First cancelled last year due to the economy, the famous Love Ride in California will remain on hold again this year. In its place will be the Love Ride 26 1/2 Biker’s Carnival at Glendale Harley-Davidson on Sunday, Oct. 24. Oliver Shokouh, the dealership’s owner and Love Ride’s founder, says the full event will return in 2011.
"The economy remains in flux,” he said in a press release, “and although there are some positive signs, we want to make sure both the Love Ride and the Love Ride Foundation are on solid ground before we continue our mission, which is to raise money for children's charities and those less fortunate in our community.
"We're excited and at the same time humbled by the response from the community at large to bring the Love Ride back as soon as possible,” Shokouh continued. “As a stopgap this year, our Love Ride 26 1/2 Bikers Carnival will be held at Glendale Harley on the day usually reserved for the Love Ride. With this Biker's Carnival, we're going ‘retro.’”
Shokouh's "retro" reference refers to how the Love Ride started in 1981 and 1982 as a biker's carnival, then skipped a year before coming back as the Love Ride.
Citing slow ticket sales, vendor bookings and sponsorship, Shokouh pulled the plug on Love Ride 26 last October after a quarter-century of consistent growth. In its 25 years, the Love Ride has raised $22 million for various charities.
The ride itself has attracted hundreds of thousands of bikers as well as celebrities such as Jay Leno, who served as the ride's official Grand Marshal for 24 straight years. The Love Ride has featured performances from some of the biggest names in music, most recently the Foo Fighters, who headlined the event’s Silver Anniversary in 2008.
The Love Ride Foundation continues to accept donations throughout the year through the sale of Love Ride merchandise.
Posted by Arlo Redwine