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The Dansville Online
  • POAGS HOLE: Hillclimb descends on Dansville

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  • From staff reports
    DANSVILLE — What happens when nearly 4,000 motorcycles, almost 10,000 fans and one treacherously-steep, 600-foot hill get all mixed together? The annual Poags Hole Hillclimb. This year’s event has been scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Dansville. The gates open to fans at 9 a.m. Racing on the hill, which is located on Poags Hole Road, begins less than hours later at 12:30 p.m., giving spectators plenty of time to get settled. Past editions of the hillclimb have drawn at least 10,000 fans. If the weather cooperates — always an iffy proposition in Western New York, especially given Mother Nature’s fickle temperament this summer — that level of fan turnout should be matched or surpassed this weekend. “It’s all weather-based,” Poags Hole owner/promoter Mike Mistretta has stated in the past. “If I believe the weatherman we’re supposed to have good weather. It might be hot. I’ll be happy with what we got last year (in spectator turnout), but I always like to see a little more.” The Poags Hole Hillclimb is a professional event in which participants must hold a pro license. The Hillclimb has been a featured stop on the American Motorcyclist Association’s Championship schedule and is also sanctioned by the North American Hillclimbers Association. Competitors from one end of the country to the other will be descending upon Dansville in an effort to tame the monstrous hill. Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, Nebraska, as well as the New England states, are among those represented. “There are no amateurs involved. It’s strictly professional,” Mistretta said. “They come from pretty much all over the country.” Conquering the hill is no easy task. Of the nearly 75 attempts made during each event, fewer than 20 usually make it all the way to the top. “It’s exciting to watch these guys tackle the toughest hill in the country,” Mistretta said. “We should have 85, maybe 90 attempts at the hill this year. I think a few of them will figure it out a little more and maybe 20-25 of them will go over the top. The competition is good.” In addition, there will be a number of vendors serving various food items as well as those selling event gear, T-shirts, souvenirs, bile apparel, jewelry, head wraps, helmets, henna tattoos, sunglasses and more. In addition, Arkport Cycles is again a major sponsor of the event and will have a tent located on site. There is a $15 admission charge for the day’s festivities and parking costs $5. Children 10 and under are admitted to the event for free. Spectators can expect an action-packed day of two-wheeled daring and bravado. “There’s over 4,000 motorcycles and street bikes. That’s pretty cool in itself,” Mistretta said. “There is a lot of chrome sitting out in the field, every kind of motorcycle — Harleys, crotch-rockets, even mopeds. There’s just everything.”

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