Easy Riding in Faunsdale

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2005

FAUNSDALE – Traveling down Highway 80 East toward Uniontown, their roar could be heard for miles, but these hogs stand on two wheels not four hooves.

It was the sound of more than 275 bikers in town this past weekend for the ninth annual Faunsdale Bike Rally.

“We have two a year,” Richard Walker, rally organizer, said. “One in the fall and one in the spring.”

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Walker said he and his father, Bob Walker, initially used the land to race mud trucks and had dug two holes in the back of the field for the purpose.

“Then some bikers approached us about having a rally so it wasn’t really our idea,” Walker said.

It was at that moment, nine years ago, the Faunsdale Bike Rally was born and the two ditches transformed into manmade ponds.

“It started off as a family event, but then some people wanted to do things we didn’t feel like minors needed to be involved in,” Walker said. “We don’t promote all the things people do while they are here. But if that’s how they want to express themselves, we don’t want to be responsible for exposing minors to it.”

Thus, signs were posted in sight as visitors drove to the entrance stating all guests must be 18 or older.

“A lot of bikers are considered outcasts in their communities, but you’d be surprised by the harmony here,” Walker said. “We are just giving them a place to come and socialize with other bikers. This is a chance for them to get out, have a good time and act a fool.”

Walker, who currently resides in Gallion, said if he had to compare it to another community event, it would be similar to Uniontown’s annual Footwash.

“It just so happens that Footwash is predominately African American and this is predominately white,” he said. “But there are no color lines and that isn’t an issue here at all.”

Walker called the event a “biker tailgate.”

With plots for each Biker organization, the scene probably would remind some of a Saturday morning, pre-game tailgate with families grilling and enjoying the moment.

Among the many bike groups, Walker said the Christian Bikers Association had a plot during the event as well.

According to Walker some of the event’s guest had been on the property since Wednesday and probably camped out until Sunday afternoon.

Hosting bikers from Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi, the unofficial count for the event stood at about 275 Saturday afternoon around 4:45 p.m. but participants had yet to come for the weekend event.