An Interview with Danny Chew: The Dirty Dozen Ride in Pittsburgh
Danny Chew is the two-time winner of the Race Across America (1996 and 1999), the founder of the Dirty Dozen, and an integral part of Pittsburgh’s cycling community.
NuGo is proud to be sponsoring the 33rd annual Dirty Dozen for the first time this year. The Dirty Dozen is a 50-mile ride of the 13 steepest hills in Pittsburgh. We met with Danny to learn more about him and about the Dirty Dozen ride.
1. Tell us about the Dirty Dozen. When and where does it begin?
The race begins at 10:00am (registration begins at 8:00am) on Saturday, November 28, 2015, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Riders meet at the Bud Harris Cycling Track on Washington Boulevard. View an approximate bike route.
And here is a list of the hills in order:
1. Center Ave./Guyasuta Rd. in Aspinwall
2. Ravine St./Sharps Hill in Sharpsburg
3. Berryhill Rd. between Saxonburg Blvd. and Middle Rd.
4. High St./Seavy Rd. in Etna
5. Logan St. in Millvale
6. Pigg Hill/Rialto St. across from the 31st St. Bridge (Eliminated in 2012)
7. Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess Streets on Northside
8. Sycamore St. on Mt Washington
9. Canton Ave in Beechview
10. Boustead St. in Beechview
11. Welsh Way on the Southside
12. Barry/Holt/Eleanor Streets on the Southside
13. Flowers Ave./Kilbourne St./Tesla St. in Hazelwood
2. If a spectator would like to come watch some of the race, what would be a good location and time to catch a couple of the hills?
Here is a good set of hills for a spectator to watch:
Hill 5 - Logan Street in Millvale, around 12:00pm
Hill 7 - Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess Streets on the Northside, around 1:00pm
Hill 9 - Canton Avenue in Beechview, around 2:00pm
Hill 12 - Barry/Holt/Eleanor Streets on the Southside, around 3:30pm
3. We know that safety is very important to you both during the Dirty Dozen and in all of the riding that you do. Do you have any suggestions for other cyclists to assure that everyone stays safe during the Dirty Dozen?
Be aware of other riders stopping or crashing near you. Ride defensively and expect the worst. Cross railroad tracks at close to a 90 degree angle, and be respectful to drivers.
4. Do you have any suggestions for how to prepare in terms of fitness?
Be sure to pace yourself during the race, eating and drinking more than you think you need to. Try at least some of the hills before race day so that you know what to expect.
5. The Dirty Dozen has become a very popular event. How do you feel about that?
In a way I’m concerned about the race becoming too big to manage. Safety of the riders is the top priority. But it does feel great to have created something out of nothing. And the more that people like it, the more I feel like I’ve really created something great.
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