Nineteen seventy-four was a big
year for dirt bike culture. The Yamaha Super Series of Motocross was
introduced. Evel Knievel famously
tried to jump the Snake River Canyon in his X- 2 Skycycle. Fox Racing
was founded in Northern California.
Kawasaki introduced the KX line
while Yamaha rolled out its revolutionary Mono-shock, both hoping
to compete with Honda’s game-changing Elsinores.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of a farming town called Bruceton
Mills, West Virginia, a club
calling itself the Mon-Valley
Competition Riders hosted
its first pro national. The date
was May 5 and the place
was Appalachia Lake Park,
a backwater destination for
country music acts like Kitty
Wells, Conway Twitty, Barbara
Mandrell, and Tanya Tucker.
Appalachia Lake was a
campground with a recreational lake and a big wooden
stage under a tin-roof pavilion;
a game hut housing pool
tables, pinball machines, and
a jukebox; plus a quarter-mile
dirt track used for late-model
stock car racing and the
occasional demolition derby.
It was located just off Route
281, maybe forty-five minutes
from the small city of Morgantown. The track had only
just been built in early ’ 73 but
quickly became a regional hub
for amateur racing, alongside
places like Honda Hills, Bell-Mesa, State College, Cedar
Ridge, and Antietam.
Within a year the Mon-Valley club was applying for