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June 4, 2014

Biker’s Paradise

700+ Harley enthusiasts converge on Stearns for day trip

STEARNS —  More than 700 motorcyclists visited McCreary County last Wednesday.

    The bikers — attending the Tennessee State HOG (Harley Owner’s Group) Rally in Cookeville, TN — made the trip into Stearns to ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway to Blue Heron.

    So many were in attendance that the train ran two trips, carrying an estimated 740 rallyers. Despite an afternoon shower, the area’s southern hospitality shone bright.

    “[One lady] was soaking wet since she went and turned every single helmet that was left on a bike so they would be dry when we put them on,” Stephen Montgomery posted on Facebook.

    Rally coordinator Gary Bagwell of Nashville praised McCreary and Scott counties for their wealth of historical and genealogical offerings as well as natural beauty — calling the area “Biker’s Paradise.”

    Special rides were scheduled for each day. In addition to the “Steel Horse to Iron Horse” ride to the Big South Fork, riders traveled to attractions such as the Alvin C. York Home Place and Brushy Mountain Prison. Country duo Montgomery Gentry headlined the Rally Finale Saturday night.

    More than 3,000 were expected to attend the Tennessee State HOG Rally (May 27-31) over the course of the week with more than 1,100 registering the first day.

    Bagwell noted that the event attracted riders from 38 states (from California to Maine) as well as Africa, Argentina, Australia and Canada.

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Brandi S. Stephens

Brandi S. Stephens

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