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Whos’s ‘King of the Hillclimb’?

Whos's 'King of the Hillclimb'?

Phil Gaimon of North Hollywood, Calif., powers around the hairpin turn on his way to winning the 45th Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in…

Saturday, Aug 20

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Phil Gaimon of North Hollywood, Calif., powers around the hairpin turn on his way to winning the 45th Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in a time of 51:13 on Aug. 19, 2017. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO) Joe Viger (in car) photographs Phil Gaimon during the 2017 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. (COURTESY OF JUSTIN MACOMBER FOR JOE VIGER PHOTOGRAPHY) PINKHAM NOTCH — The “Beast of the East,” Mount Washington, draws cyclists every summer like moths to a flame, with this year’s Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb happening today (Saturday).

For the past decade, the race has been the main annual fundraising event for Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, which provides environmental and recreational education for local children, schools and families

First held in 1973, the Hillclimb has been canceled three times due to weather and in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it’s back this year, and plans are already underway to celebrate the event’s 50th in 2023 in a grand way involving the community, notes Erin Holmes, Tin Mountain’s new events director, and Lisa McCoy, marketing and events director for the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

With an average uphill grade of 12 percent — and at 22 percent near the last grueling section near the top of the 6,288-foot mountain — the 7.6-mile course is a challenge not to be taken lightly.

Add to that the mountain’s well-deserved reputation of “Home to the World’s Worst Weather,” and you’ve got the makings of a true athletic and endurance test of any cyclist’s […]

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