Loving the Ride
As I’ve grown older I have learned to stop and smell the roses – literally and figuratively. For example, when walking through our local neighborhoods, one might wonder what the heck I’m staring at as I peer skyward. Often it’s how blue the sky looks or cloud formations – nothing earth-shattering (as my mom used to say) but things that I neglected to notice in my eager youth.
A friend of mine reflected on the loss of her mother on social media this week. Though her mom has been gone for a while, my friend shared her thoughts on the importance of not postponing seeing family or checking an item off the “bucket list” because, let’s face it, time is short. As you who have read my column this year know, I was sadly reminded of just how brief our time on Earth is when my sister died at the age of 52 in May.
Keeping this attitude of paying attention at the forefront makes me that much more humble when introduced to those who do incredible things. For example, I had the chance to attend this year’s Love Ride 32 – Grand Finale on Sunday and meet founder Oliver Shokouh. For 32 years, Oliver hosted the Love Ride to raise funds for a variety of organizations. This year benefitted the Wounded Warrior Project and estimates are that the event raised a million dollars for the project. The Love Ride started early Sunday morning at Oliver’s Harley-Davidson shop in Glendale. Around 8:30 in the morning, thousands of bikers mounted their motorcycles and made the trek north to Castaic Lake. That’s where I caught up with the Love Ride.
One of the first things that I noticed was the thousands of bikes parked along the road leading to the entrance. Most bikers were outfitted in riding gear, many emblazoned with the Harley-Davidson logo. Whereas normally I might get a little nervous being around so many bikers, on Sunday there was no uneasiness. These people were there to support the Wounded Warrior Project and send the Love Ride into the sunset in style.
There were plenty of vendors selling an assortment of bike-friendly items and fun things to see and do (yes that’s me “riding” a motorcycle). One of the main attractions was the music. American Hitmen, Social Distortion and the Foo Fighters took the stage in the late morning and afternoon (you can read my take on the music on page 17). As I stood listening and watching these gifted musicians belt out their songs, I was struck – again – by how fortunate I was to be there, then, at that time, to witness a moment in history: the culmination of one man’s dream that had a tremendous impact on so many lives over the years. Love Ride raised over $24 million in charitable funds for organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), United Service Organization (USO), Autism Speaks and provided long-term support for the Glendale Community College.
What an awesome achievement. Glad I was there.
Robin Goldsworthy is the publisher of the Crescenta
Valley Weekly. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (818) 248-2740.