Hornell Hillclimb: Where Fast Competition Determined the 1935 National Champions

By Unknown, Photography by Unknown

No account of this hillclimb would be complete if it did not relate the heroism of the motorcycle club that made it possible. Some really championship work was done by the Hornell Motorcycle Club, “The little club with the big hill.”

This club is composed of sixteen members. In April they had been given the sanction for the National Championship Hillclimb. During the summer they had done yeoman service, getting the hill in shape for their big moment. They were all set, long in advance. Everything was the tops. This would be a climb! Then it rained. It poured. It was a cloudburst. The worst flood in the history of that section occurred and the boys went out afterward and took a look at the hill. It was a mess. The work they had accomplished was brought to naught. The hill was scarred with gullies. The road into the hill was wrecked. Even the refreshment stand had been washed away. That was in July.

Did they give up? Not the Hornell boys-and girls, too, for they have a splendid auxiliary. They set to work. Every afternoon off, every Sunday, sometimes at night, they toiled to rebuild their precious hill. They built two bridges on the road. They hired tractors and trucks and three mules and changed the creek channel. They grubbed trees and revamped the hill course. The town of Howard loaned them a road grader to help with the creek change and the road grading work. All the rest of the summer they toiled. No trips to hillclimbs for them, they even missed Syracuse so that they might touch up the hill for the last time.

The Monroe County Motorcycle Club helped, too, coming over with twenty-eight of their members one Sunday and tearing into the work like real engineers. This same club was on hand at the climb to help in the details of running the climb, and were also aided in this by the Kodak City Motorcycle Club, so that the small membership of the Hornell club could devote all its attention to the important matters at the gate.

When we see what the Hornell boys and girls accomplished we do not wonder that for all their small membership they have a fine clubhouse worth $3000 and free from debt. The club is 100 per cent A.M.A. and has been registered as an A.M.A. club since 1929.

The 1935 National Championship Hillclimb was second in point of attendance only to the great Muskegon Hillclimb in 1929 and drew attendance of motorcycle folks from all over the United States.

Officials were: Referee, Harry Gunn; clerk of course, Charley Wagner; timers, Andy Uebelacher and Frank Zimmerman of Rochester and F. E. Quenell of Toronto, Ont.

By Unknown
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