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Free monster truck rides at New Minas 4X4 rally a big hit with kids and the young at heart


NEW MINAS, NS - It’s not every day that you get to go for a free ride in a monster truck.

There were long line-ups at Kings County Off-Road Racing’s third annual Valley Tire 4X4 Truck Rally at the Jones Road pit in New Minas on May 19 as visitors were invited to take a free ride on back of a monster truck. Known as The Sheriff, the truck is owned and driven by Guy Meister of Aylesford.

Out of the dozens of impressive machines at the rally, The Sheriff, with its anti-drug message, was perhaps the single greatest attraction. This was the first time the monster truck was featured at the event. Meister said he has given thousands of people rides on the truck, which he admits is a bit of a gas guzzler.

It was clear from the screams and squeals that those securely buckled into seats on the back were impressed with the amazing torque of the gigantic tires. Meister skillfully maneuvered the truck around a make-shift track at the pit. The machine seemed to defy gravity as it went down a short but steep incline.

READ A PAST STORY FROM RELATED EVENT THUNDER IN THE VALLEY HERE.

Meister made a childhood dream come true for a long-time Kings County Special Olympian who attended the rally, Duane Muise of Coldbrook. Muise was among a handful of lucky visitors invited to ride up front in the cab with Meister.

“To me, it was awesome,” Muise said. “I’ve never been inside of a monster truck before.”

He said riding in a monster truck was something he had always wanted to do when he was a kid but he had never had the chance. Muise described the experience as “pretty cool” and said he was impressed with the truck’s power. He liked it when Meister picked up speed and the kids on back also seemed to enjoy it.

“I heard them screaming,” Muise said.

The rally featured drags and stadium style on May 19 and the always popular slalom was set for May 20. Kings County Off Road Racing club member John Bureau said the slalom seems to be the bigger crowd favourite although a rainy forecast could impact attendance for the May 20 events.

Bureau said the Victoria Day weekend event is still fairly new but is gaining in popularity. He said attendance on the Saturday was about the same as it was the previous year. He estimated that there were between 60 and 70 trucks registered for the rally.

Bureau said there are 10 events planned for the 2018 Maritime Off Road Racing season, with the New Minas rally kicking it off. He said the Kings County club and others have joined forces to create a race circuit. The season will conclude with the Thunder in the Valley rally in Jones Road pit on Thanksgiving weekend, an event that the Kings County club has hosted for almost 40 years.

Half of the admission proceeds go to support the New Minas Fire Department. Many department members volunteered to help with logistics surrounding the rally.

Bureau said the club wants to help the fire department, which does a lot of good work. Considering the popularity of Thunder in the Valley, this served as an added incentive for the club to organize a second annual rally. The event also served as a fundraiser for the Coldbrook and District Lions, who had a mobile canteen on site.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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