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Annual charity ride raises record amount

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week A regular ride participant, “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno joined other celebrities, including Peter Fonda, on the 36-mile trip. When they got to Castaic Lake, King thrilled the crowd, which grooved as the celebrated blues icon played with the lake in the background and a seven-man band backing him up. Leno joked with the crowd on a stage in Glendale before getting on his bike and kicking off the trip to Castaic. “I don’t normally ride with 75,000 other people … that part is a little unusual,” Leno said backstage in Glendale, exaggerating the number of riders. “But it’s OK; the women are attractive, the men are handsome,” Leno said. Lining up along San Fernando Road in Glendale with thousands of other riders, Rod Kendricks of Newhall said he has been riding motorbikes since he was 11, when he put a lawn mower engine on a Schwinn Sting-Ray bike. Now the 50-year-old telephone splicer rides a custom-built Harley-Davidson with a replica ’62 frame. “Just being in the air, being in the wind is almost like flying,” he said. The event was organized by Harley-Davidson of Glendale. The total amount raised in this year’s charity event surpassed the previous record by more than $200,000, said Kathy Wattman, a spokeswoman for the event. Wearing American-flag bandannas, Graham Binks and Gabrielle Nelson danced arm-in-arm to a Supertramp song as they waited to get on his Triumph motorcycle and head for Castaic. They met in New Mexico during Binks’ cross-country road trip, and they heard about the Love Ride while back in Farmington, N.M. “We looked at each other – the Love Ride? That sounds good, that sounds (like) where we’re at,” said Binks, 61, a retired Englishman who is touring the United States on his bike. Four parachutists with the Golden State Sky Diving Team landed at Castaic Lake to open the festivities there. Parachutist Rick Thues, 52, got a good look at the event as he hurtled through the sky. “It is awesome,” Thues said. “There are motorcycles everywhere you look. Every parking lot is full.” King, who recently turned 80 years old, sat down as soon as he got in front of the microphone to play and mused about what the crowd might think of that. “Now I’m a diabetic; got bad knees, bad back, head ain’t much good either, can’t remember anything,” King said. “But I’m feeling good today.” King played the Mississippi-brand of blues he is famous for, going through a set that included “The Thrill is Gone” and “All Over Again,” and plenty of talking and joking with the crowd. “It’s just a wonderful event. The weather, the setting, the crowd,” said Larry Porche, 50, who rode up on a 1992 Harley-Davidson FXE. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! More than 22,000 motorcycle buffs hopped on hogs Sunday for a record-breaking charity ride – rumbling from Glendale to Castaic Lake, where BB King and his guitar Lucille took the crowd all the way to Mississippi. The 22nd annual Love Ride raised nearly $1.5 million, the most ever for the event. The money will go to Hurricane Katrina relief, a literacy program for children, groups that help victims of muscular dystrophy, autism and Down syndrome, and other charities. “The Love Ride is very much what it is. You love to ride your bike and you love to give back to your community,” said Assemblywoman Cindy Montaez, D-Mission Hills. On the ride north on the Golden State Freeway, riders honked to supporters who gathered on overpasses to wave signs and to fire engines whose red lights blinked on and off. last_img

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