Dirty Dozen Bike Race

>> Saturday, November 10, 2012

Every Nov/Dec, there's an infamous bike race in Pittsburgh that covers 13 of its steepest hills within 6 miles of downtown. It's known as the "Dirty Dozen." It's a pretty low-key informal race, but I found this on their website:

To be an official DD finisher, you must ride up every hill using your own current power available without stopping or crashing. You must have continuous forward motion UP the hill! You can weave back and forth as long as you are continuing to go UP. As soon as you start to go level or back down the hill, you are disqualified. You can go back down to the bottom of the hill, and try again as many times as you want. In the early days of 20 or fewer riders, I was able to keep track of who made all the hills, but once the DD grew bigger than this, I was unable to police it anymore. Now there exists an honor system where riders keep track of themselves.

Here's a video from 2010 showing some "Dirty Dozen" highlights (the action really kicks off at 0:50):


And here's a video all about "Canton Hill" from the DD ride (in the video above, Canton is shown from about 2:30 to the end). Canton is 37% grade and is touted as "the steepest public street in the world." And it's cobblestones. Yikes.

I'm a glutton for punishment... where do I sign up?... :)


Wendy 4:42 PM, November 10, 2012  

Another blogger and good friend, Anne-Marie was the 2011 female winner.

Her race report is here.


After living in the 'Burgh for many years, it was a treat to take my hub there for the first time in Feb this year. He trained with Anne-Marie for a weekend.

His response, "wow! The hills keep going up and up and up....they never stop!"

He'd be racing it this year, but our daughter is due 2 days after the race so we won't be flying from UT to Pitt for it. Maybe next year.

For a more comprehensive look at the Dirty Dozen, check out the WQED episode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiu-y-WxHqc

Side note- Anne-Marie may or may not race this year, as the Dirty Dozen is 6 days after IMAZ.

Side note 2- thanks for sharing this Steve. Pittsburgh is one amazing place, and I miss it dearly. We have elevation in Utah, but nothing quite like the unique aspects of Pittsburgh!

Anne-Marie 12:40 PM, November 12, 2012  

Hi! I'm the Anne-Marie referenced above -- Wendy mentioned you'd blogged about this. It's so cool to hear of others around the country learning about the Dirty Dozen!!

The Dirty Dozen is a truly unique experience and I highly recommend it if you in for a grueling yet rewarding day!

If you won't be able to travel to Pittsburgh for the event (and if I can offer a shameless plug), please check out this event -- http://teamphenomenalhope.org/join-us-and-spin-phor-a-cure-on-november-20/

It is a spinning workout fundraiser on 11/20 that is a virtual workout of the Dirty Dozen (include real race footage)... one of the registration options is to participate via live webcast! It's the next best thing to being there :) It benefits pulmonary hypertension research (my RAAM team's charity).

Steve Stenzel 1:12 PM, November 12, 2012  

Thanks ladies for commenting!! Anne-Marie, I had not idea so FEW women tackled that race! Congrats last year! I might share that link in another blog post next weekend...

Kat 1:29 PM, November 12, 2012  

Ahhh! I just moved to Colorado from Pittsburgh and am so psyched to see you talk about the Dirty Dozen! The race has really grown in the last few years, but it is so fantastically awesome and a must-do! In addition to the craziness that are the hills, some years it snows :) We have friends who have done it on a tandem and others who have done it on fixies, but I don't know anyone who has done it in a bowl full of sunshine (which is desperately needed in a city that is grayer than Seattle!)

Anne-Marie 11:38 AM, November 13, 2012  

Steve, yep - very few women attempt it. When I first heard about it, I remember how intimidating it was and told myself I would never, ever in a million years do it. Ha!

Please feel free to share the above link!!

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