Alabama motorcycle rally
It all began a few years back when Johnny Robinson invited the Bama Rides crowd up to his Bed & Breakfast for a Meet & Greet. The turnout was exceptional considering it rained all day. We had a subsequent campout following another event that he hosted in Huntsville, and that seemed to work well also. All this seemed to lead into the Rally in the Valley – the first annual Paint Rock Valley motorcycle rally.
The location is excellent. The roads are outstanding. The weather was perfect. The attendees were ready to ride, party, laugh and start over the next day. Paint Rock Valley is rather unique in Alabama, cold when it is hot, foggy when clear, and tucked away in a scenic spot that reminds me of North Georgia and the mountains of Tennessee – I guess that what makes it special.
Jon Becker and I rode up Friday afternoon and picked the prime spots to camp. A quick setup of the tents and we were ready to start quenching our thirst for ale and regale, which we quickly did. Dinner shortly followed, and bedtime also after a few stories. We woke the next morning to the crow of roosters and coffee, and the rumble of a few early morning arrivals from the south.
After we gathered our wits with caffeine, and gathered our riders, we were on the road by 10:30 to explore the best roads in N. Alabama, and grab some lunch.
Of course the roads did not disappoint, as we found most of the twisty mountain pavement there was between the valley and Guntersville. We ate at a nice place on the water, where we watched the sailboats, and gathered in other sights as we enjoyed a meal.
After lunch, a few of our group split off the go catch the football game before returning to the festivities later that evening. The rest of us headed back up to the valley, as the way we came seemed like a good fit to ride on the way back. The roads back seemed almost as good as the roads there – but backwards.
We arrived in the valley, and decided the day was still early, and maybe to early to start ale/regale, so Buzz and I started off up the mountain to see what kind of dirty trouble we could get into – and we found it. After riding to the top of the mountain, we decided to do some playing on our descent. Things got out of hand, and somebody went home with a tattoo. I guess this happens to everyone sometime, this time it happened to Buzz, dropped his bike on a slick-as-shit downhill and punched a hole in the side of his case, releasing all the magic fluid from the side.
Time for a rescue. At first, we decided to roll the bike (slowly this time) down the hill, push it into the woods, camouflage it, and ride back two-up for a truck to tow back. That turned into calling for rescue, and the firefighter(Johnny) actually would up rescuing 3 people in this short space of time. Interesting weekend, and I cannot wait till the next one comes around.
Saturday night was a hot one, but the turnout was excellent considering the party that almost did not happen. Matt at Magic City Scooters picked up the party and ran with it, and made everyone feel welcome. The Haints showed, along with a good turnout from the scooter crowd, Floribama Riders and of course Bama Rides folks. We also talked about an upcoming event we are calling “Gymkhana” for now, and agility event for two-wheels. More details to come soon.
The Spring Rally at Faunsdale seems to be the cream of the crop. Several members went down during the week (and a few came up) to get the best spots, and decent real-estate was pretty hard to come by on Saturday, when we rolled in. We had about 45 minutes of rain on the way in from Montevallo, drizzling on and off, but never really had to stop to gear up. Upon arrival, we shortly met up with Bryan and Amanda from Mobile who had set up in a high traffic area near the cow pasture.
After pitching tents and dumping gear, we struck out to find the other folks scattered around the place. We quickly found the Childersburg crowd, Mark and Sabrina who had been down since Thursday (I think). We got the banner hung out front and cruised around a bit more looking for trouble.
Naked folks walking around at noon became fairly common and less of a surprise the more you saw. I guess the biggest shock was just how many acted as if they did it every day. Most folks that have never been to a rally assume that it just naked, drunken rednecks, running around fighting and acting crazy. This is just a small part. The charm is the laid-back atmosphere that allows the self expression of nudity, crazy outfits, a acting a fool if that is your thing. Or just watching folks relaxed and having a good time – that is my thing.
If nothing else, just sitting around a campfire with your friends, drinking a cold beverage, talking about motorcycles, or riding, or the last fools that rode by is certainly worth the journey, and $25 (for the whole 4 days). As if that were not enough, the Faunsdale Crawfish Festival is less than a mile away, where you can get live music, mudbugs, crawfish pie and even etouffee. Fortunately for us, a neighbor two tents away gave us a few plates of etouffee they were cooking in a huge cast iron pot – man that stuff was some of the best I ever had. These folks were from Lousiana (word travels) and they were doing it all right.
If you did not go, you missed a great time, I think that everyone who rides, should go at least once, and Faunsdale would be a good place to start. More discussion and pics
The North Alabama Air, Car, and Bike show in Albertville was organized by real pros. This was more of an air-show than anything else, but lots of vendors, several antique and classic cars, and a handful of bikes surrounding the biker vendor. Not so much a bike show, but a good excuse to get on the bike and show up. Nice, small air-show, and it looks like everybody in Marshall County showed up for this event.
It has been a weeks since the biggest biker rally in Alabama, and I am still chuckling about what I saw. Oh sure I have seen naked people before, but never on a bike, at midnight, riding around a big, dirt track. That was a real treat. The biggest surprise was the BYOB, and whatever you can put on the back of your bike(or in your RV, or the trailer pulling your bike). That’s right, no rules about beverages, except they do NOT sell alcohol there. So it turned into a quick trip down the road to Demopolis.
This was the single largest rally I have ever been to, and would guestimate 1,500-3,000 campers-RVs, tents etc., plus another 5,000 possibly in/out folks. Hard to gauge the real traffic due to everyone moving around alot, as there was much to see. In addition to the main stage, for music, wet-t contests, etc. there were “community stages” set up out in the village, where the real debauchery took place. Stripper poles surrounded by RVs, nice light-shows, PA systems, and portable tiki-bars with singing automatons. The food was typical festival-type food, but enough to keep you alive.
If you wanted something different to eat, you could ride down the road less than a mile for the Annual Faunsdale Crawfish Festival, going on at the same time.
I would suggest making this a bi-annual trip, I had a blast.
Find out more about Faunsdale Bike Rally here
A few images from the Rockland Resort, a little rain never hurt anybody, right? If you have not rolled over there, it is worth the trip. If you have any other resorts we need to know about, you should let us know.
On Saturday we had a quick stop at Indian Hills Motorcycle Resort, a relatively new addition to the biker stop circuit in Coosa county. The will be celebrating their 1st anniversary with a birthday party next weekend starting on Thursday the 27th, and ending on Sunday. They are expecting around 2,000 riders per day for the party, so we thought we would see what this place was all about.
It was a slow day on our visit (Easter weekend), but there was still around 40 riders, and everyone seemed real laid back. The staff was friendly and welcoming, and appeared to enjoy being there. The facilities were clean and comfortable, and the food looked delicious (we did not have time to eat). They do have a decent looking menu and good prices, so it might be worth exploring further.
The main facility is large, and housed several large tables, and two pool tables. Overall, I think it would certainly be worth another trip, and maybe even worth checking out the 1st Anniversary party.