Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Love Ride Died With The RUBs

The Love RideThe 26th Annual Love Ride was cancelled.

The Love Ride was probably the biggest biker event Southern California had to offer. It was an event that had always been full of hype, glamor, and organized mayhem.

It was cancelled due to lack of interest.

That's the official reason.

But the way I see it, it was a victim of itself.

I had attended the 21st Love Ride because I was told it was something I had to see to believe, and that it was the coolest biker event around. Of course, you can't always believe everything you hear. As it turned out, I was disappointed. Or rather, it was exactly as I had anticipated, a lot of hours spent waiting to get going, all freeway riding, everyone riding gangbusters, long lines to get food, and long lines to use a porta-pottie.

That was the first and last time I ever made that mistake.

As the history goes, The Love Ride started out with one Glendale Harley-Davidson wanting to organize a charity event to donate money to kids in need. It was small and simple, and it felt good and felt real. But Glendale is right next to Hollywood, and Hollywood is never satisfied with the same-old-same-old year after year. It has to get bigger, glamorous, and continually reinvent itself. It brought in movie stars and headlining acts. And as the years went by, the ticket prices went higher and higher.

There would be 20,000 motorcycles lined up in front of Glendale Harley-Davidson, waiting to get going on the ride. And when the ride started, it would still take another hour before those towards the back would get going. And the ride? Well, it was just about 20 miles up Interstate 5. That was it. That was the whole ride, all freeway.

Obviously, no motorcycle rider with a lick of sense would spend $80.00 a ticket just to wait several hours in front a Harley dealer, then ride 20 miles of freeway, and then sit and stand the rest of the day waiting in line for food.

But the RUBs would. The "rich urban bikers", who interestingly enough are not necessarily rich, and not necessarily urban, just those who bought a motorcycle to experience the lifestyle, thinking somehow that if they participated in The Love Ride, they would become a little bit more of a genuine article.

Those were the people The Love Ride thrived on.

But the money benefited charities.

Yes, that was the reason to participate. That's another thing. We live in a time now where charitable organizations have employees on the dole, and anywhere from 90 to 95% of the money you donate goes to paying employees and overhead. I don't want to donate money anymore. I want to donate goods. I'd rather do a charity run that delivers canned food to a food bank, toys to a children's hospital, or blankets to a homeless shelter.

Why couldn't The Love Ride have done that?

But as it is now, the RUBs aren't shelling out money anymore. Many of them sold their Harleys, or had them repossessed. Maybe, we just don't have RUBs anymore, I don't know. The bikers who are still carrying the torch are the ones who truly live to ride, and if you truly live to ride, you are not paying $80.00 to sit and stand around all day.

The Love Ride killed itself. It was an event that lived with the RUBs, and died with the RUBs. Without them it buckled under its own weight. It would be better for The Love Ride to go back to its roots and get real again, but it's just not the nature of Hollywood to do that.


  1. I rubs me wrong when anyone of us moto bloggers start slinging mud at others bikers and calling them names like Rub and Poser but I do agree about the donating thing and have come up with a solution.
    We should rally up the troops to donate blood. It does not cost anyhting. It saves lives. And many of the lives it saves are bikers.
    Every bro who gives blood will be a Blood Bro!

  2. As much as I like to think I'm the "let's all play nice together" type, I can't deny that the terms "rub" and "poser" exist for a reason. I don't care how creatively mean-spirited you want to be, if the label you put on someone is just totally baseless, it's not gonna stick. I think I have enough time in the saddle to say without guilt that A) These people are out there, and B) The names fit.

    This is an excellent piece, and is completely accurate, which is actually pretty sad. Then again, they say the truth hurts. You couldn't be more right when you say real bikers will not fork out big bucks to hurry up and wait. We want to ride and enjoy some scenery, not go barreling down the freeway with a bunch of wannabes who are such bad riders that long waits for food become secondary to not making it there in one piece.

    We have a ride every year here that another local HOG Chapter sponsors to benefit the MDA. It's one of those rides that loads up with all sorts of independents, from rubs and posers to scooter and crotch rocket pilots. It's nice that they come and pay towards raising money for the MDA. Nothing else about them being there is nice.

    They don't know how to ride safely in a pack. They leave huge gaps in the ride, just inviting an impatient cage driver to cut in, which is VERY dangerous.
    They don't know how to block, and they don't know that if you can't block you belong in the back, not up front.

    After I did this ride for the first time, I was all set. I had no intention of doing it again. But, this year the new lady in my life who also rides wanted to go. I knew that no amount of gloom and doom talk from me would dissuade her from seeing for herself, so I didn't even try. All I said was a prediction, and that was that afterwards she would tell me she was all set on ever doing this free-for-all fiasco ever again.

    Not only did she say that, but she also promised to take my word on whether a ride was worth going on or not from now on. Not a bad accomplishment for me, and I got a fifteen dollar hockey-puck hamburger and about 7 potato chips to make it worth my while.

    I'm with you - I'll bring a few toys to donate for the kids when we do our annual toy run. I'm done with contributing to the "rub fests."


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)