2016 Dirty Dozen Bicycle Ride on Saturday, November 26th

What: The 34th Annual Dirty Dozen Bicycle Ride up 13 of the Pittsburgh area's steepest hills

Where: Registration, check-in and ride start are at the Bud Harris Cycling Track, 1401 Washington Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

When: Early online registration is open now. Registration and check-in start at 8:00 am on the day of the event, November 26th. Groups of riders depart from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, competitors first. Registration for competitors ends at 8:45 am.

Background of the 2016 event—Danny Chew injured
2016 media links
** New info **
** New info—third hill changed **
Food stops
** New info **
Support vehicles
** New info—lead group follow vehicle to carry spare wheels **
Points competition
Official 2016 Dirty Dozen Jerseys
New this year
Please support our sponsors!

Background of the 2016 event

Danny Chew was seriously injured in a cycling accident near Lodi, OH on September 4
th. He suffered a spinal cord injury and currently has no feeling or control below mid-chest level. He is undergoing rehabilitative therapy in Chicago. Danny has made it clear he wants the Dirty Dozen ride to be held this year, and he has lots of new and returning volunteers to make it happen. Proceeds from the ride will go towards Danny's expenses. If you're willing to donate more to this cause then please do so at YouCaring.com. If you and/or other cycling friends will be in the Chicago area between now and December 1st then consider giving Danny a visit—he would like the additional company. You can request details by sending your information to DanChew@yahoo.com.

2016 media links

11/18: Sean Hamill's article on Danny and Attila Domos in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Twist of fate flips the role for iconic Pittsburgh cyclist Danny Chew

11/22: Bill Donahue's article on Danny and the DD in Outside Magazine: Danny Chew Won't Let Paralysis Keep Him From Riding 1,000,000 Miles

11/26: *** Cycling Fusion's live broadcast of the Dirty Dozen on their Facebook page! ***

11/26: Colin Sandberg plans to live-stream the Dirty Dozen from inside the ride via his action camera.


The deadline for pre-registration has passed. For convenience, you can still register online until 11:59 pm on Thursday, November 24 by paying the full $40 entry fee. We will email acknowledgements for all submissions, but may be slow with paper entries.

With PayPal, send the funds to DanChew@yahoo.com. In the PayPal note include the names, ages, genders, e-mail addresses, and number of DDs ridden (including this year) of the people you are registering. Print out the Liability Waiver, one copy for each rider, have each rider sign one, and bring the waiver(s) with you when you check in on event day. We will have extra forms if needed.

Those wanting to compete should indicate so and provide qualifications.

Entry fees are non-refundable if the DD is held on Saturday, November 26, 2016. Although the event has never been called off due to weather, accumulating snow or ice could lead to cancellation.


The registration fee is $40. After the pre-registration deadline you can still register online as instructed above until 11:59 pm on Thursday, November 24. Otherwise, register in person on event day starting at 8:00 am. Cash or checks are ok. You can save time by printing and filling out the Liability Waiver in advance. Plan to register at least 45 minutes before your expected ride departure time. Competing riders will leave at 9:00 am. Other strong riders should plan to leave in groups in the range of 9:00 to 9:30 am, and remaining riders will leave in groups from 9:30 to 10:00 am.


On event day those who have registered in advance will only need to pick up their numbers, and sign waivers if they haven't already. Helmet numbers are to be mounted on the front, center of your helmet, just above the brim. These will be needed for identification throughout the ride. Competitors will also receive frame numbers, which are to be mounted towards the front of the bikes' top tubes where they are clearly visible from either side. You must mount these to receive points!


Parking is available where the ride starts, at the Bud Harris Cycling Track. This is where the ACA holds weekly criterium races in the summer. Overflow parking is available in the gravel lot to the north, between the track and Allegheny River Blvd. If you live nearby then please try to ride to the start, or carpool so we don't run out of parking spaces. Parking in many locations along Beechwood Blvd. is also an option. Beechwood Blvd. is used to transit from the last hill back to the track. If you park on Beechwood then you can ride to the track as a warm-up, and have less distance to your vehicle after the last hill.

Please avoid parking or rider pick-ups at the top of the last hill—Flowers/Kilbourne/Tesla. The congestion antagonizes the local residents. Group leaders will escort groups of riders from the last hill back to the track.


The route is about 50 miles if you include the section back to the track from the final hill. Typically the ride takes at least 5 hours to complete because of the stops and the easy pace between the hills. Most or all of the route can be toured virtually with Street View on Google Maps.

**** O'Hara Township has barricaded the usual third hill, Berryhill Road, for the season. We are planning to include Christopher Street as a replacement. This requires crossing the 62
nd Street Bridge to get to the new hill, completing a loop and then returning to Etna for the usual fourth hill: High Street/Seavey Road. This change has a minimal effect on the overall distance of the ride. Christopher Street is a respectable climb of about 240 feet. The whistle will be blown on 57th Street.

Click here for a listing of the hills, history of the event, and former winners.

Click here for a version of the route stored on the Garmin website. This may be transferred to Garmin devices and will be updated as the route is finalized. It can be used for training on all the hills.

Click here for the Strava page of the route.

Click here for the RideWithGPS page of the route, which includes directions.

Click here for a cue sheet of the old route (do not ride through the Liberty Tunnels).


Danny recommends a low gear of 39x27 for racers, and 34x28 or lower for recreational riders. These assume 700c wheels.

