2010 DIRTY DOZEN RESULTS (from Danny Chew)

2010 Dirty Dozen Results, Article, Stats, & Links


14 Links to 2010 DD Articles, Photos, & Videos


The 28th annual Dirty Dozen was held on Saturday, November 27th. Despite a high temperature of just 34 degrees F, cloudy skies, a stiff wind, and snow flurries before the start, 182 riders (just 3 short of last year's record) showed up. Of these 182, 103 (57%) were rookies (first timers). I think the reason why more veterans don't show up is because they know how hard it is, and unless they can train enough to get into DD shape, they simply stay home. On the other hand, rookies don't know what they are getting in for, so they just show up regardless of how fit they are. A record 22 riders were over 50 years old. I was happy to see a record women's field of 15. For the first time, I offered pre-registration this year. Of the 91 people to pre-register, only 4 didn't ride.

Winning 7 of the first 9 hills, Steve Cummings (Steevo) had his 7th con- secutive DD mathematically won with 4 hills left. 42 year old Gerry Pflug came on strong at the end to finish 2nd. The same place he finished his last DD - 20 years ago in 1990. Joe Lydic's two hill wins gave him 3rd place over Bob Stumpf (also with 26 points). Of the 17 men to score points, only three were rookies. Finishing in 11th place, 50 year old Jim Doan was the top rookie. Five men over 40 years old scored points. 48 year old Gunnar Shogren rode his 5th DD - setting the new highest low gear record using a 45x22! {The old record was a 42x21.} Moreover it was a fixed gear meaning that he unclipped and "coasted" down some of the longer descents.

Last year, Montana Miller became the first rider to finish the DD on a fixed gear (39x20) bicycle. This year, Miller & Sam Morrison (stoker) rode Gunnar's tandem. On their first tandem together, they had to climb every hill seated, but made them all! Ten years ago in 2000, brothers Adam and Jody Lobert became the first tandem to make every hill. A student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Morrison finished 2nd in the DD last year.

Unlike the men's DD (Steevo led the entire way), the women's DD had three different leaders. Rookie Kristen Gohr won the first 3 hills, and still led after 4. Rookie Gray Patton won 2 hills, and led after the 5th hill through the 8th hill. Hill #6 Pig Hill (Rialto St.) is a short, narrow hill we go down and back up. The first heat is the men who have scored points on the first 5 hills & overall DD winners. The second heat is all of the women. The third heat is the rest of the men. On the women's heat, Valerie Christoff crashed and took Gohr down behind her. Gohr made the hill on her 2nd try, but got no points and fell to 3rd place overall.

The shortest and steepest (37% grade) DD hill #9 Canton Ave. would be a crucial turning point in the women's event. Despite 4 attempts, Gohr failed to make Canton. After this, her 30 points would do her no good - she would be placed behind all the women (even ones without points) who rode up all of the hills. A category 1 racer from Boston, Gohr discovered that the DD is unlike any event she has ever done. Her teammate Nina Wilczek made it up her first try and won Canton. Overall leader Patton finally made it on her 4th attempt, but lost the lead to Betsy Shogren (last year's winner & Gunnar's wife) who needed 2 tries, but still got 2nd on Canton. Despite needing 3 tries, Carol Clemens (most DDs {4} ridden by a woman} got 4th on Canton. Betsy won the last 4 hills and the overall again. Patton finished 2nd and Wilczek 3rd. Betsy & Gohr each won 5 hills, but Gohr wasn't an official finisher. Of the 15 women who rode, 10 were rookies. 8 scored points. 9 (60%) made it up every hill.

With such a huge mens field (167), there's no way I can police everyone (like I used to do in the early years) up all the hills, but I estimate that no more than 60% of the men made every hill. Official finisher status means you rode up all the hills with continuous forward motion. No stopping or crashing, but you can weave as long as you are still going up. If you don't make it your first attempt, go back down to the bottom and try again as many times as you need/like. Today, an honor system exists, and I think most cyclists will tell the truth about this. I have seen an awful lot of riders caught walking or stopped/crashed on photos and videos. However, this doesn't mean they didn't attempt and make the hill on a later try. If a rider is seen walking to the top of a hill, chances are they didn't make it. The lure of the DD is cyclist versus hill. If you ride all the way to the top (with rules above) regardless of how many times it takes, you have conquered the hill. If not, the hill has defeated you. A simple yet sometimes very challenging concept.

