Article by Pittsburgh Tribune Review Newspaper Writer Karen Price:
2007 DD Photos: Shot by Shannon Kaple. Upon log in, the password is "DD07"
2007 DD Photos: Shot by Matt Pascal's girlfriend Molly Schachner.
2007 DD Photos: Shot by Kevin Madzia.
2007 DD Photos: Shot by Brad Quartuccio.
2007 DD YouTube Videos: Shot by Chris Popovic.
2007 DD Ed Krall Videos: Jake Lifson & John Minturn Interview Riders.
2007 DIRTY DOZEN RESULTS
The 25rd Annual Dirty Dozen was held on Saturday, November 24th. Despite a high temperature of just 36 degrees F and variable cloudy skies, a record 131 riders (including 3 women) started. 64 rookies (49% of the field) tackled Pittsburgh's steepest hills. I decided to go 10 places (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) deep on points instead of the usual 5. This allowed 28 people (21% of the field) to score points. However, only 9 (32%) of the points scorers were rookies. Only 16 people scored (real points according to Steve Cummings) top 5 place points. A record 13 riders graduated to my prestigious multiple (3 or more) DD list, which now has 67 people. A record twelve riders 50 years or older started. 67 year old Jack Stitt tied Roger Brockenbrough's oldest starter record.
The longest anybody has ever taken to come back to the DD is now almost 24 years. My old high school riding buddy Jonathan Pratt rode the 2nd DD with Scott Dismukes & I back in January, 1984. After living in Colorado for many years, Pratt finally moved back to the area, and returned to the DD this year - even managed to score some points. This year was Andy Mor's 3rd DD. His last one was in 2001, and in 2000, he won 3 hills and finished 4th. This year was Eric Dobratz's 7th DD. His last one was in 2002, and his first one 1994. He has won Berryhill twice.
After shooting his mouth off on the Internet, 1999 DD winner Ryan McDermitt found out that Steve Cummings & Mike Stubna (only riders to score points on every hill) are still the best hill climbers in Pittsburgh. After going out too hard on the first hill, McDermitt was seen vomiting by the road side. Winning 7 hills, Cummings dominated (except for Stubna tying for the lead after 3 hills) the entire event, winning his 4th consecutive DD and tying my record. Having recently moved to Philadelphia, Stubna got his 2nd consecutive 2nd place finish. Having survived a Chew Fall double century, Joe Vallese placed 3rd. McDermitt won the 4 sprinter hills, and finished 4th. For my prerace predictions, I picked the correct top 4 people, but in the wrong order.
McDermitt wrote this post DD e-mail letter:
"This was the last string in the DD trash talk and where I must face the proverbial music. Steve Cummings refused to be lored into our string of trash talk and saved all of his effort for the bike. He won the 1st hill and never looked back on a start to finish leaders run of the DD. If my memory serves correct, he also scored points on every single hill despite a record field of 131 riders. Job well done Steve!"
I was unaware that Ryan had an accident (other than vomiting) between the first two hills until after the DD, when he wrote me this e-mail:
"I'm not one for excuses and while the crash did cost me being able to contest hill #2, I wouldn't have beaten Steevo anyway. For your reference, once I stopped puking after hill #1, I was about 30 seconds off the back. I road through the cars and was riding through the field. On the steep roller (connecting hill) between hill #1 & #2, I was just left of the center line when a rider threw his gears, swung left and crashed into me. He went down and I locked it up and had to come to a full stop. I got back on my bike again at the back of the field and started to chase through again. I was up to about 12th place at the bottom of hill #2, but my heartrate was pegged from chasing through 120 riders spread out over a mile of road twice. I never had a chance to contest the hill fresh so I just spun up it. From that point on, I changed my direction to winning hills. I tried to win hills #3 (successful), #5 (finished 4th), #6 (successful), 9 (successful), and 11 (successful)."
