The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was last weekend. This epic race is held at Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs and has been called a “Race to the Clouds” for good reason; 12.4 miles long, climbing 4,720 vertical feet to the summit while navigating 156 twisty turns up a half tarmac, half gravel road. The hill climb is exciting to say the least, as you’ll see anything from imports, european, and domestic cars as well as bikes, ATV’s, and semi-truck freight liners pushing their hardest to get up the mountain. I was there in ’05 and ’06, both times perched 75 feet above the hairpin turn at the end a long traverse across the mountain side. This area is known as “Devil’s Playground” and it features some of the best views of the hill climb, although there are trade-offs to choosing the Playground as a vantage point; in ’05, it snowed on us halfway through the race, and yes, it was July. But even so, it was worth every moment.
The current record time up the mountain was set by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2007, with a time of 10:01. But instead of bringing you his record breaking run, I want to show you an expertly shot (and edited) video of Robby Unser’s record breaking run in his 1000 horsepower Puegot 405 from 1990. It’s a little long, but it is an amazing video that should give you an idea of how ballsy these guys really are!