Registration opened for the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Saturday November 1st! This is extremely exciting for me because I love this race so much. I've competed in it 4 times in the past 6 years and thoroughly regret not going to the two I've missed. This race is in my opinion one of the best events put on in the country and leaves you feeling and waiting for a year to pass so you can do it again. I highly suggest anyone who is qualified to run to do so, it really is an experience unlike any other. Like my article about getting to Mettet, here is how you get to Pikes Peak and how to do it affordably.
Now to start, Pikes Peak isn't as easy to get yourself to as Mettet is. Which may seem weird because Mettet is on a whole different continent the Pikes, except Pikes is arguably way more dangerous. For one the speeds are significantly higher, you're racing up an actual road (which means dirt and gravel on the surface are normal as are paint stripes) and the big one, there is no room for run off. That last one can be a bit nerveracking especially since you need to learn the whole course in 4 days, and don't ever get to actually race up the whole mountain until race day.
The first requirement to get to Pikes -which is relatively new for bike racers- is the need for a pro license. Unfortunately for us SM racers we don't really have pro license's. We're still growing as a sport and knowing the guys running PPIHC, they would be willing to work and help you out so long as the deem you are qualified enough to participate. See excerpt from the rule book:
Rookie riders may be required to hold an expert or professional license from a recognized motorcycle racing organization. Final approval will be left up to the Director of Competition.
If you're unsure if you would be qualified to run, definitely shoot them an email asking, they are usually fast at responding and extremely helpful!
Now that thats out of the way and you deem your good to enter, the next step is thinking about what class to enter. I'm going to stick to the Motorcycle classes that supermoto's are allowed to enter just to keep things simpler.
And finally the 250 Class
Yes you can still run a 250 up Pikes Peak. I truly urge you to enter if you have one. It's a dying class and a ton of fun. If I can manage to find a ride in the 250 class I will be entering there. If not Ill be running the lightweight class on my SXV. The classes are pretty self explanatory and the majority of you would be entering the lightweight class.
Now you know what class you can enter the next step is to actually register. Head here to sign up and pay. Don't worry I will add all the links you need at the bottom of the article. The registration fee for us bikes is $700. It sounds steep but you really do get a ton for your money. Practice is Tuesday-Friday from sun rise to about 9am give or take and then you race on Sunday. If you're still trying to justify it, it's about $140 a day to ride one of the most beautiful and spectacular courses you will ever see, on top of that you get to share the hill with legends such as Guy Martin, I've raced up with Gary and Greg Trachy, Malcolm Smith and have met many of the awesome car guys like Rhys Millen and Mike Ryan.
Registration closes January 30th 2015 so dont hesitate too long!
Now getting and staying there can be expensive. This is kind of where I basically say, "welp I hope you have awesome friends", because that's really what is going to help make this trip affordable. The 4 times I have made the trek out I've been lucky enough to have atleast 2 other friends take the ride out with me and chip in for gas. 2 of the 4 times I was able to convince them to race with me which really just made it all the better. Round trip in 2013 cost $900 from Connecticut, split three ways, ended up being $300 a person, which isn't terrible for a 34 hour ride to Colorado.
It also helps when it comes to your accommodations. This race you really need a place to stay with a comfy bed and a nice shower. I'm not going to make any suggestions to sleep in a car like I did with Mettet. Here I full support the fact that you need a good room to sleep in. Getting a hotel room can get extremely expensive fast. The main hotel they promote would cost you about $4,000 for the whole time you're there. You can find much cheaper options in the area but my suggestion is to get a rental house. These are generally much nicer and a fraction of the cost, especially if you want to invite a bunch of friends to come down and have a good time with you for the week! I'd suggest cheacking out www.VRBO.com for rentals. I've had nothing but great luck using them. Perfect example is this nice little place for $1,170 for the entire stay from Sunday June 21st to Monday June 29th. Quite the deal and I'm sure you can find even better ones with a bit more searching.
Other than that, there's really not much left to say to help get you there. You will definitely get an experience unlike any other. It will without a doubt be the only thing you will want to talk about for months if not years on end. I really cant recommend this event enough. If you want to get there and still have more questions please let me know! I will literally bend over backwards to help get you there and racing with me. The more the merrier, and I'm all for getting more people to experience amazing things like this event.
Some Links to help you out: The Rule Book
For questions to the PPIHC Staff send an email to Jim Vidmar at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be sure to post more stories and awesome stuff about Pikes Peak the next couple months, but if you have ever wanted to race now is the time to register!