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2nd Annual Crawfish Boil & Bike Show – Centre, Alabama

Written by  March 31, 2005

Nothing announces the beginning of spring better than the smell of crawfish boiling and the rumble of hundreds of motorcycles.

The weekend of Saturday, March, 19 was the start of riding season for us, in this part of the country. We have had plenty of days here and there to ride, but now that it seems to warming up for awhile, there is nothing left to do but get out and commune with nature, meet new people and find new places to see. And as you know, half the fun is getting there, which means a hell of a lot of great rides along the way.

The first of the rallies on our list of 'things to do,' was the Crawfish Boil and Bike Show in Centre, Alabama. Ride about two hours northeast of Birmingham and just a few miles from the Georgia state line, you’ll find this great little biker accessory shop on Highway 411 called, appropriately enough, Biker Shack 411, which is owned by Pam and John Hunt. These two have been putting on this rally on their own, and this is their second year now, which from what I hear, appears to have doubled in size from last year.

This was our first time here, so we were not exactly sure where we were going, but about 30 minutes into our trip, we ran into a couple of bikes headed in that direction, so we thought they might be going to the same place, which as it turns out, they were. When we were almost there, we passed a Sonic Drive-In with a parking lot full of motorcycles. We figured that was the last stop on the poker run part of the day’s events.

We found the Biker Shack on the left side of the road with bikes all around it, and the rally was across the street, in this huge field. There was a large slab of concrete right up front, which we found out was the start of the new, larger store they were building. But on this day, the slab was being used to park bikes for the bike show. The Biker Shack had their trailer set up next to the slab and was selling T-shirts and other paraphernalia. By the end of the day, the concrete slab got broken in good, with a few burnouts. So I guess the floor of their new store got “tattooed!”

And speaking of tattoos, The Tattoo Studio had their tattoo trailer there, which several people took advantage of. There was a large flatbed trailer at the side of the field that served as the stage, on which the bands used entertained guests all day. Cycle World of Gadsden, Alabama and Rick's Cycle Parts of Rainsville, Alabama had several of their bikes there, and of course our 'buds' from Full Throttle and Thunder Roads were present.

The Bike Show gave out trophies for all of the first place winners and ribbons for the remaining winners. Leigh won a second place ribbon in the V-Rod class, but he said he was even more proud of his 3rd place People's Choice award.

If you needed a leather or chrome fix, the store was open to browse and buy! The day’s 'Co-Guest of-Honor' was the crawfish, with the bikes being the other. Along with being the Bike Shack owner official rally coordinator, John, was also cook for the day. Being from New Orleans, he definitely knew what he was doing, and even got his crawfish from 'back home.' Last year, they went through about 150 pounds of crawfish, and this year they brought in approximately 300 pounds. They had this huge pot filled with crawfish, potatoes, corn and onions, and used a boat oar to stir and lift the lid. They kept the pot full all day, and at one time they were even serving hotdogs, hamburgers, and grilled sausage! People were using box top lids lined with newspaper for plates. What a perfect thing to use for the event’s tableware.

The Cherokee Humane Society had a tent set up, and we found out that half of the proceeds from the poker run went to benefit the humane society. Most people just expect that stray animals and unwanted pets will be taken care of without much thought as to 'how' and 'who' will do it. The Cherokee Humane Society, like most humane societies, at least here in the South, relies on donations, volunteers, and fund raising. So we thought it was a really good thing for them to benefit from the day, and I would like to see more events follow suit!

We had a BLAST! Everybody partied, danced and ate well—excuse me—PIGGED out all day! When we got there, we didn't know anyone, but the 'brotherhood of bikers” is such, that you are never amongst strangers. Being out in the country like this had the feel of times long ago at some friend’s backyard barbeque—at least a friend with a really big backyard. To help give you a taste of the old times I'm talking about, I decided to toss in a few black and white photos to set the mood.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and we wish Pam and John Hunt much success with their new building and look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Write-on & Ride-on!

Story and photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly of Birmingham, Alabama