BILLINGS – Make no mistake – the sign is absolutely true, especially on Great American weekend.
Plastered at the base of one of this year’s ground-level jumps, reads: “Billings, Montana. Motorcycle Hillclimbing Capital of the World!”
10,000 strong will make their way to South Hills to see the world’s best race up the Bentonite Nightmare – and this year, they’ll do it at even faster speeds.
“Yeah, we changed a few things this year,” said Billings Motorcycle Club president Cord Mitchell. “We created a rhythm section in the old burnout box, which is the keyway. The guys are gonna go over the backboard, down through the keyway, up the hill. Nowhere else in the world does that happen.”
The rhythm section is a reference to the Red Bull Rhythm series – a side-by-side race with no turns – just a half mile of straightaway jumps.
“We’ve been expanding on the side by side,” Mitchell said. “You know, we started running side-by-side about 5-6 years ago. A few other places in the country do it. Everybody really likes it, so it’s something different these guys are gonna try this weekend, so it should be a lot of fun to watch and to ride.”
This year’s rhythm section will only be a couple hundred feet before the ascension, but Mitchell and crew already have big plans for next year’s centennial celebration.
“Being the 100th year we’re probably gonna expand that – even go further back down in our parking area with some sort of rhythm section for that. So yeah, we’re building and already starting planning for next year.”
Watch how fun this year’s dress rehearsal will be, and you can imagine what’s in store.