The alarms were set for the wee hours of the morning. Not that it mattered, though. Sleep was hard to come by with so much anticipation coursing through our veins of what we were about to witness after daybreak. After a long week of early mornings, late nights, a fan fest downtown and two days of high horsepower beasts tearing up the airport, it was finally time for one of the most storied races in North America: the 92nd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
On Thursday, we ventured to the top of America’s Mountain for Day 2 of the official practice and qualifying sessions. As we described in Day 1’s recap [link out], the classes are divided into three run groups, and the course is divided into three sections. Every day of practice each group gets a dedicated section of the course. Starting at Devil’s Playground (elevation 12,780 ft.), the third leg of the course extends to the top of Pikes Peak at elevation 14,110 ft. Taking on the top leg of the course were all the motorcycle divisions, including Sidecar, 1205cc, 750cc, 450cc, 250cc, Heavyweight Supermoto, Quad Modified, Exhibition Powersport (including the Z-electric bikes), and the Vintage motorcycles.
On June 30, more than 150 drivers and riders will take to the Pikes Peak Highway for the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). Before them are 156 turns winding up a 12.4-mile road that cuts through dense Ponderosa pines, then up above the tree line to sheer granite cliffs. Let's take a moment to reflect on the past 91 years and what this race means today.