By Charly SHELTON
Over 14,000 guests and bikers helped raise more than $1 million for the Wounded Warriors Project at last Sunday’s Love Ride 32. This was the final year of the famous charity motorcycle ride and, despite the rain, it was greeted by huge crowds, lots of excitement and celebrity endorsements.
Grand Marshall Jay Leno led the ride with Honorary Grand Marshals Robert Patrick and Peter Fonda. While Leno, Patrick and others rode their motorcycles, Peter Fonda drove a beautiful chrome topless racing car. Also in attendance was the Davidson family – Willie G., Nancy, Bill and Karen – of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company, as well as actors Kristy Swanson, Sean McNabb, Mark Boone Junior and countless others.
“I’ve done the Love Ride four times now, and because I’m a rider and I like to ride, I got invited and so I like supporting it,” said actress Kristy Swanson. “My favorite part is supporting the troops and doing something for them and creating awareness and raising money and all that. And seeing a lot of good old friends and riding in the rain is super fun.”
As of press time the figures on attendees and amount raised is still being tallied, but over 14,000 people attended the concert and festival at Castaic Lake and over $1 million was donated, bringing the lifetime total for Love Ride to over $25 million donated to charities. At this year’s event, the ride began at Harley-Davidson in Glendale and went up to Castaic Lake for a biker festival and trade show, with the Peter Fonda Bike Show taking place and entertainment from bands American Hitmen, Social Distortion and Foo Fighters. The crowds were so large that the vendors ran out of beer and the concert was packed shoulder to shoulder. Dave Grohl, frontman for Foo Fighters, was on stage in a protective boot so he came out on a motorcycle themed chariot throne to perform.
For more on the concert, see our article in Leisure of this week’s paper. And for more information on Love Ride or to make a last minute donation to Wounded Warriors Project, visit loveride.org.