This is just the beginning of a four-wheeler boom in our region. There are problems associated with liability and stealing from people on these four wheelers. We in the mining industry need to get on board and locate some areas that are suitable for these machines as this problem is not going away. We need to involve local governments and come up with some trails. These talks are currently underay with VMA and local governments.
Harlan Ky 4-wheeler Second Fall Crawl twice as successful
By DEANNA LEE-SHERMAN - Staff WriterMonday, October 9, 2006 2:21 AM EDT
This year's second annual Fall Crawl did just what organizers of the event hoped it would: It brought twice as many off-road enthusiasts as last year's.Saturday's daylong event at the Verda field saw between 1,500 and 1,600 visitors, locals and out-of-towners, said Preston McLain, president of the Harlan County Ridge Runners, an all-terrain vehicle club of about 800 members.The club is in charge of the event, which gained two national sponsors in its second year. That, along with effective advertising of the county's abundant riding trails at Black Mountain Recreational Park, is a start to what can “explode” in Harlan County, McLain said.And a world record for the longest parade in June that has been recorded in the files of the Guinness World Records in London, England, gave this year's Fall Crawl a significant push, organizers have said. The crowds came once again to the Verda field, despite the 42nd annual Swappin' Meetin' in Cumberland that also drew a large crowd Saturday.It's just what the Ridge Runners and others throughout the county who've had a hand in helping to promote adventure tourism were hoping to see.The success of this year's Fall Crawl, complete with a drag race, sled pool and mud bog race, as well as a motor cross for children, could lead to an outdoors exposition next year, McLain said.
“I'm tickled to death with the turnout we had,” he said, adding that the county came together once again, much like in June, to sell baked goods, T-shirts and crafts.“It's just going to make it bigger next year,” he said.McLain said one of this year's national sponsors, ATV Direct, a retail accessories company in Martin, was surprised with how well the event was organized.“They said this is the best event to come to, to already be organized when they got here,” he said.
First-place trophies, sponsored by ATV Direct, were available for winners in each of the day's activities and ribbons were distributed to second- and third-place finishers. But an unscheduled event drew just as much attention.About a dozen women volunteered to race through the knee-high mud at the field for a cash prize of $165, with a little more than $100 collected by the crowd. The Ridge Runners put up another $50 to add to the pot of cash. Amanda Cox, of Catrons Creek, won the prize.“It could be an added event next year,” McLain laughed.Entertainment was provided throughout the day by a country/bluegrass band known as Hillbillies Having Fun. This year's other national sponsor was Ramsey Winch, another ATV accessories company.Art and Glenna Durkie, of Monticello, came to Saturday's event with a group of about 10. Art Durkie said he learned of the Fall Crawl through “word of mouth.” The couple traveled from Monticello on Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. They were just two of many who stayed overnight at local motels and hotels.“There are a lot of nice places to ride up in the mountains. I wish they had something like this in Monticello. It brings in people and helps out the economy,” Art Durkie said.Impressed with this year's event and the county's trails, he said what many first-time visitors and off-road enthusiasts have said of Harlan County.“Oh yeah, we'll be back