Love Ride 26 cancelled

Charity event called off due to poor economy

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 08, 2009
Event organizers have called off Love Ride 26, citing the weak economy as the reason for the charity event’s cancellation.

Founded in 1984 by Glendale, Calif. Harley-Davidson dealer Oliver Shokouh, Love Ride has become known as the world’s largest one-day motorcycle charity event. Love Ride raises money for over a dozen children’s charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics of Southern California and Children’s Hospitals of Los Angeles.

“This was a gut wrenching decision for me,” says Shokouh. “I want to make clear that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Love Ride staff, volunteers or organizers. Everyone has worked hard for the past 25 years. Our problem boils down to one thing, the economy. The bottom line is that the Love Ride is a victim of the recession. We did a very careful analysis over the last several months, and realized that ticket sales weren’t enough to offset costs. Simply put, there would be no money left to help the kids, the sole reason for the Love Ride.”

Originally scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., Love Ride 26 will be replaced by an autograph session with Peter Fonda and a screening of the film “Easy Rider”. The screening will take place Oct. 23 at Shokouh’s Glendale Harley dealership.

Love Ride 25 raised over a million dollars for charity.

Glendale Harley will also sell memorabilia from past Love Rides on Oct. 24-25. Proceeds will help cover some of the Love Ride Foundation’s costs.

Love Ride 25 attracted thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and featured a concert headlined by ZZ Top and the Foo Fighters.

Shokouh says Love Ride may return in 2010 or 2011 with a smaller format.

“Things were on track for continued growth, then the economy collapsed,” says Shokouh. “Circumstances turned against us. 2009 is simply not a good year for a charity event.

“After 25 years of expansion, it may be time to return to our roots with a smaller, more intimate event.  But we will be back.”

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