Food stops

There are two food stops. The first is at Millvale's Riverfront Park on the Allegheny River. This is at the bottom of the fifth hill, Logan Street. There will be three portable toilets in the area, and the Three Rivers Rowing Association is also allowing us to use its boathouse facility. Please give female riders priority access. The second stop is at the top of the ninth hill, Canton Avenue. There will be two portable toilets near the end of the street. Snacks and drinks will be provided to registered riders at both locations.

Support vehicles

Ride sponsor Big Bang Bicycles will have two vehicles on the route to provide mechanical assistance. One will follow the lead group and the other will move between the groups of riders, providing assistance as needed. We will have a separate follow vehicle that can carry a reasonable number of spare wheels. This is primarily to be used for flat tires that require only a short stop by the vehicle. Lead group riders can check a set of spare wheels or other items with this vehicle until 8:45 am. Items can be reclaimed further along on Tesla Street until about 30 minutes after the leaders have arrived, and later, back at the track.

Points competition

The lead group of riders will contain those qualified riders wanting to compete for points on the contested hills. The number of positions available for men in the lead group is limited, so those wanting to compete are strongly encouraged to (pre-) register early and must indicate their desire to be in the lead group. Those who have scored points in and finished any of the previous four events (2012-15) are automatically qualified. Others must provide evidence that they are likely to be competitive. Points won in earlier years will be considered, along with bike-racing category, results and references. Strava finish times will be considered if submitted with pre- or advance registration. Those who are not pre-qualified are much less likely to be in the points competition if they wait until the day of the event to register.

Because of their limited numbers, this year all female riders are pre-qualified to start with the lead group if they so choose. However, all riders will need to have very good fitness or face being left behind.

The pace between the hills is neutral and riders must stay together. When approaching the start of a hill, riders must stay even with or behind the riding official who signals hill starts. The official blows a whistle at the beginning of each contested hill. Only then may riders go as hard as they want to the top in an attempt to score points, while still remaining alert for road hazards and traffic. For the men, a ten-place points system (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1) will be used at the top of each hill to determine overall podium positions. For the women, a five-place points system (5, 4, 3, 2, & 1) will be used at the top of each hill to determine overall podium positions. The competing women will ride with the men and will be distinguished by their numbers and by pink ribbons around their handlebars.

To remain eligible for a placing in the points competition riders must successfully ride every hill and finish the final hill within 20 minutes of the first finisher. Successfully riding a hill means the rider makes continuous uphill progress to the top under his own power and the only contact points with the ground are the two wheels; falling down, putting a foot down, grabbing poles or other stationary objects, jockeying in place, etc. are disqualifying, and the hill must be restarted from the bottom if any of these occur. Riders not making the final hill time cutoff will retain their points, but will be ranked below finishers arriving in time. Again this year there will be a three-place prize list for men and women riders based on total points. The breakdown will be:

1st woman - $ 150
2nd woman - $ 100
3rd woman - $ 50

1st man - $ 150
2nd man - $ 100
3rd man - $ 50

If two or more riders have the same point totals then a tiebreaker will be applied: Whoever has the greater number of higher placings, starting with the highest, wins the tie. For example, a rider with a single 9
th-place hill finish receives two points and wins the tie against a rider with two 10th-place finishes who also receives a total of two points.

Rule violations are subject to penalties applied at the discretion of the officials, and may range from loss of points on one hill to disqualification from the points competition.

Official 2016 Dirty Dozen Jerseys

Jerseys are available from Aero Tech. Proceeds will benefit Danny.

New this year

There will be some minor changes in the ride to promote greater safety and to accommodate a large number of riders in the event we have good weather. Please monitor this page to keep abreast of the changes, as some decisions are yet to be made.

The following changes are definite:

• The ride will be separated at the start into groups of approximately 50 riders, each with at least one volunteer who knows the route.
• The first group will leave the track at 9:00 am. This group will contain qualified males and females planning to compete for points.
• We anticipate that the lead group will complete the ride between 1 ½ and 2 ½ hours earlier than in recent years. One hour is gained from the earlier start. With smaller groups the hilltop waits will be less, especially for the stronger groups. The allowance for the lead group will likely be five minutes after the first hilltop finisher.
• The downhill and flat competitive sections are removed (Brownshill Rd., Rts. 837/885). Although these sections were fun, the high speeds involved led to safety issues that were difficult to address given the open roads and the varying bike-handling skills of the participants.
• We will have numbers for the participants this year.
• The pre-registration deadline is moved to the Monday before the event. Online registration is still possible until Thursday.
• There will be a time cutoff on the final hill for the points competition.

The following items are still under consideration:

• The qualifications needed to be in the lead, competitive group. Most who scored points in the past four events are pre-qualified. Others must supply information suggesting they can be competitive. Waiting until event day is not recommended.
• Which riders will be in which of the following groups. Of necessity there may be an element of “first-come, first-served.” However, matching riders by strength is desirable, with stronger groups departing earlier. Therefore, stronger riders should aim to start the ride between 9:00 and 9:30 am; other riders can aim to start between 9:30 and 10:00 am.
• The intervals between departure times for the different groups. These will be adjusted to ensure everyone is underway by 10:00 am.

A big thanks to the new and returning sponsors:

Aero Tech Designs

Big Bang Bicycles

Cycling Fusion

Eat'n Park Restaurants

Millvale Borough

NuGo Nutrition

Red Bull Energy Drink

Three Rivers Rowing Association

The official DD after party will again be held at Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe at 2518 E. Carson St. on the South Side at 7 pm.