When we first heard about California Bike Week, we were skeptical. There are already too many "bike weeks" across the country-there are 50 states and 52 weeks in a year, and that really doesn't leave time for much else. But when we found out that all the organizers were trying to do was add events to the Love Ride to make it more of a destination event, they had our attention.
The first hurdle was moving the destination for Love Ride 24, scheduled for Sunday, from Castaic Lake, California, to the infield of the horse track at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California. Once all of the ride details were handled and Gregg Allman was booked to headline the legendary Love Ride Concert that has become a tradition at the Love Ride, event organizers started to search for events to fill up the Fairplex on Friday and Saturday.
They looked into utilizing the drag strip and added an AHDRA drag race to their already busy racing schedule for Friday and Saturday. The event planners also booked Wall of Death and Jason Pullen stunt exhibitions and bands like The Dynotones, The Hard Miles Band, Falcon Mohawk and The Heather Combs Band to put on shows throughout the three days of the event. They decided to add the Pacific Coast Nationals flat-track races to the bill on the horse track on Saturday night. When they finally had all of the entertainment and racing booked, organizers started calling vendors like Harley-Davidson, Victory, Boss Hoss and Can-Am to host demo rides. Other vendors like Ron Simms, J&P; Cycles, Vance & Hines, SoftBrake and K_f_ryakyn were also there selling parts to turn your stock bike into the bike of your dreams.
In fact, Marc and the guys from K_f_ryakyn were kind enough to participate in our "Pimp My Glide" section of the magazine, where we "borrow" one of our unsuspecting reader's bikes for a day, bolt a buttload of accessories to it, then return it to them and watch the hilarity ensue. This time around, we followed along as K_f_ryakyn installed a host of accessories on a 2007 Harley- Davidson Ultra Classic on Friday-you can find the complete story on page 76 of this issue.
Saturday we headed over to watch the final rounds of the AHDRA drags- there is nothing quite like watching Harley-powered drag bikes breaking 200 mph run after run. Then we spent some time wandering the Fairplex, talking with vendors, watching the stunt show, and we even got to catch the Wall of Death twice before we grabbed our seats for the flat-track races. There is just something about being able to spend a day watching a bunch of different-style motorcycle events all held within walking distance of each other.
On Sunday we had to be up bright and early to make it to Glendale in time for the kickoff of Love Ride 24. Several thousand of our closest friends made the ride from Glendale to Pomona without incident. Once in Pomona, we were all treated to a complimentary barbecue lunch, then a series of bands leading up to Gregg Allman. But the best part was that all of the vendors were still around and the demo rides and the stunt shows were still going strong, so there was plenty to do. If you're interested in getting more information about joining us for California Bike Week 2008, check out the official website at www.calweek.com, or you can also check out www.loveride.org for the latest updateson the next Love Ride.