Six years in, Joe Sebergandio and his minibikes aren’t slowing down. The native New Yorker who grew up riding minibikes will once again be showcasing his collection, and those of others, this weekend in his annual celebration of bikes and the memories of days gone by.
Saturday’s sixth annual Minibike Reunion Tour, held at Crescenta Valley Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be a shining example of how a hobby can turn into a passion, which can then manifest itself into an important community event.
The first tours were held in the humid days of August, and then moved to September. Last year, Sebergandio held it on the first Saturday of October, which coincided with Montrose’s Oktoberfest. The dates have changed and attendance has increased. Last year, over 1,200 people showed up to participate or spectate.
“I have tried my best to schedule JMBR when it’s not too hot. I think this year’s date will be perfect,” Sebergandio said.
Registration to showcase bikes begins at 7 a.m., and spectator gates open at
8 a.m. During the day, people will be able to check out vintage and newer models, from Honda, Dyno and Taco. Prizes will be awarded in 12 categories, including best restored, best mini moto and the Brad Elze People’s Choice Award, which will be based on the applause of the crowd.
Elze, a former JMBR contestant and winner, died in 2016 in a motorcycle accident. Sebergandio renamed the People’s Choice Award in his honor at last year’s event.
“JMBR will always remember Brad,” he said.
Registration is $25. There were around 200 registered bikes last year, and don’t be surprised if there are more this time around.
“We have enjoyed a nice steady increase in attendance, largely through our expanded advertising [and] social media promotions,” Sebergandio said. Aside from websites, there’s also the monthly Joe’s Minibike Reunion podcast, which Sebergandio said averages about 5,000 views per episode on his Facebook Live page.
“The national notoriety helped us attract a larger base of sponsors, including CRC Chemicals, and others who like what we are doing to promote the minibike hobby,” he said.
Highlights this year include a bigger list of giveaways, including a GoKartsUSA, a complete minibike rolling frame, Pioneer Car Audio products, two minibike engines, carburetors and a set of custom Coker minibike tires.
Pioneer Audio is a main sponsor of the event.
“We expect a nice crowd, a fun atmosphere and plenty of cool minibikes for everyone to see and enjoy,” Sebergandio said.
For more information, visit joesminibikereunion.net.