Time to rumble
It’s that time of the summer when rumbling just north of Columbus is more likely to come from nitro-fed motorcycles being ridden up a steep hill than from the skies.
For the 12th year, the North American Hillclimbers Association’s (NAHA) professional touring series arrives this weekend on Rapelje Road, serving as Round 3 of the pro hillclimb series.
The event will see riders gain as much as 1,000 vertical feet in front of an expected crowd of at least 7,000 fans. The forecast calls for highs Friday and Saturday in the mid to upper 70s, with a 30 percent chance of rain Friday night and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
As of Tuesday, in three classes, there were a total of 193 riders registered, according to event organizers. Among them will be hometown boys Nick Beer and Carson Holden, according to event organizers. The classes are as follows:
•0-450: 80 riders
•451-700: 60 riders
•700-Open: 53 riders
Big Boomer Fireworks will present the Saturday night fireworks show with the assistance of the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department. Blow up bouncy houses and dunk tank will be available for kids and Octane Addictions will be performing freestyle shows throughout both days.
The hill has been completely redesigned/rebuilt so the riders will have more challenging runs and in turn more entertainment for the crowd.
The NAHA is an organization of professional hillclimb competitors primarily in the western U.S. Hillclimb is the oldest of all motorcycle sports – the original extreme sport, according to the NAHA website.
Local sponsors for the event are The New Atlas Bar, NAPA and Town Pump.
Tickets are $20 per day at the gate. Camping spots are $40 per person per day, purchased at the gate.
FRIDAY, JUNE 16
•8 a.m.: Mandatory riders meeting
•8:30 a.m.: 450 qualifier
•1:30 p.m.: 700 qualifier
•4:30 p.m.: Open qualifier
•9 p.m.: National Anthem
•9:30 p.m.: 450 main
SATURDAY, JUNE 17
•8:30 a.m.: Women’s/kids classes
•2 p.m.: 700 main
•5 p.m.: X Climb
•8:30 p.m.: Kids pro finals
•9 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
•9:30 p.m.: Open main
•11:30 p.m.: Fireworks show