Annual cycling hill climb held in Cottonwood Heights
Cyclists are off at the 16th Annual Porcupine Hill Climb starting line. (Porcupine Pub and Grill).
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Everything was all uphill for hundreds of cyclists in the 16th Annual Porcupine Hill Climb Cycling Race. Held on June 17, the competitive race started at the Porcupine Pub & Grille, located at 3698 East Fort Union Blvd. in Cottonwood Heights, and the finish line was at Brighton Ski Resort.
“The race is a badge of honor,” Race Official Stacey Deittman said. “And it surely is a great accomplishment to finish on any level. It is a grueling 3,800-foot climb in elevation in 14.7 miles — all uphill, of course. At the finish line, we have coffee, bagels, music and prizes. It truly is a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning.”
Sponsored by Porcupine Pub & Grille, the race’s annual proceeds are donated to a local charity. In years past, the monies raised were donated to the American Cancer Society and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Nearly three years ago the race organizers decided to change course with fundraising efforts and give back to the cycling community directly.
“Thus, we found bikeutah.org, whose principal efforts are geared towards extending bike lanes in our communities, providing education to local schools on safe bike riding practices and lobbying for all things bicycle oriented in the state of Utah,” said Deittman.
The hill climb is UCA (Utah Cycling Association) rated, and for professional cyclists it is the State Hill Climb Championship. While the course itself is scenic, the elevation change with extra steep sections by Storm Mountain, the S-turns in Big Cottonwood Canyon and a moderately flat “rest” between Solitude Ski Resort to Brighton make the course challenging.
Though the description of the course may dissuade an erstwhile cyclist, the race welcomes all riders. “All ages and ability levels are welcome to the challenge,” said Deittman. “Each year we have riders old and young come out to compete. I believe we had an 11-year-old girl do it this year and she totally rocked it.”
Prizes consist of a finisher medal and T-shirt for each competitor, a winner’s jersey for first place in each category and a brand new pair of surface skis for fastest male and female. The race is separated into five-year-interval age brackets, starting at 15.
Race category results can be found on the race registration website at https://www.bikereg.com/34467.