Three rookies rounded out the top 8. Zak Kovalcik scored points on 10 hills, and finished 5th. Riding the same new bike (a red & black, carbon fiber, Specialized Roubaix) as me, Jacob McCrea lost his brake shoes on the 5th hill - Logan in Millvale, and rode the rest of the DD with only a front brake. Part way up the narrow hill, the media vehicle (containing 3 time ACA Club Criterium Champ Jake Lifson, DD hill winner John Minturn, & Ed Krall) stopped to shoot video, and a guy driving down the hill froze/stopped - creating a bottleneck, which only one rider could get through at a time. Words were shouted at the media personnel as the majority of the field (including myself) had to stop and wait their turn through. It must have taken about 5 minutes for everyone to pass by. While stopped with his brakes on (to keep from drifting back down the hill), McCrea's rear brake pads (obviously open ended) must have shot out. Philadelphia Dirty Dozen (first one was 3 weeks before my DD) organizer Colin Sandberg scored points on 8 hills, and finished 8th.
After scoring zero points on his first DD last year (although he did shoot some good YouTube videos), Chris Mayhew returned with a vengence, and scored points on 10 hills to a 6th place finish. Big Ring Bobby (1986 DD winner and co-founder Bob Gottlieb known for riding the hilly Pittsburgh area in his big chainring) did the 3rd hill - Berryhill in his big chainring again, but was reduced to using his little chainring up the other hills. Gottlieb placed 2nd on 3 hills, finished 9th place overall, and was the first 40+ rider. This was also Gottlieb's 10th DD! I rounded out the top 10, scoring real points on 3 hills. My new 10 place deep points system hurt me the most - I would have beaten Sandberg, McCrea, & Mayhew, and finished 7th had I kept my old 5 place deep points policy.
A big thanks goes to official Mark Powder and his helper Ryan Ross (rider Sean's brother) who had to work twice as hard with 10 place points. Usually all points scorers on the first 5 hills and all former DD winners get to do the first heat on narrow hill #6 Rialto (Pig Hill), which we go down and come back up, but because of the new 10 place points system, there were too many people to stage at once, so only the top dozen points scorers and myself did the first heat. Thanks to David Petrou who marshalled the busy Rt. 28/31st St. Bridge intersection at the bottom of Pig Hill while the rest of the huge field rode down and up.
After the toughest hill - #7 Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess, rookie Dustin Wehler crashed, broke his hand, and had to be picked up. After famous Sycamore St. (Lance Armstrong won 3 Thrift Drug Classic races up it), we took group photos at a Mt. Washington overlook, where Mark Powder had us all take a moment of silence for my father Hal Chew who died back in March. The next hill - 37% cobblestoned Canton Avenue was a points disaster since we beat Powder & Ross there. In the lead points group, Gottlieb broke his chain and crashed. Finishing together, McDermitt & Vallese were each given 10 points and deemed co-winners. 5th and 7th-10th place points were given as best guesses after riders who thought they were in the top 10 lobbied Powder & Ross. A nearly constant flow of riders attempting the hill (some more than once and some crashing) gave Gottlieb enough time to fix his chain and conquer the hill on his 2nd attempt. Back in the 1980s (when Steve Cummings was a child), Gottlieb & I kept setting multiple time records on Canton, finally ending with my two hour 66 times up and down (still standing) record.
Jeremy Kirchin won the traditional sprint out of the Liberty Tunnels. Between the last two hills on Becks Run Road, 45 miles into my ride, I rode my historic Millionth Lifetime Kilometer (621,371 miles)! 4 person Team RAAM finisher this year Bob Ansell whipped out his cell phone to take some photos. The BIG GUY on the DD this year was two time solo RAAM finisher - 6'8" tall & 230 pound Matt Bond of Dayton, Ohio. He was trying to tie Maurice Tierney's heaviest DD finisher record set last year, but the 10th hill (Boustead) got Bond. After my millionth K, I blew my whistle to signify the early (5 miles before the top) start of the last hill - Flowers/Tesla. After the lead big pack reeled in Joe Vallese (on a solo break) on Rt. 837, sprinter Jared Babik & 15 year old Eddie Grystar Jr. broke away on the Glenwood Bridge across the Monongahela River. By the time we turned right and started climbing, they had about a 30 second lead. Although our lead points pack was gaining on them the entire way up the hill, they barely held on and Babik won his first DD hill with weaving Eddie taking 2nd.
