Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week recently announced the return of the Gunstock Hillclimb to this year’s rally. Presented by Laconia Harley-Davidson, the Hillclimb features both pro and amateur riders racing up the historic 70-meter Torger Tokle Ski Jump at Gunstock Mountain Resort and has been a crowd favorite since it first premiered at America’s oldest motorcycle rally.
Although the climb was first sanctioned in 1938 at Gunstock (then known as Belknap Mountain Recreation Area), its roots can be traced all the way back to 1917, the rally’s second year. Back then, the unofficial climb took place at the Weirs on Tower Hill Road, consisting of an informal group of riders challenging each other to get to the top of the notoriously steep road. Winners received little more than bragging rights.
This year’s organizers, Gunstock Mountain Resort and Ridge Runners Promotions, are expecting over 7,000 spectators to watch AMA Pro Racers from 5 classes (Verticross, Extreme, Unlimited, and Top 10 All Star Challenge), as well as 5 classes of amateurs (65cc, 125cc, Women, Over 40, and Verticross) competing for fastest times and their share of over $20,000 in prize money.
“Gunstock and Ridge Runners have entered into a five year agreement to make the Gunstock Hillclimb a midweek focal point of Bike Week through 2023, the 100th anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week,” said Mike Roth, director of Marketing & Sales at Gunstock Mountain Resort. “We appreciate everyone’s support to help keep our Lakes Region traditions alive and well for the benefit of our community.”
Admission is $20 per person for an all-day event pass (kids 10 & under free). For the first time ever, this will be a “hybrid” event. Although there will be vended food & beverage available on-site, spectators can bring in their own beverages.
Gates open at 8am, with the Amateur Invitational taking place between 9am – 12pm, AMA Pro Hillclimb Series from 1pm – 5pm, followed immediately by the awards ceremony.