Several months ago we were contacted by Whitney Weldon (Miss Logan Martin), one of this year’s Miss Alabama contestants, about putting together a ride to benefit Camp Wheeze Away, with the support of the American Lung Association of Alabama. Camp Wheeze Away is a camp here in Alabama for kids who have asthma. Whitney herself has asthma, so this is something that she is very passionate about. She was also our go-between with the American Lung Association.
We decided to make the ride a poker run so we could involve several other businesses who wanted to contribute in some way. We also decided to incorporate a bike show into our fund raising efforts.
Cycle Connections is very proud to be one of the major sponsors of Lightning Strikes Family Fun Center in Trussville’s Friday night bike nights, which have become extremely popular and have grown tremendously since we first helped them get this started last year. It is the perfect place for pulling any kind of motorcycle-related event through. We decided to not only make it our last stop for the poker run scheduled for Saturday June 24, but also to add the bike show to our Friday night bike night the night before the poker run.
Marc and Augie Brenner from Lightning Strikes have booked us some really cool bands for all of our bike nights, and for this bike night and bike show they booked our and most everyone’s favorite “4th And One.”
These guys are awesome, and they are a dream to work with. They are really good to help us with our door prize and 50/50 drawings on our regular bike nights, and we put them on double duty this Friday, but they didn’t care. They get as much fun out of it as we do.
We had planned eight classes for the bike show including a mini chopper class because we have a handful of “munchkins” who will come to bike night with their parents and their little choppers. One of them is the son of one of our security staff, Darren Simpson and his wife Dana. We love them and wanted to be sure theirs and the other little ones were included. We had trophies for first and second place that were made for us by All Sports Trophy in Center Point. We also asked a few vendors and manufacturers if they would like to come and set up for the weekend.
It took several days just to pick up all of our door prizes that everyone had so generously donated, so much so that we decided to split them up between the two days. All of our draw stops donated things that we picked up as we dropped off signs for them and discussed when the ride would be coming through, etc. I went Friday to pick up some of the remaining door prizes and take them along with everything else to Lightning Strikes. I had stopped at Home Depot on my way in to pick up a few little plants to give to our vendors, and as I was leaving this big black cloud had formed right over us, then started to rain, lightly at first. By the time I made it up the hill to Lightning Strikes the rain and wind picked up just a little and everyone at the bowling alley was out in the parking lot trying to keep the very large tents they had gotten to house the tables and chairs from moving all over the parking lot as they were trying to get everything set up. Within minutes, it started pouring and everyone was scrambling to keep the tents from flying off. I needed to go over to Riders Harley-Davidson from there, so after I had unpacked things in the rain, I headed over there, and the trip was made through a serious hail storm. It sounded like shotguns firing at the truck. While it’s only about five minutes from one to the other, it seemed a lot longer, and I thought at any minute the windshield was going to crack!
Thankfully the storm didn’t last long, and we were right back with “Little Jane Bulldog” at Lightning Strikes to lay out the Bike Show area. By then, Marc and Augie had everything else set back up after having to deal with the storm rearranging things, and they had broken out the big grill with hamburgers, hot dogs, etc., as well as the Coke trailer, and the bar so everyone would have plenty to eat and drink. The vendors were also there getting set. Mark and Amy from American Cycle Centers in Hoover had brought two trailers of Victory motorcycles, which they hadn’t gotten finished getting down and set up when people started gathering around them. Marta Wenzel with “Good Gilrz Bad Girlz” Biker Apparel had brought a couple of racks of her cool clothes. And Michael Swann who is Swann Graphics, was setting his tent up, but planning to get started working Saturday.
I had been wet all day from sweat and rain, and since we weren’t scheduled to have a wet T-shirt contest, I decided to head to the house and change. Leigh had gotten there and took over setting up the bike show, which took up the whole back side of their huge parking area, and I took the dog home. There were already quite a few people there, in the late afternoon now! I was gone for maybe 30 minutes, and by the time I got back the parking lot was packed. Parking all around the Bowling Alley was filled with cars and trucks. I loved it!
Trussville’s new Hooters, with manager Adam, told us they would send a couple of girls out with some hot wings. What we got were four beautiful Hooters girls, Casey D., Latoya P., Brittany R., Cheryl T. along with assistant manager, Nicholas Holman, and a couple hundred hot wings, that they ran out of before they crossed the parking lot. These guys were having a blast up there with all of the bikers and stayed to play with us for a couple of hours, and didn’t want to leave then, but they were being called back to the store, not before they had posed on several of the bikes for pictures though, which everyone loved.
We had 150 to 200 bikes show up for this bike night and all eight of our classes had bikes in them. The bike show was to be a people’s choice with trophy awards, but Lightning Strikes added to that by having three judges go by and vote on the bikes as well having a cash prize. Also the winner of the cash prize would be in the end of the season bike show along with the rest of the winners that we will have from the once-a-month bike show.
Our “bud” Fuzzy was busy helping with the door prize and 50/50 tickets like he is most Friday nights, while Leigh was busy registering the bike show. Whitney, her dad Steve, mother Denise, as well as her brother and sister had come to help out and of course our “mouth-piece” Billy, who is always there to help call out numbers for the give-aways. He is so funny, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer person than him or Fuzzy.
Everyone stayed late into the night partying and we gave away a bunch of good stuff. Thankfully one of our friends who was there, and there for a lot of our bike nights, was Steve Campbell, the photographer for the Birmingham H.O.G chapter. He always has his camera with him and he takes some really good shots, so we asked if he would mind shooting the awards for us since we would be tied up with the bike show, adding up the votes and getting out the awards, and of course he gladly agreed.
The winners of the bike show were as follows:
North American Class:
1st place - Ryan Strother
2nd place - Rick Gamble
1st place - Joe Coshatt
2nd place - Adam Cornelius
Custom Class: :
1st place - Robbie Carroll
2nd place - Howard Marcus
Touring Class: :
1st place - Bobby Cobb
Trike/Trailer Class: :
1st place Jim Worrell
2nd place - Porter Plarris
Antique Class: :
1st place - Jeff Williams
2nd place - Richard Merrifield
Sport Bike Class: :
1st place - Adam Howell
2nd place - Anthony our “crotch rocket” bud from ICON Powersports
Mini Chopper Class: :
1st place - Brady Davidson
2nd place - Zacry Simpson
Write-On and Ride-On
Story and photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly - Birmingham, Alabama