Documentary traces history of Great American Hill Climb

Hill

Highway Goat Productions

In a still from “The Great American,” a couple of competitors in the Great American Hill Climb relax at the top of the bentonite behemoth.

In case you haven’t heard, the 99th annual Great American Hill Climb, billed as the world’s oldest motorcycle hill climb, and the one with the largest riders’ purse, gets underway Friday in Billings.

Whether you’re a big fan of the event or have never seen it live, you’ll wanted to check out a “The Great American,” a 15-minute documentary on the climb made by Highway Goat Productions. One of the founders of the production company is Ryan Seitz, a graduate of Billings Senior High School.

The documentary features lots of interviews, action scenes from last year’s hill climb, and archival footage tracing the history of the event—including a priceless black-and-white scene from the earliest days of the climb, showing a competitor on a big, heavy Harley-Davidson. And no helmet, of course.

The folks at Highway Goat Productions are good. I’ve seen two of their previous documentaries, “Skip Stones for Fudge,” about the world of competitive stone-skipping, and “Freeload,” about the new age of freight-train hopping, and both were first-rate. So is their latest work. Check it out.

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