Glendale Community College and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles were among the event’s 14 beneficiaries.
Portions of Brand Boulevard were closed until 1 p.m. for the ride, as well as other roads near Harley-Davidson of Glendale and onramps for the Pasadena (134) Freeway and the Glendale (2) Freeway.
Arizona resident Roy Nelson, 61, was the first biker to arrive for the 9 a.m. ride, pulling into position at 3:30 a.m. Wearing a leather jacket and bandanna, he said the opportunity to participate in a fundraising effort that involved motorcycling was what drew most people.
“Bikers in general are charitable and that’s what this is all about,” Nelson said. “This is a charity run.”
He said he had never been a part of a ride of similar size, but came early to see what it might be like to be in front.
“It’s just fun to be together, you know?” Nelson said. “The camaraderie with other bikers.”
Orange Country resident Country Vose, 36, who was the second biker to arrive, at 4:15 a.m, said part of his reason for participating was to remember people who had died of illnesses.
“A lot of people come here riding for some one who has cancer,” said Vose, pointing out names he had taped onto the front of his bike, one for his grandfather, who died of pancreatic cancer, and another for his mom, a breast-cancer survivor.
“I ride for both of them,” Vose said.
For others, it was a time to reunite with old friends.
“I see people here I only see once a year,” Leno said before the ride, later adding that he also enjoyed getting a feel for new trends. “You get a lot of ideas for your bike.”