GLENDALE, Calif. — The 32nd Annual Love Ride “Grand Finale” is scheduled for the morning of Sunday, Oct. 18. Bikes will depart from Harley-Davidson of Glendale at 9 a.m. and should arrive at Castaic Lake by 10 a.m. This year, proceeds from the single-day motorcycle charity fundraiser will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
Once attendees arrive at the lake, there will be a concert with the Foo Fighters and other special guests, motorcycle vendors, a trade show, motorcycle stunts, gourmet food trucks and much more.
“We like to call it the grand finale, not the final year, because we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it,” said Love Ride Founder Oliver Shokou. “We’ve had a lot of fun over the past 32 years. We’ve raised $24 million for some great causes. Jay Leno has been our grand marshal since the second Love Ride. He’s going to be out there again.”
How easy or difficult was it to get the Foo Fighters involved?
“It was easy because three of them ride motorcycles,” Shokou explained. “It was not hard to get them convinced that they’ve got to get behind us on this, especially if it’s for the Wounded Warrior Project.”
When participants sign up for the Love Ride, they can support WWP by building a custom fundraising page through the Kintera site. After registering, donors can refer family and friends to their personal pages for contributions. For added fun, Love Ride is offering incentive prizes for different levels of fundraising. All donations will go through the Love Ride Foundation and at the close of the event, 100% of the proceeds will benefit WWP.
“We’re here to thank everybody that showed up and get the awareness out there,” said Wounded Warrior Project alum Ramond Andalio. “There’s approximately 400,000 troops that have left and came back. The name of the game is to get all of those veterans involved with the WWP. We want to get the veterans to Harley-Davidson to learn how to ride a motorcycle for free through September, I think. For those who have been donating, we want to let everybody know, thank you, and we really, really appreciate it.”
Donors can register for Love Ride 32, the Grand Finale by visiting Love Ride and selecting the “Love Ride Registration” button at the left. The cost of the event is $45 in advance and $60 on the day of the event. All participants who pre-register will receive a “Love Ride 32” patch, and the first 5,000 Love Ride registrants will receive a “Love Ride 32” pin.
“We’re trying to get PTSD changed to PTSI because it’s an injury, not a disorder,” said Dorsey “Barney” Fyffe, ret. Air Force Special Operations Command. “Riding bikes is therapy for us because it’s like second hand nature to us. We try to help our brothers and sisters. Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide. The numbers went up to 26 a day. You can talk to us and call us at anytime. Just because we have invisible injuries doesn’t mean we can’t ride a bike. It’s about operation get out there and do something versus sit at home and say ‘poor me.'”
Participants who wish to attend the Love Ride Foo Fighter concert only can purchase tickets at Register. Love Ride 32 will continue its tradition of kicking off the event with a morning concert with The Long Run – Experience the Eagles, a celebrity-filled press conference followed by a 5-mile motorcycle trek led by Grand Marshal Jay Leno, from Harley-Davidson of Glendale, CA to Castaic Lake State Recreation Area.
“The Love Ride has been a great run for 32 years,” the founder added. “We’re very proud to raise the tremendous amount of money we raised from the motorcycling community here. It’s something that’s been a big part of my life. I’ve got my standard core group of volunteers. I’ve tried to recruit some young folks and it just didn’t seem like there was a whole lot of interest. We decided to do it one last time and see where it goes.”
Tickets start at $45 now, but they will go up to $60 at the gate. Grab your tickets early to save! To order tickets and more info at www.loveride.org.