The 31st annual (30th anniversary) Dirty Dozen was held on Saturday, November 30th. The high temperature was 39 degrees F with variable sunshine. 261 riders started (including a record women's field of 22) making it the second biggest DD field. Of these 261 cyclists, 116 (44.4%) were rookies (first timers). 46 riders were over 50 years old including 7 over 60. There were 11 teenagers, and 12 year & 117 day old Rowan deBoer became the new youngest finisher (breaking Andrew Reay's old record {set in 2009} by 9 months). 50 year old Beth Jameson became the new oldest female finisher (breaking Laura Dick's old record {set in 2010} by 2 months). 260 pound Don Snow became the new heaviest finisher (breaking J. R. Petsko's old record {set in 2009} by 20 pounds). Here's a photo of Beth, Rowan, myself & Don at the awards ceremony. 

27 men (of which only two were rookies) scored points. Four 50+ riders and four teenagers scored points. 3 riders on single speed bikes scored points. A record 8 different men won hills. 14 of the 22 women were rookies. 10 women (of which 4 were rookies) scored points. 8 women made every hill, but only Patricia Rich & Angelina Palermo made all the hills on their first try. 31 riders graduate to my 3 or more DD list. Like the 2012 DD, the 2013 DD had only 12 hills. Rialto St./Pig Hill (left out in 2012) returned, but Berryhill Rd. (old hill #3) was eliminated because it had been barricaded (at both the bottom & top) off for the Winter early. Back again was Gene Nacey's(Cycling Fusion) LiveStream live web broadcast which allowed fans to follow the DD at home, and know what time we would be getting to each hill. Thanks Gene. 

Defending champion Steve Cummings (Steevo) won the first two hills, and led through the first 5 hills. However, Steevo failed to get any points on the 6th & toughest hill (Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess). So after this, Bob Stumpf led with a 4 point lead over Steevo & 16 year old triathlete, 2nd time DD rider Ian Baun (both tied for 2nd place). Bob led through the next (Sycamore) hill, but failed to score any points on Canton (in fact needed a 2nd attempt to make it). This gave Steevo the lead again which he held to the end (winning a total of 3 hills) for his record 10th consecutive DD win! 12 points behind Steevo, Baun finished 2nd, and 6 points behind Baun, Stump finished 3rd. Despite scoring no points for the first 5 hills, Mike Mihalik finished 4th and was the top rookie rider. 15 year old Willem deBoer finished 7th, and became the new youngest hill winner after winning Barry/Holt/Eleanor. Here's a photo of the top 3 men: Steevo, Ian, Bob & myself at the awards ceremony. The first 50+ rider was 1991 DD winner & 7-time DD rider Gunnar Shogren who finished 10th overall. All the more impressive, he did it on a single speed (gear) bike! None of the bikes were fixed gear. Here are the results of the single speed (SS) category: 

1. Gunnar Shogren, 57 points, 10 place overall 
2. Don Powers, 43 points, 14th place overall 
3. Bill "Stik" Westover, 36 points, 12th place overall 
4. Rob Lochner, 23 points 
5. Nathan Manchin, 21 points 

Note: Carol Moore used a separate points scoring technique for this category. 

The women tie a piece of pink tape around their handlebars to distinguish themselves from the men. In the women's race, Erin Yanacek won the first three hills, and led through the first 4 hills. However, Yanacek failed to score any points on the 5th hill (Rialto St./Pig Hill), which Ryanne Palermo won and took over the lead one point ahead of Dr. Patty George (now in 2nd place one point ahead of Yanacek in 3rd). Yanacek won the next - 6th & toughest hill (Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess) creating a 3 way tie for the lead between her, George, & Ryanne. George won the next (Sycamore) hill to take the lead. The next hill (37% grade, cobblestone Canton Ave.) can be a huge deciding factor in the women's race, and this year did not disappoint. The woman with the most DD experience (3rd time) Karen Brooks won Canton on her 2nd attempt. Needing 3 or 4 tries to make Canton, Yanacek scored no points. Ryanne made Canton on her 3rd try, but at the top of the hill, she broke the rear derailleur hanger on her bike, but did not crash. Her 3rd place on Canton put Ryanne back in the lead, but what bike would she use for the rest of the ride? Luckily, Ryanne's husband's cousin's wife Cheryl Palermo gave Ryanne the bike she was riding, and hopped onto her spare mountain bike. Ryanne kept the lead to the end (winning a total of 5 hills), but had to ride a flat tire up the entire last hill, which she still scored a point on. After finishing 5th place in 2012, this was Ryanne's first DD win. 

Part way up Canton on her first attempt (right behind Ryanne), DD leader George also broke the rear derailleur hanger on her bike crashing her to the ground. George took her broken bike to a bike shop on Liberty Ave. to be repaired, but decided it had gotten too late for her to go back out onto the course and finish the route alone. She did show up in street clothes on the top of the last hill with her father Thomas & I . Canton really has a way of weeding out (whittling down) the women's field. Twice before, women leading the DD couldn't make Canton. After winning the first 3 hills & still leading after 4 in 2010, Kristen Gohr failed to make Canton despite 4 tries. After winning the first 7 hills (every hill before Canton) in 2012, leader Nicole Cunningham fell off her bike her first attempt up Canton, and quit. Usually Canton is the final cut in the women's DD. All the woman who make it up Canton usually also make all the other hills. 

