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Hillclimb nationals come to Bay City this weekend

A hider heads up the hill outside Bay City in the first hillcllimb event in 20 years.

BAY CITY - It good problem to have, but it's one the Valley Springs Hillclimb Club will be prepared for this time around.

The AMA National Grand Championship Hillclimb Returns to Bay City. The event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday August 18-19 at N2105 Country Road EE, just three miles north of Bay City. And considering the large crowd the last hillclimb event, which was just a regional points event, drew, the club knows the scene for nationals will be even bigger.

"We anticipate a significantly bigger crowd for nationals," club member Sue Gerdes said. "We've got 522 rides registered and rides from 15 states, as far away as Massachusetts. This is the biggest national competition since 2006 so we had to be better prepared."

Last year was the first the hill was used competitively since late 1970s and was big success despite scrambling by the club to keep up with the large crowd. This year Gerdes said there will be more food vendors plus other attractions at the event. Volunteering there will be members of the Ellsworth High School Football Booster Club along with a local church group and area Boy Scouts as well. There will be live music Saturday evening and additional field will be open for more parking.

"This is a national caliber hill," Gerdes said. "People say it's a challenge even for professional rides let alone young riders so I think that's why we've been chosen to host."

Gerdes said the event may be big enough to attract the cameras from the Speed Channel on cable. But the most exciting thing to he is just watching her kids compete.

"Watching my kids compete is always the best part." Gerdes said.

Twenty-six years have passed years since the AMA National Grand Hillclimb Championship was last held in Wisconsin. But now the spectacular hill-climbing event is back, thanks in large part to the Valley Springs Motorcycle Club -- the proud sponsor of this year's national championship.

Award-winning motorcycle hillclimbers from across the U.S. will be exciting spectators as they attempt to beat record-setting racers from Pierce County like Luke Parmeter (2011 AMA Rider of the Year) and Luke Cipala (2011 AMA Youth Rider of the Year) who will be competing to defend their championship titles.

Classifications range from Kids to Open, with the high-performance monster bikes exhibiting ground-shaking power as they race up Bay City's 500-foot monster hill.

This family-friendly event features concessions and souvenirs. Racing begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 and runs through dusk. Sunday's racing resumes at 8 a.m. and concludes with the awards ceremony later in the day. People of all ages are invited to come out and enjoy the excitement of this AMA National Grand Championship.

For more information on the race go to: