SFO 2017 - Official Thread

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Well-known member
Jan 11, 2009
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Hoover, AL
Back by popular demand, we'll hold SFO in ALABAMA again this year. As many learned last year, there is actually some decent riding around the state of Alabama. While certainly not on par with the Ozarks or the Smokies, there are areas with some nice elevation changes, sweepers and even a few areas with some technical riding. I still find it hard to promote my state for a rally to guys that I know want to do some intense twisty butt riding all day (like I love to do as well). But, again, as long as everyone knows the score, Mrs. Bandit and I are game with hosting the event at my property in Jemison, Alabama.

I will be posting this over on the fjrowners and fjriders forums. This event is wide open to all, it doesn't have to be FJR only. So tell your non-FJR buddies as well. Generally folks just need to be sport/adventure tour minded and you are welcome! So on with the plan -----

The Weekend

This event will be held Thursday, Oct. 26th - Sunday October 29th. Although we experienced temps in the lower 80's last year, October in Alabama is usually perfect for riding and camping. Minimal rain, crisp cool autumn mornings and pleasant afternoon temps, makes for some fun times. We can expect daytime highs in the mid 60's to low 70's and evening lows ranging somewhere in the 40's. Just perfect!

The Location

My property is located in Jemison, AL, which is only about 30 miles south of the Birmingham suburbs. It's only one mile off of Interstate 65 at Exit 219. The site is located on 21 wooded acres of serenity and is ideal for camping, grilling and chilling.

Directions from Exit 219 to the property

Eats and Entertainment

Just as last year, after we return from riding, we'll have a catered BBQ one night and hopefully another low country shrimp boil the other night. Also, I have arranged for Allen Barlow to return as our live entertainment for one of the evenings. I have also asked Allen to include his side kick, Jon Campbell this year. If you enjoyed last year's solo show, the duo will blow you away! If you enjoy great blues and classic rock, this alone will be worth the price of admission.

So what is the price of admission you ask? Let's plan on $60 per person this year, whether staying onsite or at the hotel. I may have to "pass the hat" to offset the costs of the band and in the event we have to rent a large van for the "tipsey taxi" to and from the hotel, but that will all be based on turn out. Right now, basing everything off what we did last year, $60 per head should about cover all of the costs. (BTW - a big thanks to those that contributed more than the requested amount!!! That really helped offset some of the unexpected costs)

Method of payment - either cash or Pay Pal. [email protected] Feel free to wait until a month or so before the event to send payment.

Accommodations - Tent Campers

Just as last year, my property will be open and available for tent campers. I have plenty of space for as many tent campers as could even possibly show up. There is at least an acre of wooded area that is cleared out, grubbed and generally level. If you are camping you shouldn't have any trouble finding an ideal spot!

For those that prefer not to camp outdoors, I have a large metal building that has a 1,000 sq. ft. apartment built inside. It is complete with a full eat-in kitchen and a full bathroom. While I will be utilizing the one bedroom in the apartment, those that don't want to camp are welcomed to use the large shop area inside the larger building if you just want to throw down an air mattress. It's certainly not Holiday Inn but at least it will provide free sheltered "accommodations" and can be used by the tent campers in the unlikely event of inclement weather.

If demand requires I'll rent a porta potty for the weekend since my apartment onsite only has one bathroom. While everyone is welcomed to use the facilities in the apartment, it will just be a space available issue. And you better keep it clean, or my wife will kick your ass!

Accommodations - Hotel

For those like me that need a real bed, I have arranged for a group rate at a hotel about 15 minutes away on Interstate-65. I will also arrange for transportation to and from the hotel in the evenings after we get back from riding so that you can enjoy a few adult beverages and not have to be on the bike to and from the evening festivities at the property.

The hotel recommendation is the Inn of Clanton, same place as last year. I received no negative feedback on the place and the most current reviews on Google seem to support that nothing has changed. It's no frills, but clean, reportedly comfortable and the price is right. They have a mini fridge in each room and the price includes a FULL breakfast from the breakfast bar at Shoney's Restaurant next door to the hotel.

The price is $54 plus tax for a single and $62 plus tax for a double (they have to charge the extra $8 for the second person in the room due to the breakfast charge). The total with tax is $61.56 for a single and $70.68 for two people in a room.

