Wifey and I rode 2UP on the tiny 196cc Yamaha TW200 up to the 101st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb aka RACE TO THE CLOUD! PPHC is the second oldest motorsport event in the USA and now that we live here in Colorado Springs, Pike Peak is literally in my backyard! I get to see the mountain every day from the kitchen window to the front door of my work at Red Line Land Cruisers!
The 14,115-foot mountain is always in sight! Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The ultra-prominent 14,115-foot fourteener is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles west of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The motorcycle entry ticket to spectate at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was all that was left to purchase, but too, it was also the cheapest! Riding a motorcycles, especially the TW200 takes up way less parking in the tightly confined areas to park up on the mountain! DOUBLE WIN! Actually “TRIPLE WIN!” as the weather was PERFECT!!! The TDUB is a WINNER!
History Of Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Great Plains, Lt. Zebulon Pike first saw Pikes Peak from the eastern portion of today’s Colorado in 1806. As he approached the magnificent peak, rising abruptly from the plains, Pike swore this mountain would never be climbed by man.
By the mid-20th century Pikes Peak had been conquered by tourists from all over the world – by car, motorcycle, bicycle, train, mule, horse, and on foot. The spectacular view from the summit inspired Katherine Lee Bates to compose the famous lyrics to America the Beautiful in 1893.
Pike could never have imagined the vehicles or the automobile race which would conclude at the summit of his peak a little over a century after his first sighting. By 1900 a carriage road had been built. Spencer Penrose, one of Colorado Springs’ city’s major benefactors, realized the tourist potential of such a beautiful landmark and in 1915 he finished converting the narrow carriage road into the Pikes Peak Highway. In order to publicize his new road, and draw visitors to his Broadmoor Hotel, he devised a simple plan; run an automobile race to the summit of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb was first held on August 10, 11, and 12, 1916 with Rea Lentz crowned the winner in a time of 20:55.600.
For more than a century, competitors, race fans and members of the media from around the globe have converged on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain to experience the best in hill climb competition. Boasting 156 turns over a 12.42-mile course beginning at over 9,300 feet and ending at 14,115’ above sea level, this race has no equal. The harrowing course has long served as an automotive proving ground – for automatic transmissions, brake fluid, front-wheel drive, and electric vehicles. In 2018 the current race record, 07:57.148, was set in a prototype electric Volkswagen, with French driver Romain Dumas behind the wheel.
Halted only during WWI and WWII, the race has become known as the second-oldest motorsports race in America. In 2016, a 100th anniversary celebration took place. On June 26, 2022, the Race to the Clouds, will notch its milestone 100th Running. https://ppihc.org/history/
WATCH – RACE TO THE CLOUDS
This is a great documentary about the second oldest motorsport event in the USA, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – Race to the Clouds!
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