For anyone in Alabama, or for those who might be traveling through on a Friday night looking for one of the kick-ass places to go party, you have to come play with us at one of the largest outdoor events happening every Friday night at Bike Night with Marc and Augie Brenner and one of the coolest grandmas, Mrs. Goldie, along with anywhere from 300 to 600 of your biker brothers and sisters at Lightning Strikes Family Fun Center in Trussville, Alabama.
The ultimate bike night would be outside located somewhere large enough to accommodate a ton of folks and their bikes, with music, food, and of course, plenty of alcoholic beverages. Last year we discovered the perfect place that would meet all of the requirements for the ultimate bike night at Lightning Strikes. So Leigh and I formed a relationship with Marc and Augie Brenner to become part of the family and put together a bike night that would be like no one has ever seen around the Birmingham area and to decide how best to utilize this gem of a location. In the beginning, this bike night was like a big backyard party. It has far surpassed that and at times feels more like a small rally that happens every week.
We have gone from taking up half of the back parking lot to the whole back parking lot and are looking at ways to increase its size for next year. That’s just awesome any way you look at it. They have found some of the best bands in the South to play for us every Friday night. The bands are just as diverse as the people who attend. One week we can be rocking with one of the best classic rock bands like “4th & One,” who is one of the “old school” favorites, as well as “Latest Rumor,” both of which are a lot of fun. Both seem to enjoy playing with us just as much as they enjoy playing for us, because both are apt to show up and hang out with us even when they aren’t the scheduled band to play. The next week we can be getting down and funky with a little blues from “Cross Town Sway.” We also have “Po-Monkey,” “The Pistons” and “J. Hawkins,” and who knows what band may be added to the mix for next year.
There are several large tables with chairs set up in the middle of the parking lot to seat those who manage to light in one spot for longer than a minute. And for those wishing for something cold to drink, there is a full bar as well as several cute girls who push carts of iced down beer around. So your beer comes to you!
If something to eat is called for, they have you covered there too!
Now that the party has gotten so big, we have manufacturers who come across town, across the state, to display some of their new bikes. People like Mark, Amy and Carl from American Cycle Centers, who is our Victory dealer. American Classic Cycles bring the “Big Dogs” out. TNT Cycles in Millbrook will be bringing some of their Titans, and we have talked with our newest bike builders who have come into town by way of New Orleans, Confederate Motorcycles, as well as Big # 1 Motorsports, and Bogart’s Motorsports, in the hopes of having a wide assortment of bikes for people to browse through.
There are also several vendors who have made Lightning Strikes their Friday Night home away from home like The Leather Lady, Good Girlz-Bad Girlz biker apparel, and Cigars and more who have a cart going around supplying folks with “stogies.” We also have a great marketing family with people like Coors Light, who have been so very good to us by giving us great beer prices, and they have put up a trip to Veil Colorado to our end-of-season bike show winner. There is a bike show with trophies for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place, the last Friday of each month, and all of the first place winners will go against each other in the last show that will be in November for a chance at the trip. Lightning Strikes has become one of the largest beer buyers in the state, just from the bike night. That’s impressive!
We also have Jeff and Sherri from Bessie’s Cycle Barn and Steve Brasher with Showtime Kustom Paint, both of whom, along with the vendors and manufacturers, put up items for the door prizes that are given out each week. Inside there is food, a bar, pool tables, bowling and a game room to entertain the little ones. We have a lot of people whose wives drive up with the kids while dad rides the bike, so there is plenty for everyone to do both young and “older,” bikers or not!
We have been told there are those in Alabama who think they have a pretty good bike night, but when you can call 200-300 bikes a slow night, I think that speaks volumes about the true definition of a really “great” bike night that’s always rocking!
So, what is the recipe for a kick-ass bike night you may ask? Here ya go:
Take 1 large paved parking area
Mix in a large fun-filled facility staffed with some really great folks
Add 1 outside bar with 3 parts iced down beer carts
Shake with a lot of awesome rock roll
Add 400-600 parts chrome
Throw in hundreds of the best people ever to party with
Mix all of the ingredients together, and sprinkle the top with thousands of stars and 1 big fat moon, and you have one of the biggest and best bike nights few have ever experienced!
We even had a high school reunion schedule their party out in the parking lot with the bikers on bike night. We have had a marriage proposal from Nathan Thompson to Angela, which was done in front of the band and everyone. There are new people each week who discover our little slice of biker heaven and we enjoy having each and every one of them.
This year’s bike night season will wrap up on November 17 and is scheduled to resume in March of 2007. Please see Lightning Strikes ad in Cycle Connections for more information. We are expecting the last three bike nights, November 3, 10 and 17 to be really big party nights if the weather cooperates!
Next year they are planning to bring the Strikes & Bikes Club in to the picture with more membership benefits, which will also enable them to keep the level of entertainment up to the standards of excellence we’ve come to expect from them. There are a lot of people who have also discovered that this is the perfect place to involve in a ride or poker run, as there were several rides to originate from here and several that made this the final stop for their poker runs this year. And with the tremendous support that is gained from Lightning Strikes, I would venture to guess that there will be even more rides to call this home next year.
To all of you who came and partied with us, to all of the manufacturers and vendors, and to all of the fund-raising events that came through, and of course to all of the bands who rocked us, we genuinely thank you so very much. We truly enjoyed every minute! Leigh and I, with Cycle Connections, will certainly remain very proud founding sponsors!
Anything you ride is welcome, so we look forward to seeing you next year. Ride on up! We’ll leave the light on for you and have a cold beer waiting for you as well!
Write-On and Ride-On
Story and photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly - Birmingham, Alabama