Love Ride returns quietly

SOUTH GLENDALE — Organizers of the Harley-Davidson Love Ride say they expect 1,800 riders Sunday at this year's scaled-down motorcycle event, which raises money for autism research.

The Love Ride returns this weekend to Glendale's Harley-Davidson in the 3700 block of San Fernando Road after a yearlong hiatus.

But what used to be a massive event will be a much smaller fundraising ceremony this year, paying homage to riding's past. Event proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks, a national organization that researches and raises awareness about the developmental disorder.

"Giving and donating doesn't really recognize any borders or national origins," said Oliver Shokouh, owner of Harley-Davidson of Glendale.

This year's "Retro Love Ride" has sold out, but in the past it has seen attendance grow up to 25,000, he said.

The economic downturn also had an effect on event organizers, who Shokouh said opted for the smaller version to better serve riders.

Since its inception, the ride has raised more than $14 million for children's charities.

On Sunday, riders will meet in Glendale, where television host Jay Leno will lead the ride to Calamigas Ranch in Malibu. The ranch is the site of the original Love Ride in 1984.

Some of the high-profile riders at this year's event will include Willie G. Davidson, the motorcycle company's senior vice president, and film stars Peter Fonda and Robert Patrick, according to the event website.

Robbie Krieger, guitarist for the Doors, is set to perform.

Organizers can begin posting temporary no-parking signs 48 hours before the event.

Signs are likely to be posted between San Fernando Road and Gardena Avenues along Mira Loma, Cerritos, El Bonito and Central avenues, according to the city permit.

Riders traveling from as far as Pueblo, Mexico, and Switzerland will be participating in this year's ride, Shokouh said.

Organizers in both countries were inspired by California's Love Ride and established similar events, he said.


What: Harley-Davidson Love Ride Retro 2010

When: Sunday at 8 a.m.

Where: Harley-Davidson of Glendale at 3717 San Fernando Road to Calamigas Ranch in Malibu.

Parking will be at the Metrolink train station at Cerritos and Gardena avenues.

Contact: For more details about the sold-out event, call the motorcycle shop at (818) 246-5618.

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