Silver Bay ATV parade falls short of record
SILVER BAY -- Hundreds of ATV riders who gathered Saturday in Silver Bay failed to break the world record for the longest ATV parade. The official count Saturday evening was 1,083 ATVs, just 55 short of the world record of 1,138, set by the Ridge...
SILVER BAY -- Hundreds of ATV riders who gathered Saturday in Silver Bay failed to break the world record for the longest ATV parade.
The official count Saturday evening was 1,083 ATVs, just 55 short of the world record of 1,138, set by the Ridge Runners ATV club of Evarts, Ky., in 2006. Although the record was not obtained, planners and spectators of Saturday's parade of all-terrain vehicles still are counting it a success.
"Everybody I've seen has had a smile on their face, and that's a good thing," said John Vollmar, of Eagan, Minn., who came to watch his son participate in the parade. "Events like this are good for the sport. Sometimes it's misunderstood because of a few bad apples that tear up the trails, but these are all responsible riders."
The parade officially started at 11:15 a.m. It took one hour and 13 minutes for the first ATV to cross the finishing point after the lead rider snaked back and forth through town with an ever-growing parade assembling behind him.
"It was still a good shot," said Les Schermerhorn, event coordinator, after she finished the parade. "We started to overheat at the beginning because we were bunched up. We ran out of roads so we had to cut back onto the trail and circle around again. We only went about 5 miles per hour the whole time."
During registration, each driver was given a white poker chip as a tool to help the event planners keep track of the total numbers of ATVs. By 10:30 a.m., those participating in the parade were lined up, signed up and ready to go. Shortly before starting their engines, the participants were given some final instructions.
"If your machine breaks down, move to the side and catch up," Schermerhorn said.
For the next hour the parade began taking shape as, one-by-one, ATV riders pulled onto the official parade route.
"This has been a really fun experience," said volunteer Bonnie Dockter, who sat near the parade's starting point to help riders with last-minute questions. "Some people have been dressing pretty interestingly. There have been a couple of Mohawks on helmets, one guy had a weird helmet thing with horns on it and lots and lots of flag stuff."
Because this was a world record attempt, the parade required several volunteers charged with the specific task of documenting the parade and counting ATVs. The Guinness Book of World Records required that the parade be filmed in three locations and that there be two official counters at separate points in the parade. At the parade's start, volunteer Grant Johnson collected the poker chips in a large bucket.
"It's getting pretty heavy," said Johnson, as ATVs of all sizes traveled past him. "There's hopefully got to be at least 1,200 chips in here."
The final recount later Saturday, however, proved Johnson wrong.
Aside from the army of volunteers, mainly from the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, local police as well as state conservation officers were on hand to make sure Saturday's event went off without a hitch.
"We're riding certain trails to make sure that the conditions are maintaining and staying relatively safe," said Jeff Koehn, a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who is Northeastern Minnesota's off-highway vehicle enforcement specialist. "There is always an inherent danger when on an ATV. We are just here to make sure everyone stays safe, follows the rules and has a good time."