Starts this Saturday, December 20th at 10 a.m. and ends at 3:59 p.m. on Dec. 24th!
You can find all the details right HERE.
Unless you live in Pittsburgh there is no way to anticipate what the Dirty Dozen will actually be like. The ride sniffs out the 13 steepest roads in the Pittsburgh – which by nature makes them 13 of the steepest roads on the continent. The crown jewel of the ride is Canton Avenue, arguably the steepest road in the world at 37% grade. Ask anyone who has finished the DD about which climbs were the toughest, though, and they will likely name at least 2 or 3 other hills first. Organized by “The Million Mile Man” and 2 time RAAM winner Danny Chew, the ride is more than a calculating test of endurance; it’s an intimate experience with the topography, construction, and history of an incredibly rich cultural city. There’s a human interest story behind each of these quirky roads and the unique lives behind the people that spend their lives on them. In order to become part of it you must be willing to toil and suffer. Put in the hard work and you will be welcome without question provided the rugged landscape doesn’t swallow you whole.
I call the Dirty Dozen a ride because for 85% of the 300+ participants this year it was just that. For a select few, the DD is a points race. The first 10 finishers on each hill receive points from ten (for 1st place) to one (for 10th) and at the end of the race the rider who has collected the most points wins. The scoring is irrelevant for most since the points are usually distributed between the same 20-something riders but there are other odd rules that affect everybody, most important being the “forward motion” rule. Any rider that puts a foot on the ground loses their position and must start riding the hill over again. From the bottom. Luckily the race is “neutralized” between the hill climbing efforts, meaning that the leaders wait at least ten minutes at the top of each hill for everyone who can make it to make it. The group rides at a slow pace between hills that gets gradually slower as the day drags on.
Nick and I drove out to Pittsburgh after deciding less than a week beforehand to do the Dirty Dozen. Nick brought his Surly Cross Check with single 38 tooth chainring in the front and a 12-32 cassette in the back. I rode my Scott Addict (repaired by the one and only Aaron Ritz) with a compact crank (50/34) and a 12-27 cassette. We both set out with the intention of finishing every hill honoring the “no foot down or you start over” rule. I, fueled with bravado about my climbing abilities and dreaming in carbon fiber, also had a crazy notion about finishing in the top ten on at least one hill. Since I haven’t found any truly detailed reports about the race and each hill, I decided to write a full report, including as many details and minutiae of the experience as I can muster. Hopefully it can serve as a guide for anyone who is thinking about doing the race. Check it out after the jump, hill by hill (with some pictures).
Brompton Urban Challenge 2014: Philadelphia
Where in the Dickens can you find that famous writer’s statue, and a street made of wood, and a two-ton brass eagle, and a London double-decker bus? Philadelphia, of course, where a squadron of intrepid Bromptoneers took part in the Brompton Urban Challenge—a scavenger hunt using the world’s best folding bicycle.
The event—the first in the U.S.—was modeled after the Brompton Urban Challenges held in Milan and London, and now spreading worldwide. Six teams—formed on the spot, schoolyard style—gathered in front of Trophy Bikes to pick up their clues.
They fanned out all over Philly and—astonishingly—cracked every clue before meeting up at Bridgewaters Pub inside 30th Street Station for a pint and a prize ceremony.
Riders cracked every riddle, including: “Curtis has a fine moustache—won’t take credit, just takes cash. Find his classic cycle shop and shake his hand….”
The very next day, Trophy hosted another, higher-calorie event—the Brommie Yummie—a ride which uses Bromptons to explore Philadelphia’s foodie world. Federal Donuts—check. Lemon Hill Bike Race Bar-B-Q? Check. Paesano’s grilled sandwiches? Double-check. Brommie Yummies are held every month in New York City—you can find our about them here.
Last month’s events were just the beginning. The Brompton U.S. Championship is coming to Washington D.C. July 11-13. It’s an easy Amtrak ride from Philadelphia, offering three days of fun—a Friday opening night party, a Brompton Urban Challenge on Saturday and the Brompton World Championship on Sunday, July 13. As always, Brompton will fly the fastest man and woman to England to race in the Brompton World Championship. Best-Dressed and Fast Fold competitions will also be part of the mix.
