By Brandon HENSLEY
Joe Sebergandio describes himself as an automotive enthusiast, which may be the understatement of the summer.
To back his claim, he’s holding his own bike show this Saturday at Crescenta Valley Park. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the corner of Honolulu and New York avenues, Joe’s Minibike Reunion Tour will feature a variety of classic minibikes showcased for residents. Sebergandio said that as of this week about 40 bikes have preregistered.
“I’m hoping for 100,” said the native New Yorker (he hails from Utica).
He dreams big, but that’s only because he’s been able to put this show together in a matter of months, so his overconfidence may be warranted.
He said his daughter Nicole, a 2008 CV High grad, started noticing more minibikes around town. Earlier this year, “Hot Rod” magazine came to his home to shoot his collection of bikes – ones by Honda, Bonanza and Torpedo – and that’s when Nicole suggested he put together a showcase.
The show is free for the public. Enthusiasts will be able to show up and check out vintage U.S.-made bikes from the 1960s and ’70s, as well as some Honda-made bikes. Some of the bikes included will be a Taco 22 bike and a Vintage Clinton go cart. It costs $40 to register a bike, but there’s premium registration of $50, which includes a T-shirt and Joe’s Minibike Kick Padz, which are for the riders’ legs.
Those that register their bikes will be eligible to win a sound system from Pioneer electronics. There will also be a designated swap meet area to sell bike parts. Someone will also be given a bike that will be assembled on-site.
“We do everything but put in an engine,” Sebergandio said.
Sebergandio will look to donate some of the proceeds from the Reunion Tour to CV High in a cause against bullying in the aftermath of the death of Drew Ferraro in February.
“There was a car show right after that to rally some money,” he said, “but it was a one-time deal. We want to see that kept going. I’ve offered to share a portion of the participation fees, some donations from attendees, and money from T-shirt sales.”
Perhaps he will have even more money to share in the coming years. He said eventually he would like to hold an event not just for show, but to be able to ride the bikes around. He cited the Big Tujunga Canyon area as a possible destination, although he admitted there is work to be done there.
“This will not be a one and done,” he said of Saturday’s show. “This event is just to build the foundation going forward. We realize we had a short window to promote it, which was really three months.”
And not only is Sebergandio good with motors, he’s good with slogans as well.
“I got big plans for minibikes,” he said.