While driving to work one morning last week, I heard through the power of radio advertising that the Freemansburg Motorcycle Hillclimb was coming up. I vaguely remember going to one before and thought "What the heck, it's something different to do." So on Sunday, my friend Kate, her friend Devon, and I headed over to Freemansburg aka Steel City aka Bethlehem in Northampton County.
So you're probably asking, what's a motorcycle hillclimb? Essentially, you stand in a field, shielding your eyes from the sun, watching modified dirt bikes try to drive up a 500-foot hill which, at the top, is at a 60 degree angle. That's about it in a nutshell. But its a lot of fun to watch, because in more cases than not, the bikes don't make it to the top. Even cooler, these are pro riders (aka "adrenaline junkies) doing this - including the only female pro rider in the sport, Amanda Campbell.
We got there about an hour after the races began - oh yeah, not only do the riders have to actually make it up the hill, they have to do it fast...like 12 seconds fast - and there was a good-sized crowd already there. A lot of people rode motorcycles to the event, since it's also part bike-show, but these aren't Hell's Angels - these are really good people who just like to cheer on the riders and watch them bale on occasion.
The announcers kept us up-to-speed on the background of each rider and what their finishing times were. The food vendors, including the Bushkill Valley Motorcycle Club, kept us fed with hot dogs, perogies and ice cold Cokes. And the sun sent us running for the air conditioning of our cars at intermission - it was just too hot for us.
The Freemansburg Hillclimb will be back in June 2010 - I'd highly suggest a visit, if only to try something different for the day :)