incredible.
Didn’t see this but I heard there was Anniversary bash going on in the Danny Martinez Custom Paint booth – 60 years painting! Also heard there were some female racers there and that there may be racing at BAD Ride next year. That would be cool.
Something I haven’t seen much at biker events was a weight lifting competition from GOLD’S GYM. Fueling the contestants wasn’t hard to do with incredible sweets that were actually sugar free from Bye Bye Sugar and Gourmet food trucks by The Food Network. Go for the show, stay for the food. Okay, like for instance, what did they have?
Eight trucks on hand with their own unique menus. You may have seen some of these on the Food Network- Food Smackdown like Limetruck, Devilicious, Garlicscapes and more. How about these (just a tiny sampling): Meatball parmigiano slider, chilled avocado crab soup. Butter poached lobster grilled cheese, Garlic Truffle fries, Strawberry CheesecakeWich. Hand rolls: Albacore Tataki, Creamy scallops. Garlic infused artichoke dip w/ chips, Deep fried artichoke. Chorizo grilled cheese, Bacon wrapped dates. Beer battered avocado tacos, Chipotle BBO Jack tacos. Hungry now? Each truck did also offer a Diabetes approved menu item which they tried to push but hey, it is a party after all. We certainly don’t eat gourmet everyday do we? Come out next year and enjoy. Everything.
Took a few moments to talk with Rusty Coones of Illusion Motorcycles. He’s been in the limelight lately.
QT: So, you’ve been on The Devil’s Ride this season.
Rusty: The Devil’s Ride, the music on The Devil’s Ride, we’ve got music on Sons of Anarchy, we’ve got an album coming out at the end of this month, we’ve got a new TV show coming up this fall – a lot of good stuff.
QT: So you built Kurt Sutter’s bike?
Rusty: Yeah, we built Kurt Sutter’s bike and we built one for the Wounded Warrior Foundation for the Sons of Anarchy also.
QT: Tell us about Kurt’s bike.
Rusty: Kurt’s bike – we went over a lot of design options and I told Kurt, look, let’s make this thing cool, but let’s also make it handle well, let’s make it dependable, fast, easy to ride, and if it dies at an intersection, you have a button at your fingertips.
QT: What brings you to Rip’s BAD Ride this year?
Rusty: I came out here to be a judge, help out, and support the event. I think it’s a good thing you know.
QT: What would you like to say to the readers of Quick Throttle Magazine?
Rusty: I say keep reading Quick Throttle, man. We love you guys, you guys have been great for the industry, it’s a free publication; you guys are everywhere, and we just love what you’re doin’. Keep it up.
As always with these fundraisers, it’s the support of the community that makes the difference. This ride would not be possible these days without the support of the American Diabetes Associations Top Fundraisers, their committee chairs and the Ride start sites hosts and sponsors. Bartels Harley-Davidson who has been a supporter of BAD RIDE since it started 15 years ago, Los Angeles Harley-Davidson of Anaheim (the former Anaheim Fullerton Harley-Davidson also a supporter since the beginning) Westminster H-D, Biggs H-D and some new partners Del Amo Motorsports, Bert’s Mega Mall and Swallows Inn.
Other sponsors included Glendale Harley-Davidson (Love Ride), Quaids Harley-Davidson and Antelope Valley H-D, the 70 vendors who made this a great day, the hundreds of volunteers, Steve Schapiro, the Ambassador of the event since it started and this year’s Committee Chair head Harry Mechanic. Mickey Jones came out again to show his support and they even had a pro wrestler lead the ride out of Swallows Inn. Everyone seemed pleased with the new location and had a great time. Best of all, there was money raised for a great cause –Diabetes. Be sure to put this one on yourbucket list for June of next year.