The History of Hollywood Bikenight
(Updated June 4, 2006)
Hollywood Bikenight, originally named SFV Bikenight, began during the winter of 1999-2000. A small group of sportbike riders that often rode together on weekends decided they wanted to get together during the week. They met at Starbucks on Topanga Canyon Blvd, already a popular stop for weekend motorcyclists on their way into the mountains and canyons.
The group began with about six riders. After meeting at Starbucks for a while it would get late into the evening and they would become hungry. They would ride to a restaurant for a late bite to eat, often this ride would take them into Hollywood or Santa Monica and usually made for an enjoyable, brisk, night time ride through the twisties of Sepulveda Blvd through the Sepulveda Pass.
The friendships and camaraderie grew strong and these six riders invited some of their friends. Word started to get out that a small group of riders met mid-week and went for a nice evening cruise. Every few weeks a new rider would show up to check it out and would invite their friends the following week.
By the summer of 2000, this casual get together grew to about 20 bikes each week. The rides were always fun and the restaurants were often famous Hollywood landmarks, including Mel's Diner and Pink's Hot Dogs. As the cool and sometimes wet winter weather rolled in, many riders chose to stay home, but by spring 2001, as many as 80 bikes came out each Wednesday and the gathering was officially named the San Fernando Valley Bike Night, or SFV Bikenight for short.
With the increasing popularity of SFV Bikenight also came problems. The numbers of bikes began to overflow the restaurants parking lots and were asked to take their business elsewhere. SFV Bikenight found the famous Carney's restaurant on the Sunset Strip with a large enough parking lot and that became the regular destination and eating spot.
In June 2001, one rider, who had joined the original six just two months after the first bike night, started a web site - SFVbikenight.com was born. The purpose of the website was simply to have a place to show pictures from each bike night and to inform people interested in coming out where to go and what time to meet.
In July 2001, official counts began keeping track of how many bikes showed up every week, and two attendance records were set that month. On July 11th the count broke the 100 bike mark for the first time and the following week shattered that with over 150 bikes.
In summer of 2002, four more attendance records were set breaking 200 bikes in July. Message boards were added to the website allowing riders to discuss their bike night adventures and meet other riders for weekend rides. The San Fernando Valley Bike Night was on the map. It rivaled the ever popular Huntington Beach Bike Night that has been around for many years, and SFV Bikenight was becoming a hot topic on many other sportbike websites and internet discussion groups.
Bike night kept growing and Carney's parking lot began to overflow like all the others. In November 2002, Carney's owners finally said it was time to go, although Carney's management didn't do it politely. LA County Sheriff's arrived in numbers and forcibly removed everyone by threat of arrest and bike impound. For the next few months, Sheriff's deputies lined the parking entrances to Carney's and cited any motorcycle that entered.
In December 2002, just before the movie "Biker Boyz" released in theaters across the country, a camera crew visited SFV Bikenight and shot their promotional clips and pictures for posters and advertisements. Many SFV Bikenight regulars could be seen in the background.
With the success of SFV Bikenight, there was a definite need for structure and organization. Two riders formed a partnership in January 2003 known as Impact Motorsports Promotions. Impact Motorsports Promotions would focus on organizing the nearly 400 riders, enforce parking rules, enforce basic rules of conduct, promote SFV Bikenight, hold special events including visits by professional racers, and act as a liaison to the community and law enforcement.
When the rains finally stopped in March 2003, SFV Bikenight exploded! Still without a place to go and eat after losing Carney's, the Starbuck's meeting spot set seven attendance records from March through June, topping off with 395 bikes on June 18th. SFV Bikenight was far exceeding the attendance of any other bike night in Southern California.
By early June, Impact Motorsports Promotions made arrangements with Fatburger to meet in their lot, part of a shopping complex, on the far East side of Hollywood. But once again, the huge success of bike night came at a cost. This time, it was the Starbucks lot. 395 motorcycles, a few dozen passengers, several dozen more friends and family, and several "spectators" were too much, and riders were again asked to leave.
SFV Bikenight met at several temporary locations before finally being invited to a small Coffee shop in Wodland Hills, just two miles from the former Starbucks meeting spot. Due to it's location in a very affluent and political neighborhood, strict rules had to be enforced. However, despite the very successful efforts of organizers to maintain the peace, an excessive police presence discouraged riders from attending.
In March 2005, Impact Motorsports Promotions ceased promoting a bikenight in the San Fernando Valley due to poor attendance and now focuses entirely on the Hollywood location.
On June 4, 2006, SFV Bikenight was officially renamed to Hollywood Bikenight to better represent its primary geographic location. The website also moved to HollywoodBikenight.com.
And that is Hollywood Bikenight today.