We've run all kinds of things in Full Service, most of which ranges from shop information to various events. Rarely do we devote an entire FS to one event, but we decided this one was definitely worthy of some extended attention.
I've decided to embark on a career of crime.
This has absolutely nothing to do with my actual topic, which is the reaction I receive when I tell various friends and family members that I work for a motorcycle magazine. Some jump up and down and squeal. Some look on in silent horror, picturing me hurtling to my death on some raked-out monster chop. Still others aren't quite sure what to say, and therefore pat me on the back, happy that I've at least found employment. Some just back away slowly.
This is just a tiny portion...
This is just a tiny portion of the bikes that were there.
But every now and then, someone brightens up and says "Oh, I've got an event for you to go to!" And if it's someone that you never pictured getting involved with bikers, well, all the better.
In this case, it was the Guide Dogs of America's (GDA, located in Sylmar, CA) annual poker run through the beautiful Angeles Crest Forest. Now, since the first thought that came to mind when I considered bikers and guide dogs was a Golden Retriever in a sidecar, I figured I had to check the thing out, if only for the photo opportunity. I knew very little about GDA, save that their efforts allow thousands of blind individuals to experience independence that they might not have otherwise. So we had bikes, dogs, and a great cause. I couldn't not stop by.
As always, it's pretty easy to spot a biking event-just look for the rows of motorcycles. In our case, we discovered a parking lot full of bikes ranging from stock Harleys to some pretty wacky customs, and even a couple of rat bikes (a personal favorite of mine, as I'm sure zombies ride them). I figured there had to be upwards of 300, maybe even more-I wasn't about to go count each and every bike, but holy crap, man, this event was a lot bigger than I figured it to be.
The Rowemobile, as we called...
The Rowemobile, as we called it. Feast your eyes on the beauty of the raffle bike. Go on, feast! Proceeds will go to the GDA.
One thing that struck me about the industry the moment I started working here is its generosity. Bikers seem willing to turn out in droves for a good cause if there's a ride involved; present them with a trail through the forest and a kid that needs a heart transplant, and they'll be there. But it's not just when a ride is promised-when our editor Courtney was down for the count earlier this year, folks came together and punched out some great auctions to help pay his medical bills. I expected a lot of things when I first started working for a motorcycle magazine, but the kindness that is inherent in so many riders was not one of them.