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Author Topic: Calera "almost" Loop  (Read 538 times)

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Offline Guidedawg

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Calera "almost" Loop
« on: August 07, 2017, 03:17:51 PM »
A friend of mine recently purchased 2008 Victory Vision.  When I went by his home to see it, I thought the mother ship had sent down a shuttlecraft.  It has all the bells and whistles and he is pleased with it enough that he is putting his beloved 1981 Goldwing up for sale (along with his wife’s 2008 Nissan Versa if anyone is interested)

It looked like the original forecast for weekend rain was going to be delayed so we decided to plan a Saturday ride just to stretch the legs a bit.  We were accompanied by our wives along with his mother-in-law and her husband.

The bikes were my VTX, his Vision, and an Ultra Classic for his in-laws

We wanted to ride somewhere new to us, so I consulted my often-nearby copy of David Haynes’ Motorcycling Alabama to see if there was a route we could take or modify.  We decided on Ride Loop 35: Calera, Montevallo, Centerville, Sprott, Maplesville Ride.

I had ridden with the in-laws before on some FaithRiderz rides and knew they tended to lag behind a bit, so I decided it was best to avoid Interstate travel if we wanted to stay together.  This was no problem for any of us as we were in no particular hurry.

So we went from Montgomery up through Wetumpka and crossed the always picturesque Bibb Graves Bridge as we took Hwy 111 through Slapout and up to 143 to eventually join Hwy 31 near Confederate Memorial Park.

Since we were coming into Clanton from the South on Hwy 31, we had to stop at Peach Park because…well, that’s the law.

But this was just a butt-break and we reluctantly passed on the ice cream because lunch was coming up soon.

We went through Clanton in all of its traffic lighted glory and rode parallel to the railroad tracks through Thorsby and Jemison until we came to this oasis just south of Calera

Earlier in the year I had asked friends in Clanton to suggest a BBQ joint, expecting to hear reviews from either of the 2 in that city I was considering.  Instead, they told me to keep driving north until I reached the Tin Top, order some Pigs Wings and I would thank them later.

When I returned home, I thanked them.

The sandwich portions were generous and the “pig wings” (shanks) were a nice treat for something different.  We ate our fill and enjoyed talking to the cook a bit.  I’ll be back, I’m sure.

The route took us past a few spots that will warrant a return trip because, even though the pace was leisurely, we didn’t really have time to stop and explore.  I told my friends about stops in the area I had made on previous motorcycle rides such as the monument for the geographic center of the state (which was already outdated by the time it was erected thanks to the Submerged Lands Act of 1953 that extended our border into the Gulf of Mexico) and Orr Park in Montevallo to check out the tree carvings.

We also drove past the entrance to Brierfield Iron Works Park which I have never visited so I’ll be back for me also.

We continued through Centerville and Brent and went south seeing signs for Marion and Greensboro but took an Eastward turn and stopped for a rest break at Perry Lakes Park in the parking lot of a fish hatchery.

The original plan was to walk the boardwalk over the Cypress Swamp area of the Cahaba River and climb a restored fire tower, but I was unaware of the gravel drive to reach it and some of our riders were hesitant about exploring.

I may or may not make it out here again, because it isn’t the sort of place you go by unless that is your intention, but I never rule anything out.

Our ride northward took us through 20 plus miles of Talladega National Forest but we expected it to be a bit more “Forest-like”.  Nevertheless, this was the one area of our trip where there were no vehicles around us and we had the road to ourselves.  It was a beautiful day and a chance to clear the mind and stretch the chain.  I could never ask for anything more and was quite pleased to have the opportunity to lead us somewhere new.

Once we reached Hwy 82, we chose to return home that way rather than complete the loop.  We made one final break at the rest area in Maplesville.

The lone BamaRides member and the lady foolish enough to marry and ride with him

There were a few sprinkles between Maplesville and Prattville but the rain never materialized.  We followed the familiar roads of west Montgomery before a short stretch on Interstate 85 and back home.

It was a great day to get out and we and our friends are already discussing some overnight rides for the future along with more explorations of Alabama ride loops.

Offline Nice Goat

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Re: Calera "almost" Loop
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 07:47:36 PM »
Nice report.  I've heard good things about Tin Top.
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Offline kdtrull

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Re: Calera "almost" Loop
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 08:03:52 PM »
Thanks for posting....looks like a cool ride.

Offline VWCarlos

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Re: Calera "almost" Loop
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 09:31:46 PM »
Pork wings sound delicious. Also does that spaceship have hyperdrive or is it chain driven?

 Looks like you guys had a good ride.
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