OCEANSIDE — The parking lot outside the Senior Center was filled with everything on two wheels, from Harley Davidson motorcycles to SYM scooters, as motorcycle enthusiasts gathered for the American Legion Riders Cycle Fest on Nov. 1.
The event spurred camaraderie between riders and supplied information on safe riding practices, like no drinking while riding and keeping your eyes on the traffic ahead. “We’re real big on rider safety,” “Downtown” Mike Schuster, American Legion Riders Post 146 president, said. “Live long, ride long” was the message of the event.
Bill Schulberg of San Marcos, a vendor at the event, attended the festival with his wife and daughter. Motorcycle riding is a family pastime for the Schulbergs. They regularly take motorcycle trips across the United States, and recently rode in the Sturgis Black Hills Classic Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, along with 100,000 other riders. “Riding brings you together,” Schulberg said. “You’re together in where you’re going, what you’ve seen, and how you see it differently.”
Howard Mayorga, a member of the American Legion Riders Post 149 in Escondido, has been riding for 54 years and raced motorcycles for 15 years. He said riders share camaraderie and veterans who ride share an even deeper connection. “Every one of us had been in the service,” Mayorga said. “We’re a band of brothers, we stick together. We support each other, we support our troops, we support our president.”
While the event was held to raise road safety awareness, the American Legion Riders have numerous rides throughout the year to raise funds for charities, and many American Legion Riders are also Patriot Guard Riders who escort funeral processions for fallen soldiers.