Riding the Toughest Hillclimb Race In America. Not Once. But Twice.

August 19, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
Pinkham Notch, NH- Known as the toughest hillclimb in America, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb takes place on Saturday, August 19th. Famous for being a hillclimb that challenges the ability of the country’s top athletes and pushes riders endurance to the ultimate level, there are some registrants that tackled the steep ride to the summit earlier this summer, and are back for more.

Now in it’s 34th year, the Annual Hillclimb has become a favorite competition for cyclists, attracting spectators and riders from all over the country. With the increased exposure over the years, the drive in the participation numbers skyrocketed. Eventually the race became so popular that the number of participants had to be capped for safety and cycling traffic reasons. To offset the reality that some interested cyclists were not able to enter the Bike Hillclimb race because of too many riders, the Auto Road established a new hillclimb earlier this year, Newton’s Revenge.

But a new tradition is generating among dedicated athletes and serious cyclists- ride up the highest peak in the Northeast not once a summer, but twice. Of the 600 registrants for this year’s Annual Bike Hillclimb, there is a handful of zealous athletes that also rode in Newton’s Revenge and are back for another ride to the sky. Among them include Steven Jackson of New Jersey, Joan “Lili” Pew of Maine, Nathan Bryant-Lee of New Hampshire, and Greg Berlin from Colorado.

“This mountain is a very special place for me, as are the people who support the event, and the riders who brave the conditions as the mountain bears it's soul to us.” explains Joan “Lili” Pew. “The physical effort is supreme, but the mental focus that is demanded by the mountain exceeds all other challenges faced so far this, and each year,” Pew explains.

Spectators are often curious how one even goes about training for an event requiring such physical and mental stamina. Steve Jackson shares that, “since I registered back in January, I have been training 6 days a week, working at high heart rates and climbing steep hills in the area.” Jackson continues, “I have never trained this hard for any sporting event. The training has been challenging but extremely beneficial.”

The Bicycle Hillclimb is a 7.6 mile ride to the summit of the tallest peak in the Northeast, Mt. Washington. Cycling up the Auto Road’s course, the 600 registered cyclists will experience an average grade of 12% with extended sections of 18% and the last 50 yards is a staggering 22% incline. Only those that are confident in their ability to reach the summit in an allotted time were encouraged to enter.

First opened in 1861 as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is located on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, eight miles south of Gorham, New Hampshire. For more information about the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb event, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call, 603-466-3988.