Back to 2013: On her 7th or 8th try, Danielle Millett finally conquered Canton! Even though Angelina Palermo & Patricia Rich made Canton (and all of the other hills) on their first attempts, they must have waited a while for the hill to clear out because they placed 4th & 5th on Canton. Overall, Erin Yanacek won 4 hills & finished 2nd only 4 points behind winner Ryanne. Karen Brooks was 3rd. Here's a photo of the top 3 women: Ryanne, Yanacek, Brooks & myself at the awards ceremony. Rich was 4th and the first rookie finisher. In 2012, Beth Jameson failed to make all of the hills. Armed with a lower gear, better training, and more determination, Beth came back in 2013, and made every hill her first attempt except Canton (needed 3 tries). At 50 years, 5 months old, she became the new oldest female finisher, and finished 7th place overall. The oldest women to start (both 53) were Cheryl Palermo & Ana Bailie, but neither one made it up all of the hills. The last of the 8 women finishers was Jacqui Ziegler who stokered a tandem captained by her husband Jay. 

To be an official DD finisher, you must ride up every hill 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. Of course when it comes to scoring points and setting DD records, I still have to keep track of this. 

Once again, I had to organize an entire staff to help me run the DD. Thanks to Maura Spillane, Abby Ritter, Monica Reisz, Stef Burch, & Heather Ostrowski for doing registration in the morning. Thanks to Lee-Ann's brother Kevin Beatty (men's) & Carol Moore (women's & single speed) for officiating (scoring points) atop hills. Thanks to Dr. Patty George for letting them use her car. Thanks to Ron Lutz and Dave Shaffer & his daughter Izabella for driving the food vehicles, and organizing the food stops - Millvale's Riverfront Park on the Allegheny River at the bottom of the 4th hill Logan, and at the top of the 8th hill Canton Ave. Thanks again to Brian Wolovich & Millvale Borough for opening up the bathrooms in the library. Thanks again to Steve Mentzer for loaning me his 10 gallon orange coolers and 6 gallon cubes he uses for the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. Thanks to Bike Pittsburgh's Mike Carroll for electronic bullhorns and directing overflow parking at the start. 

Thanks to Glenn Pawlak & Big Bang Bicycles for sponsoring the DD again this year. Unfortunately, Glenn's brother Scott passed away a few weeks before the DD. Here's a photo of marshal Christian Korey, Glenn & I at the start. Driving the BB support vehicle were Evan Robinson & Drew Bauer. Thanks to returning sponsor Eat'n Park and Brooks Broadhurst who made sure there were hot drinks at the start, and plenty of Smuckers Uncrustablespeanut butter & jelly sandwiches at the food stops. Thanks to the Eat'n Park employees who came out to marshal the busy intersections near their restaurant on the course - at Crane Ave. & Banksville Rd. in Beechview. Thanks to returning sponsor Red Bull. Thanks to Gary Baun (Ian's father) for driving the clothing/spare equipment vehicle again. If you lost any clothes, please e-mail him about it at soleman33@aol.com 

Thanks to 4 time DD rider Chris Helbling for doing such a wonderful job as head marshal again on his bike! Other riding marshals were 8 time DD riders Ted King-Smith & Jim Logan, and 3 time DD riders Christian Korey & Mike Carroll. Thanks to the rest of the marshals: Ken Kaszak, Mikhail Evstiounin, Stef Burch, Dan Blumenfeld, Cliff Spiegel, Stuart Strickland, John Arita, Justin Schell, Sarah Quesen, Faris Kindilchie, Liz Mowrey, and (even though he wasn't wearing a bright vest) Bob {looks like Al from "Home Improvement" TV show with Tim Allen} Bliss (Aaron's father) in Beechview. Here's a photo of Dan B., Jim Logan, Stef Burch & Sarah Q.marshaling the bottom of Rialto St. (Pig Hill). If I left anybody else out, please tell me who you are. Thanks to Fineview Citizens Council board president June Lloyd, Christine Grenci, Hope Burns, and Tom & Debbie Reay (Andrew & Aaron's parents) for placing encouragement signs, and setting up water, Gatorade & snacks atop of Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess - the single toughest DD hill! 

1,099 people have ridden (started) the DD over the past 30 years. 31 riders graduated to my 3 or more DDs ridden list. The riders with the most DD's riding this year were myself (with 30), Ray Russell (with 13). Stevo & Bryan Routledge (each with 11), and Ryan Borcz, Jeff Grimm & Ed DeLuca (all with 10). 

30th Anniversary DD Jersey Order Info

Congrats to all the riders who conquered every hill. To those who didn't, train harder next year and bring a lower gear. If you have say over 50 DD photos in a Facebook album and would like to share them, please send the link to me at DanChew@yahoo.com and I will put them in my media links section. Could somebody with an advanced GPS unit please send me a file with the entire (oval to oval) 50 mile DD route on it with a cue sheet at least as nice as this one? I need to replace the old one (Liberty Tunnels used to be on the course) on my website. 

[See the full post at Danny Chew]