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2009 Love Ride Canceled

  • October 8th, 2009

    Glendale, Ca — Love Ride 26, slated for October 25, 2009, has been canceled. The announcement was made by Love Ride founder Oliver Shokouh, who cited the weak economy as the reason for the event’s cancellation.

    In place of the usual event, Glendale Harley, Home of the Love Ride, is sponsoring an autograph session with Peter Fonda and free movie screening, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Fonda’s starring role in “Easy Rider.” The event will take place at the dealership (3717 San Fernando Rd. in Glendale) Friday, October 23rd from 4-10pm. Glendale Harley will also be selling Love Ride memorabilia (Love Rides 1-26) on Saturday, October 24th from 9am-4pm and Sunday, October 25th from 6am-2pm. The hope is to recoup some of the costs already incurred this year by the Love Ride Foundation. The dealership will also have representatives on hand to answer any questions.

    Donations to benefit our Love Ride beneficiaries are still being accepted and are tax deductible. The top ten fund-raising prizes featured in the Love Ride 26 brochure will still be awarded (excluding opportunity tickets).

    If you have already registered for Love Ride 26, you will receive a Love Ride 26 ride pin and a Love Ride 26 patch. In addition, you will also receive a Love Ride 26 t-shirt. It’s our way of saying thank you for this year’s support. All incentive prizes will be available for pick-up at Glendale Harley on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, October 25th.

    For more information, please call our special hotline at 818-246-5618 ext. 141

    Thank you.

     Story above from the Love Ride website: www.loveride.org/lr26/category/news/

     

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    Economy stalls the Love Ride

     

    The 26th running of annual motorcycle charity event has to be canceled due to lack of finances.

    By Max Zimbert
    Published: Last Updated Friday, October 9, 2009 10:21 AM PDT in the Glendale News Press

    GLENDALE — A lack of funds, not a lack of love, doomed what would have been the 26th annual Love Ride.

    Organizers of one of the largest one-day motorcycle charity events in the world announced Thursday that it had been canceled due to poor ticket sales and other financial worries.

    “The numbers were scary dismal to where we thought, ‘Gee, this thing is going to bomb,’” said Oliver Shokouh, Love Ride founder and the owner of Glendale Harley-Davidson, which organizes the ride.

    Company officials canceled the event when pre-registration numbers were about one-third less than the event’s previously lowest turnout. The event typically raises more than $1 million, organizers said.


    “I’ve talked to other people involved in charitable events, and typically they’re down on average by 50%, it seems like,” Shokouh said. “Charities have gone away from people’s hearts right now, and they’re really just fighting for survival.”

    The Love Ride was started in 1984 as a fundraising event for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. and had grown to benefit more than a dozen children’s charities.

    A spokeswoman for the association said she was saddened by the cancellation, pointing out that funds raised by the Love Ride helped fund services and research for clients in the Los Angeles area.

    “There’s no doubt that these are challenging times for [the association] and nonprofits alike,” said Roxan Triolo Olivas, national public relations manager for the association. “As a nonprofit we are accustomed to operating on a tight budget, and we will continue to work on new efforts to generate income.”

    Instead of a ride that closes much of South Brand Boulevard, Shokouh arranged an autograph session with actor Peter Fonda and a free movie screening to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Easy Rider.” The event is from 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 23. Organizers will also sell Love Ride memorabilia at the dealership at 3717 San Fernando Road over the weekend.

    “We’d rather try to hang on to what we have and cut our losses than lose it all and potentially more than we can afford,” Shokouh said, adding that the charity ride might return next year. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the state of the economy. We’ll see if we have the resources and energy and proper climate, but the vision’s always been great.”

    Harley-Davidson laid off 1,100 workers in January, and motorcycle sales for 2009 were projected to drop about 40% compared with 2008, according to Dealernews, an industry publication.

    Last year’s Love Ride attracted about 20,000 riders and culminated at the Fairplex in Pomona. The day of trade shows, exhibits, vendors and entertainment featured bikers from all over the U.S. An afternoon concert last year was headlined by ZZ Top and the Foo Fighters. Dwight Yoakam was slated to perform at this year’s event on Oct. 26.

    Funding for the event comes mostly from Harley-Davidson of Glendale, with additional support from sponsorships. But backers were few and far between this year, Shokouh said.

    “We’d cold-call a sponsor, some people would just laugh and hang up,” he said. “Even people we’ve had a relationship with in the past aren’t coming on board. It has been a really grueling experience.”

    Glendale partnered with the event last year and marshaled about $29,000 worth of police and traffic control for about $14,000.

    In September, the City Council approved $17,000 to co-sponsor the event, along with $2,000 to advertise the event.

    “It’s really sad that such a great event is a victim of the economy,” said Philip Lanzafame, the city’s director of development services. “They’re holding a smaller event  . . . while it’s not the same grand scale we’ve come to know, the spirit of it is still there, of helping those who could use some help.”

    Participants who had already registered will receive a Love Ride 26 pin, patch and T-shirt.

    Donations to Love Ride charities are still being accepted and are tax deductible, organizers said.

    Shokouh said he hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the last few weeks.

    “Nobody wanted to keep this going more than me,” Shokouh said. “Twenty-five years of my life, and the focus is to do the Love Ride every year. This year, we worked twice as hard . . . and it just wasn’t happening.”

Comments

3 comments
  • CarLow
    CarLow Had to figure that was going to happen eventually. It has been kind of going down hill sinced they moved it from the lake to Pomona.
    October 9, 2009
  • GoFur
    GoFur You know, I heard about the Love Ride all the way down here in Texas. I always wanted to take the family to California on vacation one year, and I was going to plan it so I could participate in the Love Ride. Hope it comes back in future years.
    October 12, 2009
  • Lucky
    Lucky Just a reminder the Love Ride is back this year and back where it should be... at Lake Castaic!!!

    See you there!
    October 11, 2011