05 July 2011

2011 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb: Grandpa and Grandson

I'm still working on finding time to write some stories and post photos about this year's PPIHC.

I love this story! A grandfather, 74, and his grandson, 20, both competed on motorcycles this year. And Grandpa in the vintage division won by 14 seconds!


Grandpa, on his 1962 Honda Eddie Mulder replica in the vintage class posted an 18:13.

Grandson, on his 1985 Woods Rotax in the 450cc class posted an 18:27.


Grandfather and Grandson at the top of Pikes Peak.  Photo courtesy of
JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE.


Grandpa, #501, in the parade down the hill.

Grandpa Gerberick.

Grandfather and grandson complete motorcycle races up Pikes Peak

June 26, 2011 9:33 PM

SCOTT KANIEWSKI

THE GAZETTE

When grandma tells you to do something you do it.

So when 20-year-old Joshua Hamblen was told by his grandmother that he was going to race in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, he said OK.

Hamblen had plenty of experience to draw on. His grandfather, Robert Gerberich, 74, competed in the Hill Climb from 1991-2006. So Sunday was a return for Gerberich in the Vintage motorcycle class and a first time for Hamblen.

Hamblen raced in the motorcycle 450 class. It’s a ride the Wadsworth, Ohio, resident won’t soon forget. He fell twice. Cracked the shield on his helmet. And could hardly see by the time he got to the top of the peak.

“It was tough,” Hamblen said. “Toughest thing I’ve ever done.”

But he knew he had to finish.

“Getting up to the top to see my grandpa,” Hamblen said, “that’s all that mattered.”

He’s already planning on riding next year.

“Definitely going to come back,” Hamblen said. “With a bigger bike and better equipment.”

Gerberich, Grandma Loa and Hamblen all race back in Ohio. Gerberich first started riding Pikes Peak because of its tradition.

“I follow the races,” Gerberich said. “Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, they’ve all done this. So I said ... hey, I’ll do the same thing they did.”

The grandfather-grandson duo wasn’t the only relatives to make it up the hill. Brothers Stuart and Leeland Sinclair won their respective motorcycle races. Stuart won the 750 class, while Leeland won the Super Moto 450.

After winning his race, Leeland had to do a few interviews. He wanted to get them finished quickly.

“I ran out to find him,” Leeland said, “and heard a V-twin and prayed and prayed it was him. I’m more excited for his win.”

Sure enough, the V-twin belonged to Stuart.

“It’s really a big deal,” Stuart said. “It’s a big deal for us as brothers and to be up here together.”

For the second consecutive year Davey Durelle won his motorcycle event and will probably move up. A year after winning the 250 class, Durelle moved up to win the 450 class Sunday.

“It was fun,” Durelle said. “We wanted to come into the 450 class and (win again).

With the track expected to be completely paved next season, Durelle said he’ll probably go up another class for one more race up Pikes Peak.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” Durelle said. “Being that it’s going to be paved it’s going to level the playing field as far as times. I didn’t think the top section would be as fun as it was, all paved, but it wasn’t bad. I actually had a lot of fun up here, so I think I’ll be back for one more year.”

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