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Bikers Find New Hangout After Complaints : Studio City: Hundreds of motorcyclists are driven from their weekly meeting spot by a rumored police crackdown.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

More than 300 bikers steered away from a favorite meeting spot in Studio City on Monday night, driven off by residents’ complaints and rumors that Los Angeles police were going to crack down on the large and noisy gatherings.

Several motorcyclists, some of them upscale motorists known as Rich Urban Bikers, alleged that police were planning to crack down on them in response to complaints from homeowners about noise, parking and traffic problems caused by the weekly meetings at Carneys Restaurant on Ventura Boulevard.

Capt. Bruce Mitchell of the North Hollywood Division said earlier in the day that he was unaware of a serious problem with the bikers or efforts to oust them from the eatery.

But motorcyclists said they had seen four patrol cars posted farther down Ventura Boulevard and believed that officers would begin a ticketing campaign if they did not leave.

“We’ve got to get everybody out of here,” Santa Monica attorney Dominick W. Rubalcava said as he coasted into the hamburger spot on his Harley-Davidson a little before 6:30 p.m. “Police are going to be here soon.”

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But by early Monday evening, the rumored crackdown had not materialized.

Within minutes, Rubalcava and other leaders had told about 20 bikers who had already arrived to move to a temporary meeting spot in Van Nuys. They proceeded to warn every motorcyclist who neared the restaurant to leave.

Some of the bikers were angered by the move, but within hours, they said, they had found another weekly meeting spot in Calabasas. The motorcyclists--many of them older riders and Rich Urban Bikers--began meeting at Carneys about eight months ago to chat over chili fries and show off their bikes after neighbors near a previous gathering spot in Westwood complained of noise.

About two weeks ago, residents in Studio City also complained to the police about noise, said Polly Ward, vice president of the Studio City Residents Assn.

Ward, who stood watching the motorcyclists leave the parking lot, said some bikers raced up and down the boulevard. Noise from the Harley-Davidsons reverberated through nearby neighborhoods, sometimes until midnight, she said.

“Given what went on, I’m glad they’re leaving,” Ward said. “This was a fatality waiting to happen.”


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