Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Meet the Public


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Want to ride with the stars? Well, now you can.

Early each November, tens of thousands of motorcyclists - some average folks, some Hollywood celebrities - turn out astride their custom hogs for the "Love Ride," a 50-mile, star-studded motorcycle caravan, culminating in a public concert and barbecue at Castaic Lake.

Billed as "The largest one-day motorcycle fundraising event in the world!," the "Love Ride" was first organized back in 1983 to raise money for "Jerry's Kids," the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


The parade's past Grand Marshals have included
Dennis Hopper & Peter Fonda (the two stars of "Easy Rider," that classic biker film from 1969) and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno (another motorcycle devotee) has been on stage there for several years in a row now.

Other celebrities taking part in recent Love Rides have included singers Bruce Springsteen ("Born To Run"), Dwight Yoakam, and Gunner Nelson (of "Nelson"); actors Lorenzo Lamas (who played a biker in the TV show "Renegade"), Kirstie Allie ("Cheers"), Pamela Anderson Lee (of "Baywatch"), Charlie Sheen ("Young Guns"), John Hurt ("Rob Roy"), Lou Diamond Phillips ("The Big Hit"), Larry Hagman ("Dallas"), Ann-Margret ("Bye Bye Birdie"), and Judd Nelson ("Suddenly Susan"); Mary Hart (of "Entertainment Tonight"), singer Nancy Sinatra, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, the members of ZZ Top, Dennis Haskins ('Mr. Belding' on "Saved By The Bell"); Kenny Johnson ('Burner' on "Pensacola Wings of Gold"), radio D.J.'s Mark & Brian, Darren Burrows ('Ed Chigliak' on "Northern Exposure"), Robert Blake ("Baretta"), and even singer Pat Boone. Singer k.d. lang didn't show up in 1997, but on "The Tonight Show" later, she promised Jay Leno that she would absolutely be there for the 1998 ride.

Over 25,000 riders participate in each year's "Love Ride" - an amazing number - raising over one million dollars for the M.D.A. The mix included full-time bikers, "weekend warriors" (who are dentists and accountants the rest of the week), and groups for "mature bikers " (with their slogan "Born to be Mild").

Musical entertainment (at the destination site) has been provided by the likes of ZZ Top, B.B. King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gregg Allman, Steppenwolf, The Black Crowes, Edgar Winter, Jefferson Starship, Joe Walsh, Billy Ray Cyrus, Blood Sweat & Tears, Sammy Hagar, the Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, the Steve Miller Band, Jim Belushi, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Big Brother & The Holding Company.

Do you own your own bike? Then you too can ride with the stars next year. But since this is a charity affair, participants must register in advance (before 9 AM on the day of the parade), and must raise a minimum of $60 per person. (Entrants can recruit sponsors to contribute a certain amount for each mile of the drive, or they can simply contribute the total amount themselves).

Prizes, ranging from bandannas to to Harley-Davidson bikes to guitars autographed by B.B. King, are given away to those raising money for the cause. The annual event raises over $1 million for charity (MDA).

The 31st annual Love Ride will take place on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

Once again, Jay Leno will return as Grand Marshal, joined by stars Peter Fonda ("Easy Rider") and Robert Patrick "Terminator 2".

Singer Jackson Browne performed at Castaic Lake in 2013.  The 2014 musical guests are TBA.

In previous events, the ride leaves from Glendale at at 9:00 AM from Harley-Davidson of Glendale. Check-in/sign-up takes place between 6 AM and 9 AM.  The entertainment (along with celebrity introductions) usually begins just after noon (at the destination).

The money raised will benefits a number of charities, including the Los Angeles Time's literacy initiative Reading By 9, he Muscular Dystrophy Association, The March of Dimes, and others.

The ride/parade starts at 9:00 AM from "Harley-Davidson of Glendale" at 3717 San Fernando Road, Glendale, CA. (near Forest Lawn Glendale) .



[Access the official Love Ride website at: http://www.loveride.org.]



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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