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Monday, December 7, 2009

Punk Bike Enduro 2009

The punk bike did not disappoint. Frozen mud caked to shifters and gears, bodies covered head to toe with dirt and slime, all sorts of revelry and of course beer!

My goal for the day was to earn at least one punk. Punks are awarded to the top 7 finishers of each stage and can be found hidden throughout the course. With guys racing for points like Chris 'Thick Bikes' Beech, Montanna 'Bananna' Miller and bicycle messengers like Stick Boy and Bare Chested Rob; capturing a top 7 spot in any stage was not going to be easy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Dirty Dozen - Danny Chew's Sadistic 61 Mile Tour of Pittsburgh

This was my first time on the Dirty Dozen, a 61 mile tour of Pittsburgh that includes stage races up 13 of some of the steepest hills in the area. It is the invention of Danny Chew, The Million Mile Man, and two time Race Across America winner. I shouldn't have been surprised by the fierceness and intensity of this challenge but I have to admit, I was a bit coy when it came to the ride. I'm a mountain biker, we live and breathe hill climbs and anything that could be paved, well it just seemed easy. I was wrong. Very wrong. Climbing these hills on a road bike was the hardest thing I've ever done. Nothing has ever been harder.

Many hills were inconceivably steep, but it just wasn't steep that made it so difficult, these hills were impossibly long. Just when I thought nothing could be steeper, I crested the next rise to find the hill was even steeper and longer still. It amazed me that some one thought to build roads up these inclines but such is Pittsburgh.

Hill number 5, Logan Street out of Millvale, was the biggest ego blow. I barely made it to the top struggling to hang on the entire way. The next hill, number 6, was Rialto across Route 28 from the 31st street bridge and rises straight up to Troy Hill. After Rialto I was certain I was never going to make all 13. My legs were spent already and I had another 7 hills and probably 40 more miles to go. Unbelievably, I was able to continue on.

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