Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Dirty Dozen

On Saturday I did the Dirty Dozen ride/race. Read about it here and see a map here.

The start was only a few blocks from the apartment and at 10AM, so that was nice. Everyone was complaining about how cold it was, but I thought it was pretty nice, which I attribute to how cold our apartment has been lately (55-60 degrees!). There were 50 people at the start (only 3 women, although one was 46-years-old).

Between the hills everyone would ride together slowly, and then at the base of each climb, the ride leader would blow his whistle and about a dozen guys would race up trying to get the points for the top five finishers while the rest of us just tried to survive. At the top we'd wait for everyone to finish and there was even a car with food and drinks that would drive ahead and wait for us at all the hill tops. Because of all this sitting around and slow riding though, it took us 7 hours to complete the entire 50-mile loop.

Here are some pictures:
Rialto St. One of the steepest, but also one of the shortest.

Forget which one this is, but what you're looking at is only the last section. There was a lot more before this, most of it steeper, but not cobbled.

This is Nick from the Pitt Cycling Club. He was the only one on the ride without an expensive bike and proper clothing and gear, so everyone was impressed and making a big deal about the fact that he could even make it up most of these climbs.

The group on top of Mt. Washington with the city in the background.

A panoramic view of Pittsburgh from atop Mt. Washington.

This is Canton, which at 37% is the steepest in the city and one of the steepest in the world. From an article about the street: Figures can be fuzzy, but the best San Francisco can do are grades of 31.5 percent. The world's steepest claim is made by Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, but its steepest part, according to the town's own Web site, is only 35 percent. See the entire article here.

Another shot from the bottom of Canton. Yes it's very steep, but it's also very short and I was able to do it. A big part of it is having the right technique. Apparently only about half of the riders are able to do it.

From the top of Canton. Notice that the sidewalk is actually steps!

One more of Canton.

This is the last section of the last climb, Tesla. It's hard to really compare the climbs since ones towards the end were made worse by effort already put in on the previous climbs. Couldn't hold the camera still for this shot because I was so tired.


ninny said...

you are awesome - crazy, but awesome!

Max&Reno's parents said...

Unbelievable. Words fail me...Just wish I was there to experience that ride up Canton. (How do you keep from falling backwards??)

Dina's Brothers' Mother's Hubby said...

What kind of donuts were served at the top of the hills?