A couple of years ago, I took part in a sort of ‘cycling scavenger hunt’ across Calgary. It was fun day, with lots of hard, fast riding through the city from location to location. One of the stages was a King of the hill Challenge – a race up the road to the top of C.O.P. Somehow I won this. Likely due to some timing error, but, hey… it was a fun – pain and suffering filled fun.

After that event, I filed the concept in the back of my mind for future reference. There is an entire discipline of cycling dedicated to downhill and yes, there is more than a fair share of climbing in road and XC MTB racing, but why not have a hill climbing event? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some else already thought of this…

Enter the Redbull Hill Chasers!

Staged heats of racers battle it out elimination round style until the field is whittled down to only the strongest, to decide who has the legs and lungs to be king of the hill. This is a cool, and simple concept that I like a lot. Watching the video you can see it’s highly applicable to city-scapes, not just some remote hill off in the country somewhere… Spectators can heckle you on, pint in hand, from the comfort of their pub patios. Not only does this make the event massively spectator friendly, but it’s a multi-discipline bike event, where BMX, Road, CX, Fixies and MTB or whatever are all welcome. You want to wear a giant Big Bird costume? Even better!

I love these kinds of events. They are exciting – can happen in one day, from set-up to tear-down. They can happen centrally, allowing for great venue location options and spectator engagement, plus this particular event concept is open to cross-discipline riders, making it more easily accessible to everyone. Someone needs to set this sort of thing up in Edmonton. Maybe Kokanee Redbike?