‘Love Ride’ finds a way in 2011

The Love Ride, cancelled last year because of a challenging economy, is planning to start again in fall 2011. The announcement was made by Oliver Shokouh, Love Ride founder and owner of Harley-Davidson/Buell of Glendale. As part of the announcement, Shokouh confirmed that there would be no "Ride" this year (in 2010). In its place, there will be a Love Ride 26 1/2 Biker’s Carnival held at Glendale Harley-Davidson on Sunday, October 24, 2010.

"The economy remains in flux, 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," says Shokouh.

"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. 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 twenty-five years, the Love Ride has raised $22 million for various charities.

The ride itself has attracted hundreds of thousands of bikers as well as "A-list" celebrities such as comedian/TV host Jay Leno, who served as the ride’s official Grand Marshal for twenty-four 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 and the aforementioned Love Ride Biker’s Carnival.

For more information, go to loveride.org or contact the Love Ride Chairperson, Oliver Shokouh, at oliver@loveride.org.