One of the more robust (but pretty much unproductive) expressions of my bike-obsessed yet unabashedly supercheap temperament is the ritual scouring of craislist for sw33t d3als. While I may be hunting for 64cm frames or suntour bar-end shifters, the pages through which I scroll are sometimes sprinkled with gems that I could not have made up if I tried. Everything from egregious misspellings to overtly stolen bikes, from NOS vintage pantographed quill stems to a red reflector listed for $10— I plan to collect those gems and post them here for your entertainment. or perhaps purchasing? Here we go! “18 speed frame Pacific Evolution – $1 (Upper Darby)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4400810674.html
Best offer mountain speed vortex brakes
Nice. Surely the effort you spent photographing and listing this, uh, bicycle shaped object is worth more than $ 1 USD ?? —– “1988 HUTCH HPV Superbike BMX – $3000 (Claymont)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4423028137.html
I have a rare 1988 Hutch HPV Superbike completely original set up as Replica Downhill speed record holder serious calls only to John 302 268 5025 $3000.00 open to trades on other Schwinn Stingray Bikes Krates
***WINNER*** !!! ***WINNER*** —– “Cyco cycles three wheel bike – $50 (philadelphia)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4391033293.html
Cyco cycles bike its a three wheel bike in great shape. Yellow three wheel bike go Like new condition Hardly ridden 50.00 Must see Need nothing but a rider 215 356 797six Asap obo Pick up today
A Springtime Haiku An Interesting machine Listing puzzles me – Like new condition A Yellow Three Wheel Bike Go Must see? You Don’t Say —– “Cateye Sigma Computer Spoke Magnet – $5 (south philly)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4377820490.html
Wheel magnets for Sigma and Cateye cyclocomputer, but should work for most others as well.
This would be from south philly. —– “EVEL KNIEVEL STUNT CYCLE” VERY COOL KIDS BIKE CR-2X” – $125 (WILLOW GROVE)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4416379286.html
WOW THE “EVEL KNIEVEL STUNT CYCLE” . WELL THAT’S WHAT I CALL IT AND IT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE IT . THE BIKE IS A VINTAGE 90’S ROAD MASTER CR-2X COASTER BIKE WITH MAG WHEELS AND REAL LOOKING GAUGES, MIRIORS AND TURN SIGNALS (NON FUNCTIONING) . IT IS IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE . A SUPER COOL BIKE .THAT IS VERY HARD TO FIND YOU KIDS WON’T GET OFF IT . YES I STILL HAVE IT , PLEASE DON’T TELL ME YOU ARE BUYING IT AND DON’T SHOW UP ! PLEASE CALL 267-781-0557
WOW INDEED. THIS BIKE FULLY DESERVES ALL CAPS LOOK HOW C000L IT IS !!! —– “11t Cassette Cog – $10 (s.philly)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4411959652.html
New 11t Shimano 8 speed
See, I bet this is the same guy as that cateye magnet seller. Seriosuly dude? What would happen if everyone catalogued the bottom tiny scraps of their respective parts bins, photographed each unit, and listed them all individually for $10 each? —- “garge sale ( limerick pa)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4396406081.html (no picture) … “garge sale”.., huh?
JERY: You joined tumblr? GARGE: Oh I’m tumblin, BABY!!! — Seinfeld Current Day (@Seinfeld2000) April 8, 2014
—- “Bike Accessories – $10 (delaware county)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4406542714.html
Here is a vintage Savoy Brake Arm Squeezers 3rd hand. It holds the brake caliper while adjusting the brake cable. It is still in it’s original unopened package. Also included is a vintage Endless Road Absorber bra for absorbing sweat during training. This is also in its original unopened package. These are being sold together and cash only. Thanks!
Now we’re talkin’ !!! A squeezer AND and absorber! It’s your lucky day!! —– ” XT/XTR 9 Speed shifter/rd – $50 (Bala cynwyd)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4404107228.html
Shimano XT 9 speed trigger shifter Shimano XTR 9 speed rear derailleur *rd is rapid rise, which means it operates in reverse of a standard rd, in the “relaxed” position it is on the bigger gear. Great for climbing as you are shifting to the easier gears more quickly. $50 for the pair, I am in bala cynwyd during the day and Oakes in the evenings.
I like to hope, based on this photo, that it is in fact an integrated shifter+derailleur combo. some lost prototype meant to eliminate shift cables. NEW FOR 1983 THE lightest XTR ever!! we combined the shifter and rear derailleur into ONE UNIT !!! REACH ON DOWN THERE and shift that chain!! — “RE: Brand New ,, Tour De France Packleader Pro Bike (msrp $525) – (Morgantown)” http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4373831780.html
This scammer had this listed a couple months back for $150. Emailed this crook, and never heard back. A week or so later, it’s back on for $220. Guess he raised the price as soon as someone wanted to buy it. Also, he has it on ebay for $199 obo…and he can’t decide what size frame it is. On craigslist, he says it’s 52cm. And on ebay, he says it’s 48cm. Btw, msrp is $352 on walmart.com, not $550.
– Gotta love the righteous fury of a RE:”______” craigslist fighter. So raw. So right. Who are these scammers that they can just come in and sell us “Tour De France” branded “bikes” for “$220″… Honorable Mention: GOOSE-NECK Casket BMX 1″ Quill Stem Gooseneck – $60 (s.philly) –