Bama Bike Fest

On March 19th 2021, my golden haired bride, Nicole, and I loaded up and hit the road. Due to the rigors of everyday life, we had a late start. We had spent months talking about all of the good

timing and sights that we might see. We talked and reminisced and romanced about all that

warm wind in our smiling faces. Thoughts filled with love and laughter in pursuit of the good

times together. We finally took off down the road…grouchy, weary, and cold.

I think what makes the way that we love each other so special is that we both look at the trials

and tribulations of life as ties that bind. Every hard day and long night is a moment that brings us

closer together. When things get hard, we hold onto each other all the harder. We are currently in

full blown adulthood, stacked to the brim with all of the responsibility of work, school, children,

and somehow holding tight to each other along the way. Hand in hand we go through the storm,

undiminished by the rocks and the waves.

A little foreshadowing of the events to come, is that nothing about the trip was the way that we

thought it was going to be. We left our house in Henry County Georgia, cold and irritated when we

had been so stoked to hit the road. We made it about 30 minutes down the road when it felt like

our bodies melted into each other like they always do. We weren’t frustrated with each other, but

life itself has been especially heavy lately. Riding together has always faded our troubles into

nothing, and this time wasn’t any different.

We took off to the Bama Bike Fest, in Forkland Alabama, as our destination. We took back roads

to avoid the interstate, cruising down old country roads, taking our time like we always do. She

put her arms around my neck and squeezed me tight and everything was right with the world.

Even though we were moving, that moment always stands still to me. It took us longer than

expected to get out of Georgia and I should have been moving at a faster pace to make good

time, but I was enjoying myself, and too many forget that the journey is just as important as the

destination. Nicole and I rode for hours and it has only become apparent to me in the past year

or so just how desolate the south is. This trip really hammered the point home when we would

go 40+ miles without seeing a gas station and rolled into desolate town, after empty city, after

forgotten place. Most of the south really is still just farmland and trees unless it’s a place that

you have heard of before. I grew up an hour south of Atlanta and I always thought I knew what

things were really like, but I was wrong. If you’re interested in property, I assure you that there is

still plenty of it. Anyways, I started to get impatient. I remember hitting a point, looking out over

rolling hills of farmland, that I felt like I had been staring at for a while and decided to turn it up. I

was cold and hungry and so was my wife. Nicole likes going fast, so, she wasn’t against it, and I

was ready to call it quits. The sun was going down and we didn’t have the layers we needed, so

we decided to grab ourselves a room in Montgomery, which as luck would have it, was our first

sign of civilization for a while. I had somehow turned that ride into a little more than 6 hours

from the time we had left, and we were both glad when we stopped. What came out of it was a

date night that we both didn’t know that we needed.

We picked a hotel with a restaurant within walking distance and we grabbed a room. We

dropped our gear and immediately took off to eat, starving and cold. It just so happened to be

some kind of cajun sports bar, with probably the best bar food that I have ever had in my life. It

might have been so perfect because it was warm and I was cold and that we hadn’t ate all day,

but I guess we’ll never know. We ate and drank and laughed like old reuniting friends. We told

stories and held hands and ate and drank some more. There’s something magnetic about Nicole

when she’s in moments like this. She’s not uptight or anything but it’s nice when I get to see her

truly let her hair down. She’s a woman that really takes care of business, whether it be her work,

or our babies, or me. When its just us eating well and having a few drinks and good timing,

laughing and joking like we do, she almost glows. I love these moments and I’m glad that I am

the one that gets to experience her like this. We ate and drank our fill, and with no children or

responsibilities, in true parental fashion, we were in bed by nine.

After ten hours of the best sleep of my life, we CRUSHED a coffee shop breakfast. Then we took

back off down the road to visit the grave site and museum of the late and great Hank Williams.

We rolled up to Hank and his wife Audrey’s grave site to pay respects and then headed over to

the museum dedicated to Hank and his family, down the road. Now, I like Hank Williams music,

but I don’t know all of the songs and I didn’t know the history. My beautiful bride, however, grew

up listening to him all of the time. With her parents being part of an older generation and

spending a great deal of time with her grandparents that she was incredibly close with, outlaw

country was something she was in love with and knew intimately well. I love Nicole and Nicole

loved Hank, so I made sure to read about him and study up. I was blown away by the scope of

how much this man impacted his whole family. If you didn’t know, a good many of the Williams

family are performers, following in the path of their father and grandfather. I especially enjoyed

reading excerpts of Audrey, his wife, talking about their love story. We walked into the Hank

Williams Museum in Montgomery Alabama, and it has EVERYTHING! It has his Cadillac, his

clothes, their kitchen table, records, letters, the suits he wore, the family history, Hank Jr, Jett,

Hank the 3rd - the whole family had a story there, stemming from this one man. I was blown

away. If you are ever in Montgomery, it is worth stopping and spending some time in. If you go

before the end of march, they will even let you take a picture with his Cadillac, otherwise, there’s

no pics after you get your tickets.

Myself and my beaming bride, stepped back onto the old motorsickle and took back off. We

rode for a few hours to go check out a place called “the pie lab” that I wanted to stop at most of

all. It was this cool pie place that a renowned chef had opened to bring life to a small town and

the pies looked KILLER. Unfortunately, to my great disappointment, the place was closed. After I

guess I looked like I was about to hurl my bike through the window, an old man stepped out of

the furniture store next door to answer every question that was in my head like he could hear

my thoughts. He said that they have been closed since 2019 and for whatever reason that it just

hadn’t been taken off the website. Hungry and frustrated, this sage of good tidings, told us of

another wonder that we may be interested in. He said that if we just continued onto the dead

end, that we would find a gas station that was converted into a restaurant and that everyone

from Greensboro eats there more than anywhere else. We looked at each other and tossed

caution into the wind. There isn’t any reason not to take a crack at the local cuisine. Ya know,

“when in Rome” and all that.

