Each New Year’s Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, U.S.A., home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It’s a celebration more than a century old; a festival of flowers, music and sports designed to showoff California’s warm winter sunshine.
Although Honda is the traditional title sponsor for the Tournament of Roses parade, it is the SoCal Norton Motorcycle Club that holds their own motorbike parade on New Year’s Eve day. And this year marks the 24th time the motorcycle diehards will run the not-as-famous “Run For the Roses” ride.
On Dec. 31, the motorcyclists gather in Pasadena around 8am to look at bikes and get some breakfast at Burger Continental on 535 South Lake Avenue. Reports from prior year events state that classic motorcycles fill both sides of the street.
After breakfast at around 11:00am, the SoCal Norton Motorcycle Club leads the group of riders up the famed Angeles Crest Highway to Newcomb’s Ranch, a long time motorcycle destination filled with the some of the world’s best curves.
The motorcycle ride continues around the hills for a bit and then back down to Pasadena to Lucky Baldwins, located in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, by 2-ish for fish and chips (and beer for some). Fitting for the Norton crowd that it is English Pub own by an Englishman.
At this point, some break-off and go home while some hang around till 4 or 5 but that is usually about it.
The SoCal Norton Club states that they “like all bikes but prefer them to be British or Café bikes”. “While we prefer Nortons and other classic British bikes, it’s all about motorcycles.”
Non-members are welcomed even if you ride a Honda, Ariel, BMW, Henderson, Ducati, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, ect. Just show-up, enjoy the motorcycles, the camaraderie, and the ride.