DANSVILLE — The roaring thunder of engines, loud cheers of fans, and booming voices of the announcers will be heard vibrating through Poags Hole Road’s giant hillside.
On Sunday, Aug. 20 at 12:30 p.m. the 21st Annual Poags Hole Hillclimb will commence. This is for professional motorcyclists only, as it can be a very treacherously steep climb to the top.
Poags Hole owner Mike Mistretta’s brother raced motorcycles back in the 1970s.
“He said let’s do a hillclimb,” Mistretta recalled. “That is how it all started. We worked two years to get local rules for the town to follow. The first year was cold and rainy and we only had 3,500 people. That was not enough to look out on over the hill.”
Mistretta is looking forward to the event this year. He said there is now over 10,000 fans and 4,000 motorcycles that come to watch this event. There are 39 big bike participants, and 32 X-Game participants this year.
“There will be a couple special riders this year,” he said. “Gregg Duffy is coming in from Maryland and he does the Nitro Circus Show in Rochester. This year he is going to do the hillclimb. Daniel Baird is a quadriplegic who had a special bike made for him, so he could keep doing what he loves. He got into a bad accident a few years ago. This will be the first time we have a quadriplegic on the hillclimb.”
Baird, of Michigan, was injured five years ago and didn’t let that stop him. Mistretta said he will inspire a lot of people at the hillclimb.
“He has been doing a great job on the hills,” he said. “We are really excited about having him here. I think he will inspire a lot of people. He has always been a rider, and he didn’t let his injuries keep him from doing it. A professional rider helped outfit the motorcycle for him.”
Austin Teyler of Billings, Montana has just won the World Championship for Hillclimb in France, and he will be at the event as well.
Mistretta said the hillclimb is a huge accomplishment for him and his family.
“I think it is a great accomplishment. I didn’t think it would go on as long as it has,” he said. “We are trying to get our kids to take over now. The change of riders has gone on over the years. There are more and more younger riders doing this now. There is a lot of great talent out there. This sport is definitely evolving.”
Jordan, 20, and Haley, 25, Mistretta are eager to help their parents out on this family-fun event.
“We put a lot of time into this before the race,” Mike Mistretta said. “My son Jordan is coming into his own, and trying to figure it all out. My daughter Haley is taking over for her mother this year with the vendors and organizations.”
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.
For more information on the event, including a list of this year’s riders, visit www.poagshole.com
The Poags Hole Hillclimb is located at 10401 Poags Hole Road and racing starts at 12:30 p.m with gates opening at 9 a.m. Parking is $5 and admission is $20, children 10 and under are free.