We pulled into the local gastaraunt, and grabbed a table. We both purchased wings, and to my

dismay, I ate 3 before I realized they hadn’t been cooked all the way. I finished my fries, and

asked the waitress if the pumps outside were just for decoration or if they still worked. After she

confirmed my fear that they still worked, and were still used, I realized that we had, in fact, been

tricked into eating gas station chicken wings. I thought that I had gambled and lost, like I so often

do, but thankfully we never got sick so our luck held out. On a serious note, it again brought to

my attention what its really like to grow up in truly small towns. I asked our waitress, who I am

guessing was roughly 19, where Forkland is. I didn’t have any signal and I was hoping that she

could point us in the right direction. She didn’t know and asked the other waitress where it was,

who was the same age. They both said that they had never left that place. It was 25 minutes

away when I got my GPS to work - 25 minutes away and they hadn’t heard of it. I wasn’t sure

what to think of it and I’m still not. I hope they get to see more. We mounted back up and headed

to our final destination.

We arrived at the Bama Bike Fest and there were a lot more people there than I was

anticipating. If I had to guess, there were at least 800 people. When we got there, at around 3:30

it was pretty mild. Most people were just hanging out by their campers or tents, drinking beer,

and grilling. It had been going for two days prior, so I am sure many that got there when it

started were working their way back from a hangover from the past couple of nights of partying.

We rolled through the grounds to get the lay of the land and found that there was a sea of

Campers and RV’s, a few dudes in Tents, a Drag Strip, a line of vendors, two Stages at opposite

ends, and a bar to buy beerskies. I arrived with a 30 rack in my lap though, We came to party and

we arrive ready for it - be about it. After seeing what there was to see, we found a place to make

camp. I like to pick a spot close to a tree line and out of the way so that we don’t get run over by

drunks. We rock a tent and snuggle up when its cold because we like each other and don’t

believe in sleeping well. I also like the minimalist approach. I think it speaks volumes to

our forefathers, riding your bike to an event and showing up with everything that you’re going to

need strapped to your bike. That’s some cowboy stuff in my opinion, and it’s the path we choose

to take when making these journeys. Anyways, we put our tent up, crushed a few cold ones,

enjoyed a little quiet together and took off to get in the mix. We hit up the bar and met some

other vets, met a few dudes from out of state, and a lot of locals from Alabama. A lot of topless

women, a lot of street glides, and a good amount of food.

The drag strip started opening up and it was awesome! It was a “race at your own risk” kind

of deal, and a lot of these guys and gals were getting down on it! We did not race because we

would have been all the way screwed if I dumped my bike and we were not close to home. One

guy was unfortunate enough to wreck his bike on the drag strip. If memory serves me right, it

was a super glide that had a lot of performance upgrades. The flag dropped and as soon as he

took off, he started fish tailing, it got away from him and slammed into the ground HARD. He

hopped up immediately, but his bike wasn’t so lucky. It was nothing that can’t be fixed but it

definitely sucks real bad when that happens.

The rest of the night felt strained. There was music, and drinking, and a wet t-shirt contest,

and that was all well and good, but everyone we spoke with from that point on were hard to talk

to. Nicole and I are social butterflies and we can both have a conversation with a brick wall, but

everyone that we talked to was like we weren’t meshing. I’m not saying that’s the way it would have been if we linked up with different people but that’s how it worked out for us that night. The

bar ran out of beer at eleven and to be honest, we were all funned out. We headed back to the

tent, across the camp ground, to find that we had made our camp closer to the stage than we

thought, except this stage was closer to a rave and everyone was turned up to 11. We were done

though so we crawled into our tent with lights so bright that it looked like I was staring into the

sun and music blaring. We thought we got a two-person sleeping bag for this 38-degree night,

but we were very wrong. We BARELY fit into this bad boy but it was pretty cold and we were

ready to knock out, so we didn’t care. I felt like even with all of that going on, we fell asleep in


We woke up the next morning, sore, and cold, and ready for some breakfast. We packed up

and left, thinking that we would stop at the nearest restaurant on the way home, because surely

there would be something nearby. We were very very wrong on that one. I took a direct route

home, that sent us back through Birmingham, and we didn’t come across a place that we could

get some food for a couple of hours. It ended up being a Starbucks, and I usually refuse to give

them my money, because they are pretty big wieners about most of their political policy, namely

the second amendment, but we were dying for some coffee, so it was whatever. I would love to

spit in the owner’s face, but I’ll give it to them, they make a pretty great cup of coffee and a killer

sandwich. We tore down the road for a couple more hours and pulled back in to be greeted by

our two kiddos. That was my favorite part of the weekend. There isn’t anything better than these

two losing their minds as soon as they see us and sprint full clip at us for a hug.

All in all, I had a great time. I don’t think we will be going back but it was cool to check out. We

will be going to “Angel City”, in Unadilla, Georgia next. I don’t think I will be writing about that one,

mostly because it’s pretty generic and its not a long trip for us at all. It doesn’t really stand out to

me in my mind. We go to camp out with some people we care about and hang out. We still have a

great time, but it doesn’t seem to me that I would be able to write a ton about it. The next event

that I will be writing about is “The Backyard BBQ Run”, in Trenton North Carolina. We are leaving

out to head that way early in the morning on May 7th and we will hopefully be out there by

midafternoon. It’s an easy 8 hour ride. Come out, come with, or read about it. Thanks for reading.

Be excellent to each other and party on!

-Kodiak Kody

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