Thanks to Trizilla Hummer support vehicle driver Chris Popovic who also shot YouTube video on 6 hills. On the 9 minute video on the top of the last hill, I counted over 90 riders either riding or walking up the final steep pitch. After my 4th place finish, I rode down the hill to ride back up with the last rider. On the steep section of Tesla, I broke my chain and crashed (bloodying my elbow). A resident on the hill, Carroll Kelly gave me a rag to hold my broken chain in as I walked up (pushing my bike) to the top of the hill. As Mark Powder was reading race results, I was busy fixing my chain so that I could ride back to the Washington Blvd. Track/Oval. I'm sorry I didn't get to say my many thank you's.
Thanks to food/drink vehicle people Steve Revilak & Babs Peterson. Babs also helped me with registration and she marshalled the dangerous intersection on Saxonburg Blvd. at the bottom of hill #3 - Berryhill. Thanks to Steve Mentzer & Don Erdeljac for loaning me their orange 10 gallon coolers used on the Rachel Carson Hiking Trail Challenge. Thanks to Billy Kanarek for donating all of the pop again even though he didn't ride this year. Thanks also to Ryan McDermitt's sister Shannon who shot 334 photographs. Finally, thanks to all the riders for coming and keeping the big group together through the neutral sections between the hills.
34 year old Bill McNelis finished his 2nd DD this year. I have been told that I don't give non-points scorers enough ink. Please let this post DD e-mail letter I receiced from Bill be the voice of all you courageous middle/back of the pack DD finishers. Who's to say that finishing is any less difficult for Bill as scoring points is for me or even winning is for Steve Cummings?
"I have to say thanks again for throwing this party every year. This year was only my second time, but I loved/hated/loved it again. I finished stronger than last year - in no small part due to learning the 'trick' to getting up Canton (hard right!...last year it took 4 tries - this year got it on the first try). I'm not a super-serious cyclist like a lot of guys in the DD (just bought my road bike in April 06), so for me, just finishing that beast of a ride (with a 39x25 low gear - and straight up each hill, no tacking back and forth) is very hard."
"But that is the whole point. For me, the DD is more than just 'I rode up some ridiculously steep hills.' It is a pretty personal thing. I tend to doubt myself a lot, and I look at the DD as being a metaphor for what I can do when I grab myself by the balls and say 'I am going to do this, and I'm going to do it right, and I'm not going to quit no matter fucking what.' For about 2 weeks after the DD (both years) I feel like nothing and no one can touch me. And the feeling comes back when I think about it later, and I love having that."
"Last year my legs were cramping on the last 4 hills - hard on Flowers/Tesla, but I pushed through and finished all 13 hills - JUST BARELY. The feeling afterwards was amazing (aside from cramping with every pedal stroke on the ride home) and I knew I was gonna do it again next (this) year. And finishing it stronger this year just makes it all that much better. Nobody can take a DD finish from you - once you've done it, you get to keep it forever as a reminder of what you're capable of. No matter what happens for the rest of my life, I have that inner knowledge of what I can push through and endure when I focus and decide I'm not going to give up. To a RAAM winner that probably sounds hilarious, I know, but for me it's a big deal. What has probably at this point become just a yearly party and points contest for you and some of the other DD heavyweights, stands out for me to be one of the most valuable experiences of my life, and metaphorically, as a rock-solid foot hold for what I hope will be a bigger kind of climbing I'll be doing in life later on."
