Thunder in Faunsdale

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

As the echoes of thundering choppers fade away, Bob Walker is left almost alone on his 87 acres, surrounded by tons and tons of trash.

Though it’ll take him a few days to clean it all up and truck it to a Meridian landfill, Walker said he doesn’t mind. The truckloads of trash are just the final remnants of the Faunsdale Bike Rally. And a rally this great, Walker said, is worth a little extra clean-up.

“Everybody had a good time,” Walker said of the Easter weekend rally that drew thousands of leather-clad riders to the tiny Marengo County town. “We had people here form as far west as Texas, from up north to Kentucky and Indiana, from down in south Florida, and from out in the Carolinas.”

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Among them was Russell Gaddy of the Demopolis’ River City Bike Association.

He led almost two dozen Demopolis choppers down to Faunsdale for the rally.

“Everybody had a good time,” Gaddy said Monday. “And it was just gorgeous weather.”

Gaddy said he couldn’t tell how the rally compared to others he’s attended, but it seemed like a big one when he was in the midst of it.

“Spring is always the biggest rally for Bob,” Gaddy said.

Walker has been hosting the Faunsdale Bike Rally twice each year – in the spring and fall – for 10 years. With 40 vendors, a live band and hundreds of near-priceless custom cycles, the rally’s growth was obvious.

“It grows every year,’ he said, noting how long it takes other rallies to develop a consistent following. “This has been a real fast-growing rally.”

While the traditional image in most people’s mind of a “biker” involves Hell’s Angels and brutal beat-downs, Walker said there were no violent incidents all weekend. In fact, they never do, he said.

“We don’t ever have that problem,” he said. “This is an older group. They just want to have fun with their friends and their bikes.”

The fall installment of the Faunsdale Bike Rally, Walker said, is planned for Oct. 5, 6 and 7.