Inn of Clanton
946 Lake Mitchell Road
Clanton, AL 35045
I 65 - Exit 208

Current List of Attendees - (as of October 18, 2017, tallied from the input thread on each of the forums, and personal contact)

fjrbandit and Mrs. Bandit - owner's cabin ;)

Doug36854 - camping
fjrfarrier - camping
natehawk750 - camping
Poolboy - camping
Uncle Hud - camping
graler - camping
GixxerJasen - camping
Hondapotamus - camping
Top_Speed1 (KJ & Debbie) - toy hauler / camping
CraigRegs - camping
Cav47 - camping (strong maybe)

Kaismo - hotel
cornbread - hotel
LA2wheeler - hotel
winewhisperer - hotel
GPrider - hotel
Tyler - hotel
Redfish Hunter & Pop - hotel
Festar - hotel
BigJohn - hotel
dsbiker and Ms. dsbiker - hotel
0Face - hotel
creg-ny-baa - hotel
senecahome - hotel
Reborn Rider - hotel
BMWDave - hotel
Allen_C - hotel

The still Maybes/Hopefuls -

A couple of other local riders not on either forum will be in attendance.

Should you require additional info, post up here or shoot me a PM. Also, if you would like input on route planning just give me a shout.

BTW - for the naturist in our midst, I ran across this article in our local "paper". Five of the seven locations are within a round trip day ride of Jemison. https://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2016/03/7_natural_alabama_oddities_you.html

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Okay, I guess to be fully honest, I'd say 90%.

I'll be calling the Inn of Clanton. If anybody wants to room share, let me know. I only snore when I drink.

Here's to another fine Southern weekend, and no schedule interruptions.

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Nice to see the necessity to edit the original list, Poolboy.

BTW - last year this rally was schemed up a little late in the season for long range planning purposes. I ended up short on vacation time and coupled with the shit storm I had going on at work at the time, was unable to add a couple of days of riding with some of you guys after SFO.
Let's just say, barring any unforeseen calamities that take up unplanned PTO days, I will be riding for a couple of days post SFO. Work be damned.
Plan accordingly.

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I don't know why you guys are making such a big deal about this. Last year sucked. The people were mean, the food was awful, the bikes were ugly and the host acted like he didn't want us there.


That was Pop's first ever "formal" FJR gathering. Other than the fact that he was not happy about leaving the Bandits to clean up the aftermath, we both really enjoyed it.

While YFO may be an unattainable goal for Pop this year, he will certainly be healed by SFO. I will do all I can to have him there.

I don't know why you guys are making such a big deal about this. Last year sucked. The people were mean, the food was awful, the bikes were ugly and the host acted like he didn't want us there.


That was Pop's first ever "formal" FJR gathering. Other than the fact that he was not happy about leaving the Bandits to clean up the aftermath, we both really enjoyed it.

While YFO may be an unattainable goal for Pop this year, he will certainly be healed by SFO. I will do all I can to have him there.
Just some of you, Fish.

YFO came on my radar too late to work it in. I just hate it, that would be an awesome two week cross country ride. Especially since Tyler is being so kind to make the effort to come join us this year! But with the eclipse on the horizon (LOL) in late August several of us have a big week planned around that and a follow up week in the Florida Panhandle. Combine those two weeks off with SFO and the couple of days afterwards and wahla, PTO balance for the year almost depleted. I hope you and Pop are able to work that one in but in any event, I'm thrilled to hear that SFO is on the list for the both of you! (as if there was any question about it, I already had you on the list!!

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Made my reservations, so I'm in.

Nate, my plan this year is to hopefully head your way early and hook up for a long section of adventure to Club Bandit.

Unfortunately Kaismo, due to other riding obligations this year I won't have the PTO available like last year. I'm planning on riding up Thursday after work. Im sure Pantsman will plan a preride adventure the closer the time comes

Oh yeah - David, fear not. We will find some trouble to get into on the way to SFO.

Get your camping gear ready. Cancel your reservation...

Great news, Craig! Again, my apologies for not being able to make the CFO/MOFO this year. I would absolutely luv to but I already have a date with a brief, but celestial shadow.

When we get a moment at SFO, we need to discuss that collaboration we previously broached.

As for payment - good question. Pay Pal or cash are the preferred methods of payment. Edited original post with Paypal info.

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My wife is due with our next kiddo on November 5th. Is that cutting it too close?! I hated getting sick right before the trip last year and I was so hoping to make this one.

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