Common Tread

Project 156: Race To The Clouds, Part 1

May 18, 2015

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is no joke.

The now fully paved, 12.42-mile course contains 156 turns while gaining 4,720 feet of elevation, ending at an altitude of 14,110 feet. While a 12-mile race might not seem like much, the cliffs along the course ensure that riders treat every corner as if it were life and death — because for most of those 156 turns... it is.

If you aren't familiar with the race, take a second to watch Greg Tracy's sub-10-minute run on a Ducati MultistradaSebastian Loeb set the world record in one of those silly cages, or see just how high the stakes are with this Jeremy Foley crash. Or, just watch this promo vid set to some super annoying dubstep.

Apparently, Cycle World's Don Canet has never seen any of the crash compilation videos because, after racing for his first time last year, Canet is returning to the Peak, only this time on some sort of Roland Sands hand-built custom powered by a Victory prototype engine. Now, I love Roland's designs and I think some of the new Victorys are the bee's knees, but I barely trust Roland to build a bike that won't blow up under normal riding conditions and the word "prototype" sort of sounds like "excuse for when things go boom."

This first peek, entitled "Part 1," shows us that the bike appears to be some sort of upright naked and that Roland and I dress a lot alike.

All jokes aside, this is actually far more interesting than another motorcycle journalist putting on his wanna-be-racer outfit and taking another Ducati up the mountain. I hope Victory produces many more parts to this series and uses them more to document the process than just as a teaser. Most importantly, I'm rooting for ya Mr. Canet, and wish you nothing but safety and Godspeed.