By Haley Wilson
The Birmingham Times
After a long day at the office, Birmingham’s Kenyon Taylor, owner of a concrete business, has the perfect way to unwind—and it can be “a sight to see,” he said.
“To me there is nothing more than riding in a Slingshot,” said Taylor of his Polaris Slingshot SL. “It’s freeing and fun, and, honestly, it’s a great stress reliver. After a long day, it’s great to just hop in one, feel the wind, and ride out.”
The open-top, three-wheel Polaris Slingshot is not an automobile or a motorcycle; it is classified as an autocycle in at least 44 states, including Alabama.
Taylor—a passionate Slingshot owner, road warrior, and vice president of Birmingham’s 205 Kingz and Queenz Slingz group—has logged more than 38,000 miles on his roadster, driving across Alabama, including stops in Selma and Tuscaloosa, as well as taking trips across the Unites States to places like Panama City, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and several other locales.
Taylor prides himself on being more than just a member of the group he co-founded. He considers himself the “King of Slingz.”
“Whatever I do, I do it big,” he said citing, for example, the time he invested three months and more than $20,000 into modifying his 2021 Polaris Slingshot SL.
“I’ve got 24-inch gold rims. I’ve got peanut butter seats, gold trim, wheels, a gold steering wheel, and my new sound system,” Taylor said. “Mine is a sight to see.”
“Really Cool” Upbringing
Taylor, 42, grew up in Birmingham’s Woodlawn area with seven siblings. He graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1998.
“Growing up was really cool,” he said. “We as a family pretty much had your typical life. Being raised with six other siblings teaches you a lot about discipline and selflessness, and I was able to experience that at a young age.”
After graduating from high school, Taylor started making moves to establish his concrete business, Taylor’s Concrete Designs, which was founded in 2002 and is based in the Roebuck community.
“I started off doing small jobs,” he said. “Then I started networking with other concrete companies, learning from them and getting my name out there. … That led to me eventually taking that risk and starting my own company.”
Taylor and his team of four specialize in building structures from concrete materials. As the supervisor, Taylor ensures that the “concrete is poured correctly” after the team prepares the site by setting up the forms in which concrete is poured to create walls, structures, pillars, and walkways.
“We pour concrete for driveways, slabs, patios, steps, decorative walkways,” he said. “Anything concerning concrete, I can do it.”
“King of Concrete”
Taylor is not only the “King of the Slingz,” he might as well be the “King of Concrete.”
To further master his craft and showcase his skills, Taylor attended The World of Concrete 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, an annual event that concrete and masonry pros attend to find new equipment, products, and technology they need to get concrete jobs done faster and more profitably.
“That was a really cool experience,” he said. “I was able to compete to prove that I am indeed the ‘King of Concrete.’ The show started off in Atlanta, [Georgia], where [my team and I] had to compete against some other concrete guys. … We won, and that projected us to Vegas, where we competed for a gold belt, $10,000, and a feature on the show ‘Concrete Combat,’ which will air later this year. [The competition is] called Spec Mix Bricklayer 500, known as the Super Bowl of Masonry, and it determines the world’s best bricklayer.”
The Origin: 205 Kingz and Queenz Slingz
Taylor is a co-founder of 205 Kingz and Queenz Slingz along with his sister, Rhonda Berry, her husband, Andre Berry, and friends Brandon Williams and Carlos Fuller, who were members of a previous Slingshot group before creating their own.
“We wanted to just ride our Slingshots at peace and enjoy ourselves, so that’s what we decided to do,” Rhonda said.
Taylor purchased a 2016 Slingshot, and the idea for a new group in Birmingham became even more cemented when he and his brother-in-law attended a SlingFest event, a gathering for owners of Polaris Slingshots, in Atlanta, Georgia, in July 2021.
“We were having a good time, and we were like, ‘Birmingham needs to get ready for something like this on a larger scale,’” said Andre.
Taylor added, “We knew the vision that we wanted to bring to the group based on our experiences and our experience at the festival,” said Kenyon. “The festival was very fun, and everybody was gathered with one common interest—the love of riding and owning a Slingshot, nothing else.”
When Andre and Taylor returned to Birmingham from the 2021 Atlanta SlingFest, the idea for Birmingham’s 205 Kingz and Queen of Slingz took off.
“We came back ready,” said Taylor. “We knew how we wanted the group to look and feel, so we started a Facebook group and contacted a few members of a previous group [of Slingshot riders] and asked them if they wanted to join and be a part of it.”
The new group came with new changes. “We added ‘Queenz’ to the name because more women riders started joining as the group grew,” said Rhonda. “It was no longer a group dominated by this person or that person. … It’s just people, people who have Slingshots and want to ride. That’s all.”
205 Kingz and Queenz of Slingz also looks for ways to give back to the community. This spring, Taylor and members escorted several Birmingham high school seniors to their prom.
“We do more than just ride around,” said Taylor. “We have a passion for what we do, and we want to make sure we have a positive impact. … If it means giving rides to high school kids for prom, … then that’s what we’ll do.”