MOTORCYCLISTS' 'FUND RUNS' HELP CHARITIES.Byline: Naush Boghossian Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - Times have changed from the days when the signature low rumble of motorcycles, the long beards, tattoos and leather gear struck fear, causing people in cars to scramble to roll up their windows and lock their doors.
Today's recreational riders - mostly professionals with 9-to-5 jobs - are slowly chipping away at the Hell's Angels Hell's Angels npl → Hell's Angels pl image of bikers by combining their love of riding in groups with raising money for different charities.
``We're law-abiding citizens that enjoy riding. It's kind of like an alter ego A doctrine used by the courts to ignore the corporate status of a group of stockholders, officers, and directors of a corporation in reference to their limited liability so that they may be held personally liable for their actions when they have acted fraudulently or unjustly or when , when we dress up and go riding with friends,'' said Bob Norlemann, a Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County sheriff's sergeant.
Norlemann is founder of the Downed Officer Support Ride, held in Santa Clarita every year to raise money for the families of fallen officers.
He estimates that locals participated in about 15 motorcycle events in the immediate area this year, adding that this type of fund raiser A Fund Raiser' is an organized event, attempting to collect money. The money to be collected is usually for a specific item or need. The event also can entail gimmicks or activities to promote donor interest. has become more popular in the past few years as more affluent people began riding bikes.
``It used to be that hard-core bikers rode or those who couldn't afford another mode of transportation,'' Norlemann said. ``People riding Harleys these days can afford to give money to charities.''
Southland police officers and firefighters, many of whom call Santa Clarita home, are members of clubs like the Iron Warriors In the fictional universe of Warhammer 40,000, the Iron Warriors are one of the traitorous Chaos Space Marine Legions. The Iron Warriors' speciality lies in siege warfare. , the Fire Hogs, the Choir Boys Choir Boys can refer to:
Harley-Davidson® established the Harley Owners Group® in 1983 in response to a growing desire by Harley® riders for an organized way to share their ) chapters - and all the clubs inform members about upcoming events, encouraging them to participate.
``I think motorcyclers for the most part are a very generous group of people who help out fellow riders and other people in need,'' said Oliver Shokouh, owner of the Glendale Harley-Davidson and founder of the Love Ride.
He estimates that the celebrity-packed Love Ride, which had its 18th event two weeks ago, traveling from Glendale to Castaic, has raised about $15 million.
Shokouh said that the buyers' demographics have changed in the 26 years he's been selling bikes, lending to a dramatic increase in motorcycle fund-raising events.
``They have the money and don't mind spending it that way,'' he said. ``It's become a real fun function to do on the weekends, to go out and have a ride for a purpose and feel good when you go home.''
More women are buying bikes today and Harley buyers at his store are more educated - their median age is 48 - and they are more affluent, with an average household income close to six figures, Shokouh said.
``Before, the buyers were less affluent, and we never had the yuppies that have joined motorcycling,'' he said.
The Downed Officer Support Ride celebrated its seventh year, and Norlemann estimates that they have raised in excess of $75,000.
And the Harvest Ride, which debuted this year, was deemed a success by attracting 500 bikers and about $35,000 - money that went to the Santa Clarita Child and Family Center, which provides mental health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract . The event is already on the calendar for next year.
``I was uncomfortable with integrating our image of child and family with that rough-and-tough Harley Davidson image, because I had bought into the image they're trying to erase,'' said Cheryl Jones, the center's marketing director.
``But they were all so polite, so friendly, so supportive, and very generous,'' she said, adding that since the event, some of the participants have called in to offer their help and to contribute more money to the organization.
Mary Beth Crowe, editor of Motorcycle Events magazine, keeps a database of the large motorcycle events that take place in the country and says that about 30 percent of the events each year are fund raisers for different charities.
``Think about any charity and someone's organized a ride for it - breast cancer, pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.
Of or relating to pediatrics. brain cancer, prostate cancer prostate cancer, cancer originating in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the leading malignancy in men in the United States and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in men. , the American Heart Association American Heart Association (AHA),
n.pr a national voluntary health agency that has the goal of increasing public and medical awareness of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and thereby reducing the number of associated deaths and disabilities. ,'' she said, adding that she has counted about 600 major riding events in 2001. ``These are passionate people. Some are annual events, but if there's a fallen firefighter or biker, they will have another one-time special event.''
Norlemann explained that there are always impromptu events to raise money for sudden tragedies that touch them personally.
`'We just did a ride on the fourth for New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. called the 9-11 ride,'' he said. ``It was a simple, last-minute ride with 100 bikes that raised $5,000.''
Jeff Hanley, a member of the Golden State chapter of HOG, says there's one to five rides every weekend.
``There's always something to ride for,'' Hanley said. ``We always like to ride because that's our release, to get the wind in our face.''
Deputy Jeff Fine from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department This article is about the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, not to be confused with the smaller Los Angeles County Police
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is a local law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California. says that as a member of the Iron Eagles he found he enjoyed participating in raising money for other police officers who were stricken with cancer, a member's father who had Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease (ăls`hī'mərz, ôls–), degenerative disease of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that leads to atrophy of the brain and senile dementia. , or an officer shot on duty.
``I was not a big donor. I thought of myself more than other people,'' Fine said. But incidents in the lives of people in the club touched all of them, and raising money was about camaraderie and doing something constructive.
``It made me more aware of other things. I might not have given back to the community if I hadn't gotten in the club,'' Fine said. ``You realize through the club how important it is to help raise money because people need our help and assistance.''
For more information on upcoming motorcycle events across the country, go to www.motorcycleevents.com.
(1 -- color in SAC edition only) An estimated 500 motorcycle riders took part in Harvest Ride 2001, held in September to raise funds for the Santa Clarita Child and Family Center.
(2) Today's recreational motorcycle riders - mostly professionals with 9-to-5 jobs - are combining their love of riding in groups with raising money for different charities.
Shaun Dyer/Special to the Daily News