Red Bull Bay Climb 2018

words and pictures by Jeff Olsen, video by Addison Zawada

Can you think of the hardest three minutes of your entire life? Childbirth, Ironman, and a trip to Disneyland might be the most PTSD-inducing day in the books for some, but we found out that the roughly 200 seconds it takes to race up three blocks of sheer San Francisco urban cliffside was more nightmarish than a salvia trip for one of our team riders.

Red Bull's Bay Climb charges up a 1/3 mile stretch of DeHaro Street in Potrero Hill, including a block of 21% grade, so next year have your tissues ready to cry or plug a nosebleed, and you might need a barf bag too. Full disclosure / partial spoiler: out of three of our team members that participated, one raced four heats total (each time faster because of a pre-race Red Bull), another threw up after each heat, and the other one chugged a beer hand-up just before winning the minor-final main event race. At only two years strong, Bay Climb is must-see – one hell of an event, more literally for those in the arena.

This story starts at a Travelodge, where bikes must be assembled on a bed or balcony, and ends at Anchor Steam Brewery, where beer heaven dreams come true.