Watch World Champion Motorcycle Riders at the Hill Climbs
From almost anywhere in Billings you can look to the south and see the South Hills. Just on the other side of the Yellowstone River these amazing hills rise into the sky. While most people know that they are there, many do not realize that the hills are home to the Motorcycle Hill Climbing Capital of the World. Next weekend (July 27 – 29) you can get out there and watch some amazing athletes tempt fate and try to conquer the hills during the 94th Great American Championship Professional Motorcycle Hill Climb.
The hill used during the event is 420 feet tall. At the top, and several other places along the way, it is essentially vertical. The riders must test their mettle and attempt to top out on the hill. Some will get close, few will make it, and most will fall off their bikes. Rather than have a several hundred pound motorcycle go tumbling to the ground, there are catchers that line the course. The catchers will grab the rider so he doesn’t get hurt, and they will use hooks to grab onto the bikes to prevent them from rolling down the full length of the hill. Those who make it the furthest will take home their share of the $50,000 in prize money.
As a spectator the hill climbs are exciting to watch. There is a covered area to sit under if the weather is unbearably hot, and you can enjoy food and beverages from many vendors on site. While beer is allowed at the event, you have to buy it there, bringing your own is not allowed. If you want to make the whole weekend a party, you can rent a camping spot for an additional charge. While the entire weekend should be a fun time, if you can only come to one event, the championship will be Saturday night, under lights. The finals start at around 9:30 and should be done by 11:00PM.
If you go you can pick up tickets in advance at Montana Honda and Marine, Reiter’s Kawasaki, All Albertson’s Locations, or Archie Cochrane Ford for $10 per day. If you want to attend all three days, the tickets are $25. Buying tickets at the gate is always an option, but will run you $15 per day. Kids 10 and under get in free. To get there take South Billings Blvd across the river, then take a left onto Old Blue Creek Road (here’s a map). With 10,000 people coming out daily, you should be able to find it easily. The hill climbs are a great way to spend a weekend and watch some amazing riders push the limits of what their bikes can do (check out some of the pictures here). The weather is supposed to be in the mid 90’s, so swing on by, sit in the shade, and cheer on your favorite rider.
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