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First Annual Brickmine Hillclimb set for August 28

The first annual Brickmine Motorcycle Hillclimb will provide a fun Sunday of entertainment as the area’s dirt bike enthusiasts and nationally known hillclimbers take on the Brickmine Hill, on August 28.

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Posted on 8/20/16

By Melissa Anderson

This event is located west of Walhalla on the old Brickmine Hill and will be opening to the public at 7 a.m. with admission being $10 at the gate with kids ages 12 and under getting in free. The event closes at 10 p.m.

While this will be the first year for the event, the idea has been in the minds of many individuals over the years, since the Brickmine Hill is naturally long and steep.

“It has great potential for the sport of motorcycle hillclimbing because we are always looking for a challenge,” Shawn Jelinek, the event’s lead organizer, said.

Over the years, the idea to have a hillclimb on this particular hill stemmed from the Gorders: Roger, Dustin, and Mike. The Gorders would tell other motorcycle hillclimbing enthusiasts that they had the perfect hill for the sport. Despite the hills perfection, the talks about having the dream event on it didn’t materialize into more than a good conversation.

“The Gorders have been overlooking this hill for many years and that is mainly how many of us became familiar with this dream hillclimb hill,” Jelinek said.

During this last year’s winter months, Ross Johnson got a bad case of motorcycle fever which had him making some phone calls to other members of the Eagle Ridge Motorcycle Club (ERMC), and, naturally, all of them had the same fever. It didn’t take long to get the entire club excited about the idea of potentially hosting a hillclimb on the old Brickmine Hill.

“A group of us decided to try moving forward with this idea after many conversations discussing if this was realistic or logical to try to attempt,”  Jelinek said, “After we decided that this was a good idea none of it would be possible until we met with the land owner, Greg Hornung, to get permission to have an event like this.”

After meeting with Hornung last fall, this dream hillclimb was one step closer to reality when the organizing group received his permission to give this event a try. The next challenge was deciding when the event should be and gaining enough support to hold it.

“The summers are very busy with so many events that we weren’t sure how much support there would be to try something like this in the Walhalla area,” Jelinek said.

Luckily, many loved the idea of having another hillclimb so close to home on such a naturally challenging hill, but the idea of organizing another event when there was already an established event hosted by ERMC that consumed a lot of time had the group deciding that they could not do this alone.

“We needed more local support from others that had similar interests to our club,” Jelinek explained, “That is when we decided to reach out to the Pembina Gorge Dirt Riders (PGDR) from the Vang, Walhalla, and Langdon area.”

ERMC presented their ideas to PGDR to see if they would join with them to give this event a try. The enthusiastic response from all of the PGDR club members about this idea gave the event the needed backing to give it a real shot at success.

The Brickmine Hill is located in an area that is naturally beautiful throughout all months of the year and with the natural elevation changes, provides an ideal hill for an event like this. A natural anomaly, the Brickmine Hill is a much longer hill than what is normally found on the eastern side of North Dakota. This long hill has a steep incline as well, which is another plus for the sport of motorcycle hillclimbing because the participants of the sport seek new challenges to test their skills against.

“This particular area is also very well known in the local area and beyond so right off the bat many people think it would be crazy for anyone to try climb ing that hill on a motorcycle but for many of us hillclimbers that only gets us more excited to try to prove them wrong by trying to ride up this hill as fast or as far as we possibly can,” Jelinek stated.

The Brickmine Hillclimb will be the first event of this kind in this area. The  event will draw many local riders as well as many amateur and pro riders from near and far coming to try to conquer this beast of a hill. Pro climbers coming to this event from across the US from  various pro circuits such as the NAHA, Rockwell, and AMA are expected at the event. Jelinek and the other organizers are hoping to have at least 30 entries per class for a total of at least 90 entries for the three classes combined.

“People should come and watch this event because it will be very entertaining – watching motorcycles jump, flip, crash, and successfully race over the top of this hill. It is also great to support a local event like this,” Jelinek said.

This event has only three classes for the bigger CC bikes. Sign-up for riders will take place the night before the event and also the morning of until 9:30 a.m. There is only one rider per bike per class, three bike max per rider, no class jumping, must have one working brake, deadman switch, boots, and helmet. No pit riding or burnouts will be allowed.

The entry fee for each class is $100 per class. There will be  450, 700, Open and King Of The Hill classes. There will also be a side-by-side 450 class towards the end of the event.

“This is a very exciting class addition, and for those who have never seen two motorcycles racing up the hill at the same time, they will be in for a treat,” Jelinek said.

The total prize/purse for the event is expected to be anywhere from $10,000-$15,000 depending on how many riders and spectators participate and attend the event. There will be trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 450, 700, and Open classes and cash prizes for around 10 places in each of those classes too. There will be a trophy and payout for the King Of The Hill and Side-by-Side classes for 1st place.

For those planning to attend the First Annual Brickmine Motorcycle Hillclimb, the organizers have some information regarding the event. Spectators are asked to enter the property from the north. Road bikes are welcome to the grounds, and concessions will be available. However, the organizers request that “no attitudes, knives, guns, explosives, or other weapons” be brought to event. Also , no dogs or other pets will be allowed, and no glass bottles will be permitted. The ERMC/PGDR reserve the right to refuse admittance to anyone.

For more information or questions, please call Shawn Jelinek at 218-791-3336.