Larry Pierce casts a long shadow on today's motorcycle landscape. Between running Garage Company Customs and holding down the fort in the heart of the Confederacy, this talented builder stays busy. In 2011 Larry launched a grassroots event packed with southern hospitality and pride. The Dixie Roundup expanded rapidly on some very positive word of mouth, and last month bikeriders from as far as New Jersey and California flocked to Larry's second annual moonshine-fueled hootenanny in the dirty south.
Ever the southern gentleman, Larry is the first to admit the Dixie Roundup would not exist without generous support from a number of great people and small businesses. First among these is Larry's lovely ladyfriend Ashley. Ashley's passion for co-hosting Mr. Pierce's free motorcycle hoedown is rivaled only by her love for Alabama's Crimson Tide. I learned this the hard way over moonshine and cheese biscuits at the GarCo compound. Being from the Sunshine State, I'm a fairweather fan of the University of Miami Hurricanes. When I mentioned this fact, Ashley unleashed a "Roll Tide!" battle cry that damn near woke the ghost of Bear Bryant. Every other Alabaman I met at GarCo and the Roundup shared similar enthusiasm for college ball. If your next venture below the Mason-Dixon Line includes a visit to Birmingham, consider yourself warned.
Like every great grassroots event we've attended in the previous decade, this year's Dixie Roundup was free to participants and spectators. The Courtyard Highway 25 Campground in Vandiver, AL, provided a bar, tent spaces, stage and cabins. To the chagrin of a couple uppity Yankees I spoke to, all services and amenities were first-class. How Larry convinced the owner of this fine establishment to let 500 drunken bikers lay waste to his venue is anyone's guess, but I'd bet this brainy innkeeper knows a motivated mob of drinkers when he sees one. Locals Ross and Bill sure did, and graciously distributed 72 quarts of peach and apple moonshine to GarCo's thirsty friends. Whatever the circumstances surrounding such largesse might be, Larry has been assured the Courtyard will host Dixie Roundup III in 2013.
Thanks to Biltwell, DicE magazine, Street Chopper, Red Bull, Lowbrow Customs, moonshine suppliers Ross and Bill, Barber Motorsports Musuem and of course Larry and Ashley at Garage Company Customs for the good times.
Thanks to SmugMug for taking photos on the ride to Barber Saturday morning. Click here to see if they caught you in action.