I have heard of 3 disturbing incidents at the bottom of the last hill #13 Flowers/Kilbourne/Tesla in Hazelwood. In each case, kids (from houses on the right) were throwing rocks/bricks at cyclists shortly after the right turn onto Flowers Ave. near the firehouse station on the right (the road is nearly flat here). In one case, a kid deliberately ran into rookie Richard Watson, and threw a body block into his shoulder, but he didn't go down. Another kid (from the other side of the road) threw a rock that hit Watson in the shoulder. I told former Pittsburgh Police Officer Matt Immekus (he has ridden the last 2 DDs) about this, and he said he would take precautions next year to keep us riders safe.

One of the things that makes the DD so unique is that totally new or beginner cyclists get to tackle the same steep hills as experienced racers. Once winner Steevo had the DD won, he took it easy in the middle of the pack up hill #12 Barry/Holt/Eleanore on the South Side. He realized that many of the riders around him were pushing themselves every bit as hard as he does to win hills. 26 year old Christian Korey knew he would score no points on his first DD this year. Less than 3 years ago, 5'9" tall Korey weighed 415 pounds. A classic couch potato, he ate up to 10,000 calories per day while playing video games, and watching 4-6 hours of TV per day. In 17 months, he lost 225 pounds (54% of himself) through diet (not surgery or drugs, etc.) and exercise (weightlifting & racquetball).

Korey began mountain biking in the Fall of 2009. After having knee surgery in March of this year, he couldn't mountain bike because of the risk of falling, so he took up road riding in July for the first time. He started the DD at 194 pounds (still considered heavy for a cyclist). Despite having a 2nd flat tire (Big Bang's Craig gave him a new inner tube after his 1st flat on the North Side) between the last 2 hills, he still got to the top of the last hill on Tesla St. as the food vehicle was packing up, but there were no riders around. Rick Sebak interviewed him there. Korey accomplished his goal of conquering all of the hills. Who's to say whether he was more tired than Steevo on Saturday night? Thanks to Iron City Bikes Racing for hosting the post DD party at Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe on the South Side.

With the DD growing so fast, I had to organize an entire staff this year to help me run it. Thanks to marathon runners Maura Spillane & Abby Ritter for doing registration in the morning. Thanks to Lee-Ann's brother Kevin Beatty and Mark's (riding his 17th DD this year!) wife Mary Hess for officiating atop hills. Thanks to Ron Lutz & son Eric for driving the food vehicle, and organizing the food stops - both new this year:

1. Millvale's Riverfront Park on the Allegheny River and at the bottom of the 5th hill Logan.
2. the top of the 9th hill Canton Ave.

Thanks to 11 time DD finisher Billy Kanarek for donating all of the pop again. Thanks to Steve Mentzer for loaning me his 10 gallon orange coolers and 6 gallon blue cubes he uses for the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. Thanks to the orange vest marshals Ted King-Smith (rider), Tom Reay (Andrew's father), Bob Bliss (Aaron's father), Michael Hordijk, Mark Sommer, & Audra Azoury all of whom did a wonderful job at keeping the route safe for the big DD pack/field. Instead of riding through the Liberty Tunnels (illegal for cyclists), we rode up over Mt. Oliver this year - throwing in another connector hill.

Thanks to Glenn Pawlak & Big Bang Bicycles for sponsoring the DD this year. He had the Eat'n Park DD & BB cookies made up. Glenn's brother Scott drove the BB support vehicle with mechanic Craig Merritts making on-the-go repairs. I am taking more orders for the gold/yellow DD jerseys (on display at the start) for a pre-order price of $70 (plus $5 for postage & handling). If interested, please e-mail me with your name and jersey size so that I will have some idea of how many jerseys to have printed up. Thanks to Emma Wang for the jersey design. Once they are done, they will be sold on my website and at Big Bang Bikes.

Thanks to photographers Chuck Kozora and Josh Franzos. Thanks to WQED's (TV Channel 13) Rick Sebak for filming the DD with two crews. Rick told me the tentative air date is Wednesday evening, January 26, 2011 at 7 or 7:30pm EST on his program called "It's Pittsburgh & A Lot of Other Stuff". Can't you just hear his voice? Click on the link at the beginning of this article for a preview. The man who made the 2009 DD dvd - rookie Gene Nacey (Nina's father) became the first double hip replacement rider to complete the DD this year. When he cramped causing him to crash just 15 feet from the top of the last hill (the longest one), Gene rode back down and did it again for official finisher status - talk about pride! Congrats to all the riders who conquered every hill.

