Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Toy Run 70's Style

Since this time of year tends to be a time of reflection, I decided to post some Toy Run pictures from Dec. 10, 1978.

Our local group of hooligans from Downey met others at U.S. Motorcycles in Lynwood CA.

In those days the Modified Motorcyle Association held Toy Runs in two stages. First, small groups from shops and homes would meet for the ride to Griffith Park. Then, once everyone was gathered at Griffith Park, a parade of bike would ride to Pasadena's City Hall.

The ride from the shops to Griffith Park was always cool. As your small group rode down the freeway it would hook up with other groups coming up the on ramps. To the surprise of many a caged motorist, bikes began taking over the early morning road. With the number of bikes growing so large you felt like you could do what ever you pleased. That translated into wild riding and the passing of beers (stashed in saddlebags), from passengers to riders and from bike to bike.

St. Nick greets bikers entering Griffith Park.

And they just kept coming.

Once at Griffth Park, it was time to check out the bikes, people watch, drink beer, and line up for the parade of bikes to Pasadena.

Each bike was given a yellow run flag.

Bikes and Bikers filling the spaces between the trees.

I believe the estimated attendance was 15,000 -20,000 bikers.

My crew.

One of the few bikes I shot that day was this well ridden chop. The sweeping sissy bar brace, long narrow springer, Sportster headlight and 15" radial car tire all scream Dick Allen/South Bay (beach cities L.A.), style.

The cops escorted and held back the cages at the lights and freeway ramps so there could be an unbroken 10 mile chain of bikes two abreast parading towards Pasadena. It was said, as the first bikes arrived in Pasadena, many bikes still hadn't left Griffith Park.

We parked on the outskirts of city hall to watch the non stop parade of bikes.

Your young author. It was the 70's. A time when everybody wore a mustache and nobody wore a helmet!

Plaid, denim, and bell bottoms ruled before the black t-shirt brigade completely took over.

Long bikes were still hip in 78.

The growing bounty on the steps of Pasadena City Hall. Stuffed animals are clearly the easiest toys to strap on bikes.

A few years later the MMA stopped the hard to coordinate two stage events. Instead they just became big gatherings (not really runs), that took place in a designated parking lot, like at the Sports Arena in Exposition Park.

They were all good times but, the two stage runs were the best.