For much of the country, Christmas time brings thoughts of snow, sledding, skiing, or snowboarding, and cozying up to a crackling fire with your favorite naughty elf. On the West Coast however, it's usually business as usual, which means mostly sunny skies with temps in the high 60s, low 70s, with some rain every once in a while. Yes we are blessed with nearly year-round riding weather, so storing your bike away for the winter is pretty uncommon.
Now you would think that with great riding weather, Southern California would be on the map as one of the top major rally stops. However, aside from a one- or two-day weekend event here and there, such as the Calendar Show, Long Beach International Motorcycle Show, or the Love Ride, we really don't have a multi-day event that draws the type of crowds of say, Sturgis, Daytona, or heck many motorcycle rallies across the country do. It's a weird phenomenon and one that our staff has discussed on many occasions trying to figure out why we can't have a successful annual multi-day motorcycle rally that draws thousands of people. It could be that people don't want to deal with the traffic and traveling multiple freeway systems just to get to some decent riding. Or it could be that there's already too many events going on every weekend all across the Southland that it's too difficult to get people to focus on one event. Or maybe it's just that riders in SoCal have so many options that it's no big deal to miss an event one weekend, because they know there will be another event somewhere else the next weekend. Whatever the reason or reasons, most Southern California riders seem content to just spend a few hours at an event then head off to another.
One of the busiest months for motorcycle enthusiasts in Southern California is December. It seems as soon as the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are gobbled up, toy runs, charity rides, and motorcycle events of one kind or another pop up in just about every city in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. Basically you could be lined up for a toy run in one city with another group of riders ready to hit the streets for their own toy run just a few blocks over. I think December is my favorite month in Southern California, and not because of the presents or sweeties dressed up in skimpy Mrs. Clause outfits. December is my favorite because of the Mooneyes X-Mas Party Show and Drags, and the David Mann Chopper Fest. The two events do a great job of representing Southern California's obsession with the custom car and motorcycle cultures. While the Mooneyes show is held on the black top of the Irwindale Speedway with the roar of monster motors screamin' down the drag strip in the background, the David Mann event is practically held on the sand of the Ventura coastline with the soft scent of salty sea breeze streaming through the air.
Now I'm not trying to rub this in but, while Mother Nature was releasing her fury on much of the Midwest and East Coast with massive amounts of snow the weekend of December 11-12, she graced us here in SoCal with summer-like conditions of 80-plus degrees and blue skies. Perfect riding weather ideal for a weekend jam-packed with awesome outdoor activities for two-, three-, and four-wheeled enthusiasts. Enthusiasts were out in droves on Saturday at the Mooneyes show walking the rows and rows of classic cars, hot rods, rat rods, and vintage trucks with a few motorcycles sprinkled in. Then Sunday was yet another beautiful day as riders wheeled their way up the 101 to Ventura to ogle everything from Knucks, Pans, Shovels, Evos, and Twin Cams, shoved into bobber, chopper, pro-street, bagger, and trike frames and everything in between. The beautiful weekend weather wasn't really a Christmas miracle; just another Christmas season in SoCal.
Until next time, Eric