Thanks to Oscar Swan and Bob Stumpf for lending me their electronic bullhorns. Thanks to DD rider Chris Helbling for printing a couple hundred of the release and liability waivers. 680 people have ridden (started) the DD over the past 27 years. 18 riders graduated to my 3 or more DDs ridden list this year.

There were three husband/wife combos:

Gunnar & Betsy Shogren
Paul & Nina Wilczek
Jeremy & Jocelyn Cornman

There were four father/son combos:

Kirk & Sam Morrison
Mark & Michael Runco
Gary & Nicholas Gigliotti
Mike & Reid Rhodes

There was one father/daughter combo:

Gene Nacey & Nina Wilczek

There were four sets of brothers:

Mark & Mike Hess
Doug & Dan Riegner
Steve & Matt Kurpiewski
Rich & Greg Hartley

There was one uncle/nephew combo:

Gary & Matt Lapiska

For some riders, a regular Dirty Dozen is not enough of a challenge. In December, 2006, DD winner Steve Cummings and I rode a double century. Two weeks after this year's DD, Steevo, 4 time DD rider and hill winner Bob Stumpf, 5 time DD rider Jonathan Pratt, and I rode one DD lap with the goal of climbing each hill 4 times. We met at 7 am in the dark at the oval in under freezing temperatures. Luckily, the high temperature went to 47 degrees F in the afternoon under sunny skies. Sometimes we descended a different way making a short loop at the hill, but more often we went down the same way we went up (allowing very little recovery time). 

Originally we were going to do 3 full DD laps, but realized we would have run out of daylight on the 3rd lap. Also the way we did it, once we got our 4 climbs in, we could leave the hill for good. Since hill #3 Berryhill was snow/ice covered (closed), we skipped it. By the time we got to hill #5 Logan in Millvale, we were all looking/wishing for lower gears - especially because that last steep pitch was wet/icy forcing us to stay seated. Here were our lowest gears: 

Me:............ 34x28 - 1.214 ratio 
Steevo:........ 34x26 - 1.308 ratio 
Stumpf & Pratt: 34x25 - 1.360 ratio 

On the 4th time up the 7th hill - Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess, Stumpf (his previous longest ride was only 6 hours on a 'flat' route) cracked {came apart like an old tubular/sew-up tire} terribly. We rode down through the North Side into Downtown Pittsburgh where Bob quit after 24 hills. He rode back to the oval and met us atop hill #9 Canton in his car with leftover snacks and drinks from the DD. Having been dry for a while, Steevo, Pratt & I bloated ourselves after which we paid heavily on the next hill # 10 Boustead - very uncomfortable even with much weaving/tacking back and forth up the steepest pitch. 

Luckily, the kids who harassed riders on the DD at the bottom of the last hill # 13 Flowers/Kilbourne/Tesla were not out. Because we didn't do Berryhill, we climbed the last hill 6 times to make up the elevation gain we lost by not climbing Berryhill 4 times. I wanted to stay and do 8 more times up the last hill to get 20,000 feet of climbing for the day, but it was getting dark & cold, and Steevo & Pratt had had enough. Pratt's Garmin GPS said we had climbed 17,400 feet. We climbed 52 hills (including the two connectors). I rode 104 mile in 11 hours, 13 minutes (including stops) for an average speed of 9.2 mph. Pratt rode 100 miles and Steevo about 93. It was our toughest/hardest century. 

Pratt said that for our middle 81 miles (from the bottom of the first hill to the top of the last hill) we averaged over 200 feet of climbing per mile. Pratt sent me this very impressive profile of our ride afterwards. Notice that the two connector hills (Crane Ave. & Mt. Oliver) stand out like sore thumbs because we only did them once. I was beaten up horribly afterwards - my back and arms the worst. Even two days later, my forearms were still very sore. I have climbed more by bicycle in a day, but on much less steep grades. For the first 24 hours of solo RAAM in 2000 starting in Portland, OR, I climbed 25,000 feet over 429 miles. Also, I climbed about 50,000 feet last year when I stepclimbed up Pitt's Cathedral of Learning Building 112 times in 24 hours, but I had a mechanical advantage in taking the elevators down each time.


website: http://www.dannychew.com


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