Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Alabama State H.O.G. Rally

Written by  June 30, 2005

The Alabama State H.O.G. Rally was held in Pelham this year. It has been five years since it was held in the Birmingham area, and this rally covered a lot of ground. It started Thursday night in Trussville at Riders Harley-Davidson with a kick-off party where the Buicks were playing, hamburgers and hot dogs were grilling, and the store was staying open late. Even though it was kind of a 'crappy' night weather-wise, there was still a large turnout. We stayed for awhile then decided to go see what they were doing across town at the Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham. We found a lot of friendly folks there frying up several large pots of catfish, all the fixins and plenty of cold beverages. They 'forced' us to eat for the second time that night! We felt like pigs for eating at both places, but it was so good! We decided to wrap the night up with a trip to the Iron Horse Cafe.

The Iron Horse is a cool place to hang out, and it is very biker friendly. They have at least two bikes on display inside, chrome checkerboards on the walls, bar stools with bike parts, and they have a live band and a dance floor that are projected onto a large screen in the front of the room. There are several pool tables, a full bar, and a pretty tempting food menu. No! We didn't eat again. Thanks to Jerry, his brother Sammy and all the good folks at the Iron Horse café, we ended the night with a bang.

Friday they had rides departing from morning until 5 p.m. going to Riders H-D., Barber Motorcycle Museum, 29 Dreams Motorcycle Resort, Peach Park & Tower Restaurant, Birmingham Race Course, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, American Village and Vulcan Park. We finally made our way over to the main rally site at the Pelham Civic Center. Registration was inside, as well as the party, complete with poker games and everything! That's where we met up with Bill Whitworth and 'Trouble' from the Birmingham H.O.G chapter. We decided that Trouble had probably earned that name. He was a lot of fun!

The Pelham police had a demonstration ride that was pretty awesome. They were around all weekend protecting us. They enjoyed it, and we enjoyed having them around. One of them came up to us later and said (with a serious look on his face), 'Heard you guys were having a pig roast.' Then he wiped the sweat off his forehead and said, 'I think it's done.'

A vendor midway was set up in the parking lot, and back inside we were treated to 'Elvis.' He made the women scream and gave away a whole lot of scarves. Then we went back in time and rocked with the Beatles. Actually it was 'American English,' but the sound was pure Beatles! I loved it!

Saturday had the same scenic rides scheduled with the Talladega Superspeedway taking the place of Barbers Museum. At the Talladega Superspeedway you got to ride the track with some of the Harley-Davidson test facility riders and pick their brains. There was a bike show at the Texas Road House Restaurant. We, however, chose to ride to 29 Dreams. We don't really need a reason to head there. I think most of the bikes around here are trained to head there on their own because it is such a cool place to hang out. Jeff Galey is almost always playing outside on the stage, and there's great food and plenty of cold beer on hand. Plus, it's such a great ride from anywhere.

Back at the rally headquarters Saturday night, they had a band playing country music, which we were not expecting. It was a surprise, and they had the house boot scooting. Later the Classic Southern Rockers came on. They have a few of the remaining Lynyrd Skynyrd group with them, and they rocked the house! I guess it would depend on your taste in music as to which one you liked best. For us it was the Classic Southern Rockers, but we're a little bit rock-and-roll! Before the Saturday night concerts, Shannon Camper, Miss Alabama 2004, led the closing ceremony by singing the Star Spangled Banner.

You know, I don't know why they called it the Alabama State Rally because we saw bikes from several different states. Some did a little traveling, like from Ohio, and we even saw one there from Missouri! All in all there was a little something for everyone. The rally organizers did a really good job. We decided to wrap the rally up with a little more party time at the Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson. They still had a great band playing outside and were still cooking. No! We didn't eat again! We did stay for awhile, met some more new friends, like Mrs. Pretty in Pink. I would like to thank her husband for letting us 'play' with her for so long. You both were such good sports! Now get back in touch with me girl! I lost your e-mail and I still have pictures for you!

We had every intention of getting up early the next morning and getting back on the bike and going to 29 Dreams for their awesome breakfast buffet, but that didn't happen. I think it had something to do with the getting up early part.

For those who are on a need-to-know basis, and you do need to know, next year’s State Rally will be held at Mt. Cheaha Harley-Davidson. Keep the chrome side up!

Write-on and Ride-on!

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