Hosted by Jay Leno, Love Ride 29 Raises $440K

2012 Harley-Davidson Love Ride 29

The Harley-Davidson Love Ride - the longest running motorcycle fundraising event in the world that has raised over $24 million for charity - celebrated its 29th running in grand style this past Sunday.

And once again, the event that begins at Harley-Davidson of Glendale and ends at Castaic Lake Recreation Area, featured Tonight Show host Jay Leno as the Grand Marshal.

The 2012 "Love Ride 29" helped benefit the USO with over $440,000 in charity from the over 4,000 riders in attendance. This was the Love Ride's first year to benefit the USO and the critical support and morale boosting programs and services they provide for our troops and military families.

Oliver Shokouh (Owner of Harley-Davidson of Glendale who founded Love Ride in 1984) says: "Love Ride 29 was an exciting climax to our third decade, and the overwhelmingly positive response will certainly propel us full force into our fourth decade next year."

The bikes began arriving at Harley-Davidson of Glendale around 5:30 a.m., and the music began around 7:30 a.m., kicked off by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Leno then took to the stage, as loads of celebrities were on hand, including Robert Patrick, Antonio Sabato Jr., Willie G. Davidson and his wife Nancy, Karen Davidson, Perry King, George Barris, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Ron Moss (The Bad and the Beautiful), and several cast members from The Sons of Anarchy: Mo McRae (Tyler), Emilio Rivera (Marcus Alvarez), and Kurt Yeager (Greg the Peg). Lorenzo Lamas then closed the Glendale stage with the National Anthem before riders headed to Castaic Lake.

The gates opened at Castaic Lake at 10 a.m., offering food, motorcycle trade shows, vendors and the Love Ride concert, hosted by Jay Leno. The show would later conclude with George Thoroggod and the Destroyers.

Love Ride 29 Top 10 Fundraisers: Mark Alex Cheely ($10,100), Eric Schmoranzer ($7,295), Jim Carnes ($5,311), Judi Flournoy ($4,271), Gerard McKenzie ($3,491), Kent Vest ($2,930), Melanie Postell ($1,500), J. Michael Popovich ($1,070), Lonnie Hood ($1,030), and Diana Donaldson ($1,025).

Peter Fonda Ride-In Bike Show Winners: Alfred Barajas' 2004 Road Glide (Touring); John Kuhn's 1993 Heritage Softail (Softail, FX); Lenny Meyer's 2012 Big Boy Chopper (Custom Built); Mike Lee's 1998 Sportster (XL); Edna Clingerman's 2003 Softail Springer (Lady Ridden/Owned), and Steve Margeson's 1949 Harley-Davidson (Antique). The People's Choice award went to Mike Bilek's Custom Boss Hoss.

With the hillside in front of the stage filled to capacity, George Thorogood and the Destroyers ripped into a 90-minute set of greatest hits, including his anthem "Bad to the Bone," and selections from his new album, "2120 South Michigan Ave."

After George's encore, Oliver Shokouh was joined by Bob Kurkjian of the USO to draw the winning tickets for the Love Ride's seven opportunity prizes.

During the show prizes were also giving away. Every attendee received a free ticket, and was able to purchase additional tickets at $10 each. Following are the prizes and winners: grand prize 2013 Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim in Black Denim was Melissa Corea. The runner-up prize, a Milwaukee Trip for two with a tour of the Harley- Davidson Museum and Factory and roundtrip airfare and hotel, went to Falcon Belmontez. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth prize winners each received Sons of Anarchy autographed helmets and a Love Ride/Victornox Swiss Tool. The winners were Jim Carnes, Todd Gleason, Bob Gregson, and Amy Silvia. The seventh prize, a Squire Telecaster guitar autographed by guitarist John 5, went to Matt Borlenghi.

Love Ride 29 organizers says the event was supported by the 22 dealerships in the Southern California Harley- Davidson Dealers Association. The official sponsors of Love Ride 29 were Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys (represented on stage by Russ Brown and Chuck Koro); Geico Motorcycle, Paul Mitchell (represented by Lynn Olds); Coast to Coast Computer Products (represented by Matt Schmelze); Panoptx (represented by Marcel Schiro); plus the Burbank Airport Marriott; 95.5 KLOS; The LA Weekly; City National Bank; Budweiser; Yellow Pages Dot Com; Coca-Cola; Hustler Casino; and special contributions from Pink's Hot Dogs and K- EARTH 101.

The 30th Anniversary of the Love Ride is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, with a continuation of morning festivities at Harley-Davidson of Glendale followed by the events at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area.

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Photos by Chuck Null courtesy of


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