By Brandon HENSLEY
It’s time for minibike enthusiasts to get revved up for the second annual Joe’s Minibike Reunion Tour. Spearheaded by La Crescenta resident Joe Sebergandio, the event will take place at Crescenta Valley Park on Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For Sebergandio, the event is the perfect way to kick back with a few hundred people to check out each other’s bikes, swap some stories and hand out some prizes.
Last year’s event couldn’t have gone better, said Sebergandio.
“The goals were pretty modest. We just wanted to see how successful it would be,” he said. “Our conservative expectations were passed.”
He said they registered over 70 bikes and had about 350 people show up last summer. This year, he’s expecting 100 bikes and over 500 people. Sebergandio is so confident he thinks in the years to come his event is on path for hundreds of bikes and thousands of people.
“As long as I can get [people] there one time, I have no worries about them coming again,” he said.
His dedication to attracting an audience is impressive. This month ESPN and The History Channel will be running ads he paid for to promote the event. He’s also had flyers made, and joesminibikereunion.net is a well-put together site chock full of blogs and photos and everything else you need to know.
The tour gained notoriety last year from all over the mechanical world. The websites hotrod.com and bangshift.com covered it, surprising Sebergandio a little.
“Every minibike that was photographed ended up on hotrod.com,” he said. “That kind of exposure’s unheard of.”
It costs $20 to register a minibike, and that makes the bike eligible for prizes including best original, best organized and best under construction. The company Taco is giving away a Taco 22 rolling kit, which includes “everything but the motor,” said Sebergandio.
There will also be a ceremony to induct two people into a new hall of fame. The inductees will be Dave Miller, a Formula 125 minibike racing champion and renowned minibike builder, and Richard “Mac” McGill, a legendary historian, collector and parts expert.
Sponsors this year include local business Campbell’s Automotive, which sought out Sebergandio after it attended last year’s event.
“We liked it a lot,” said 23-year-old Tommy Campbell, who went to school with Sebergandio’s daughter as a child. “It was a bigger turnout than what we expected. It was something we were interested in and we thought would grow. We wanted to help him out because he’s a local guy.”
Campbell agreed with Sebergandio on the potential for the tour’s future.
“I definitely think it has a lot of room to grow,” he said.
For more information, visit joesminibikereunion.net or search “Joe’s Minibike Reunion” on Facebook.com.