BILLINGS - Kids and professionals alike are eager to get loud, dirty and maybe a little dangerous this weekend at the Great American Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb in the Billings South Hills.
Friday marks 102 years of this motorcycle party beneath the Bentonite Nightmare.
Organizers say more than 100 riders are entered, including some former champions. However, defending champion Austin Cardwell is stuck in Canada with the border closed.
Billings Motorcycle Club members said they briefly considered a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic but bailed on that idea while trusting that fans will adhere to guidelines. Signs at the entrance gate warn that spectators and riders aren't allowed in without masks. Additional signs throughout the grounds encourage attendees to respect social distancing.
Youth riders stole the show early on Friday with trophy races beginning at 8:30 a.m. The field included experienced riders and first-timers.
The same can be said for this year's professional group, which includes former champions, experienced riders and rookies.
"Oh yeah, you get butterflies or sure," Billings rider Tysen Jorgensen told MTN Sports. "Oh yeah. You get nervous, especially when you get right on the line.
Jorgensen said he has ridden open-road motorcycles for a few years, but this summer is his first venture into hill climbing.
"I think in this first 600 run (Friday), the bottom is the more gnarly part," he said. "If you get past that it's kind of a shoot to the top."
BMC members said this year's purse is around $27,000.
Racing starts up again Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and is expected to run until 10 p.m.