This will be the 36th running event which started back in 1983.
Cyclist’s will take on the 13 steepest hills in Pittsburgh ranging from 1/4 mile-1-mile length and 20-37% grades! T
This race is unique because you race from bottom to top of each hill, kind of like Strava segments, but these are real KOMs.
Online registration opens in September. Pre-registration is $30!
In 1983, Dan & Tom Chew and Bob Gottlieb wanted to showcase Pittsburgh's steepest and toughest hills in one ride, never getting more than 10 kilometers away from the center of the city. We searched out hills on Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) maps by counting the 20 foot contour lines/intervals. The closer the lines, the steeper the hill. Sometimes the "road" was merely steps for pedestrian traffic only.
So on Saturday December 17, 1983, the first Dirty Dozen ride was held in 27 degrees F with snow flurries. Among the 5 starters were Oscar Rattenberg and Ron Reider, but only Dan, Tom, and Bob finished. Dan & Tom were deemed the two strongmen of the ride.
When Tom Chew moved away from Pittsburgh in 1985, Dan Chew took over as the ride organizer. Back in the early years (the 80's) a macho attitude prevented any rider from using gears lower than a 42x24. In recent years, the ride has gotten easier due to lower gearing and several of the hills being paved (asphalted) which used to be rough cobblestone or wavy blacktop killing what little momentum the rider had. In recent years, riders have used a 39x32 gear which makes the ride much less taxing on the rider's upper body.
DIRTY DOZEN OFFICIAL FINISHER STATUS
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.