Kevin had finals on the day of the hillclimb. I decided wait until he finished so he could go with me. I picked him up at 10:45AM for our 80 mile drive. I figured we would arrive shortly after noon.
When unforeseen events happen it can really mess things up. CONSTRUCTION ON THE HIGHWAY !!! Three lanes of traffic going to one with no way to get off the highway onto the back roads … NUTS. We ended up arriving at 1:20PM so we pretty much missed the first run.
The AMA Hillclimb is one of the destination rides for “Laconia Motorcycle Week” in New Hampshire and it’s my 4th year attending. There were many more motorcycles this year than in years past so it's increasing in popularity. Nice to see the hillclimb is becoming more popular.
I saw some very sharp spectator motorcycles parked in the lots. I would have liked to walk around and take pics of them but we were so late to the event I didn’t get the chance. Next year.
This year there were motorcycles parked where the pits were in years past. I think the pit area was too small making it difficult to view the bikes. I think the riders deserved more space to move around also. The pit area should be bigger next year.
The track was a bit different this year also. From the starting line, if fast enough, the rider would jump a moat to a flat section. If not fast enough would have to ride through to the flat section. Quick charge to a steep hill that slowed everyone down. From there, fast acceleration up the main section to the final jump. The riders went airborne from that jump landing on the last section crossing the finish line and over the top.
Kevin took up a position by the starting line. Rocks and dirt would hit the backstop. Kevin saw his shop teacher talking to some of the riders. His teacher originally built one of these motorcycles and sold it to one of the current riders when his son retired a few years back. It was a great experience for Kevin having him as his shop teacher.
I decided to move around a bit and headed to the top of the hill. I liked getting pics of the riders charging up the main section of the hill. They passed me, rocks and dirt flying. Turn, duck, cover the camera … not necessarily in that order …
I noticed the top of the main section tapered off a bit so the riders weren’t getting as much air as last year from the last jump to the finish line.
At one point I moved to get a different angle of the last jump. I was standing where I couldn’t see the riders coming but I could hear them.
Fenders are a requirement on these motorcycles for 2 reasons. They throw so much dirt and rocks because of the cupped tires or chains. It helps keep the rider safe in case of an accident.
You can see by these pics the rear fender kept James from receiving a serious back rub from his chained rear tire. That would have hurt …
EMT’s were there to help. After a few minutes he was able to walk down the hill by his own power. Could have been much worse so glad he was ok.
I moved down the hill a bit to take pictures going up the steep hill and charging up the main section. Kevin spent most of his time near the starting line.
Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in AMA Hillclimb to see past posts.
Todd Libhart passed away following an accident during the last hillclimb event this year. RIP Todd.