Remembering the Widowmaker
What you probably don’t know, is that a hill above the stucco-colored homes of Draper, Utah was once the site of one of the rowdiest, adrenaline-laced motorcycle racing events the Western world has ever known. From 1968-1988, the infamous Widowmaker Hillclimb lured riders from all around to test their grit, determination and "franken-cycles" in a test almost unbeatable.
Riders quite literally pieced together the flesh and bones of many bikes to make one bike fit enough to charge up the 45 degree angle. Most bikes had to be extended as to not fall backwards on the rider. And sometimes they still did, right in front of mulleted tailgaters, hippies, families and wanna-bes.
Ever since the event was shut down in 1988, many of those real riders have disappeared into the suburb-colored houses, their bikes retired to the corner of dusty shed. Surely after all these years, they’ve assumed, nobody would remember. But guess what? Even Stevens Draper did [link to blog]. And we do. (You can still see the scar on the hill, after all.) We were even lucky to have a few Widowmaker veterens in our dining room on opening day.
Artifacts in our dining room include late Utah motorcycle celebrity Caesar Boswell’s 1974 Harley Davidson shovelhead (modified), a 1981 Maico in tiptop condition, and a mural by street artist Sril with those Steve McQueen vibes.