Orie Steele, Sr.
Motorcycle Hillclimb Champion

 

Records Go At Enfield Climb

 

Last Climb of Season Draws Record Crowd of 7,000 - Mitzel,

Reiber, Steele, Armstrong and Other Climb

Stars Battle to Finish

 

By T.A. HODGDON

 

ENFIELD, MASS.- When good fellows with fast motors get together around the base of the famous Enfield Hill - which really is a mountain- there is always a real snappy hillclimb put on.

 

On Sunday, October 20, the autumn sunlight shone upon an assemblage of some of the finest hillclimbers in the country, surrounded by an admiring throng of 7,000 people. The great field at the base of the Enfield Hill was packed with automobiles, as will be seen by the accompanying photograph, while the course itself up over the side of the mountain was heavily lined with spectators, all eager for thrills.

Howard Mitzel, the flashing Indian star from York, Pa., was there to give battle to none other than the famous Herb Reiber, who drove all the way from Milwaukee, Wis., to be present at this hillclimb.

 

During the day Indian riders broke both professional and amateur hill records of the course. Howard Mitzel proved to be the star of the day when he flashed over the top in 22 2/5 seconds, to smash the existing hill record. After the climb was over, we asked Howard how he did it and he said very modestly "Well, you see, my wife said to me a few days ago, 'Howard, you have been wanting to be able to rig up a motor which you'd really be afraid of, and judging by the way this motor is turning up, you've got more power than you'll ever be able to use!'"

 

Howard has been entered in 24 hillclimbs this year and he has gone away with 24 first places ! In addition, he took 15 second places and 6 third places. Howard and his charming wife travel to hillclimbs all over the East, and they are certainly a familiar sight, lending their enthusiasm and brilliant performance to these meets of sporty motorcycle riders.

 

The other record, namely the Amateur Record, was broken by Jesse James, the lad from Worcester, riding an 80 inch Indian. Jesse flashed over the top in 23 1/5 seconds, which took away from Bob Armstrong, his hill record.

 

The first man over the top of the hill during the day, was none other than our old friend Woodsie Castonguay, of Springfield. Woodsie rides a home-made job which he has "cooked up for himself", and he sure must know his motors, because this little Indian turns up like a wild pony.

 

When the dust had cleared and the amateurs had all gone back t their places in the pits, it appeared as though James, riding an Indian was first while Warren on a Harley-Davidson was second and our old friend and beloved Indian rider, Red House, was third.

 

45 Expert a Thriller

 

A few years ago it used to be the 80 inch and 61 inch events which proved to be the thrillers, but during the last year and especially during the last few hillclimbs in the East the 45 events have certainly proved themselves to be the leaders on the cards. This proved true at Enfield, because the boys on their 45 overheads, certainly put up a splendid exhibition.

 

The Enfield hillclimb course is the long one, about a thousand feet long, and to make time on a hill like this, a fellow has to have a real motor and plenty of riding ability.

 

The 45 Expert saw such famous riders as Orie Steele, Bob Armstrong, and Herb Reiber, from Milwaukee, all mounted on overhead valve 45's not to mention our friend Howard Mitzel, who took them all to the cleaners.

 

Fred St. Onge, the very capable A.M.A. worker who is promoting motorcycling activities in Massachusetts, did his announcing from a judges stand built on the side of the hill so that it is 20 or 30 feet above the heads of the crowd. Fred did a wonderful job at announcing, and when, through the megaphone, he informed the crowd that Herb Reiber was on hand from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with some snappy motors, there was a great cheering.

 

Herb rode against Steele, Armstrong and Mitzel in the 45 and 61 events and although he did his best, he was unable to stay on top of the motor long enough to reach the top of the hill.

 

Orie Steele and two other riders had the same kind of luck because there is one particularly treacherous place on the hill where the motorcycle attempted to throw its rider bodily into the air. We are fortunate in reproducing some pictures herewith, showing Bob Armstrong and Howard Mitzel as they sailed over the worst bump on the hill. You will note that in one of the pictures that Armstrong's front wheel is considerably off the ground, although Howard Mitzel appears to be holding the front end down with every one of his 150 pounds of "riding Dutchman" as they call him.

 

Orie Steele placed second in the 45 inch Expert class.


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