"So, if you ever wonder what some of the guys who disappear behind you when you blow the whistle are thinking - well, now you what it means to one of them - and between last year and this year, I told everyone I ride with, 'If you are even *thinking* about doing the Dirty Dozen, DO IT.' So thanks for being insane enough to come up with the idea - and I'm sure anyone else who has finished it thanks you too - even if it sounds more like they're cursing you out for their screaming lower back pain. VIVA LA DIRTY DOZEN!"
Congratulations to Steve Cummings for winning. His cyclocross training and racing kept him very fit. Congrats to all the riders who finished - making it up every hill without stopping except for the forced bottleneck stop on Logan. You have now tamed the monstrous beast known as the Dirty Dozen, and now know what steep hills really are. I was very impressed with pro cyclocross racer Barbarella Howe who grew up in Pittsburgh (Highland Park), and now lives in California. The strongest woman to ride the DD, she floated up every hill, beat me up 6 hills, and may have had some top 15-20 hill finishes. Well known on the Internet as the "Queen of the Galaxy", Howe writes diaries for CyclingNews.com. Read her diary entry about her first Dirty Dozen experience at:
Barbarella Howe's DD Cycling News Diary:
3 Time DD Finisher Ted King-Smith's Article:
. . Hill # . STARTERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Total 1 Steve Cummings 10 10 6 10 10 8 10 10 7 10 9 9 4 113 2 Mike Stubna 9 9 8 6 9 3 9 5 8 8 8 10 8 100 3 Joe Vallese 8 7 7 9 8 7 . 7 10 7 7 4 . 81 4 Ryan McDermitt 7 . 10 . 7 10 . . 10 . 10 . . 54 5 *Zak Kovalcik 6 6 . . 5 1 7 9 . 4 4 7 5 54 6 Chris Mayhew . 8 4 3 . 4 6 8 . 6 5 5 1 50 7 *Jacob McCrea 2 . . 8 . 6 . 6 5 5 6 3 . 41 8 *Colin Sandberg 3 5 5 5 6 . 2 4 3 . . . . 33 9 Bob Gottlieb . . 9 . 4 9 . . . 9 . . . 31 10 Daniel Chew . . . . . . 8 . . . . 8 7 23 11 Sean Ross 5 . . 7 . . 5 . . . . . . 17 12 Jared Babik . 4 . . . . . . . 2 . . 10 16 13 *Carl Flink . . . . . . . 3 . . 3 6 3 15 14 Eddie Grystar Jr. . . . . . . 1 1 . . . . 9 11 15 John Heffner . . 3 2 . 5 . . . 1 . . . 11 16 John Brockenbrough . . . . 2 . 4 . . . . 2 2 10 . *Brian Trdina . . 2 4 . 2 . 2 . . . . . 10 18 *Kevin Rutledge 4 3 . . . . . . . . 1 . . 8 19 Eric Hodos 1 . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7 20 Mike Culley . . . . . . . . 6 . . . . 6 21 Jonathan Pratt . . . . 3 . . . . 3 . . . 6 22 *Mathew Younkins . 1 . . . . 3 . . . . 1 . 5 23 *Rhett Cherkin . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . 4 24 Jeremy Kirchin . . 1 1 . . . . . . 2 . . 4 25 Stuart Ferguson . 2 . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . *Spencer Samstag . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . 2 27 Greg Ellis . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . 1 . Todd Edmunds . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . 1 29 Eric Dobratz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ray Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Bryan Routledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Joe Ross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 David Petrou . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Henry Dimmick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Mark Briercheck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Ed DeLuca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Jeff Grimm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Jeremy Cornman 39 Scott Dismukes 40 Edward King-Smith 41 Bill Ehler 42 Lance Kennelty 43 Bob Andra 44 Jonathan Fox 45 Andrew Mor 46 Josh Friedlander 47 Bob Milyak 48 Dennis Lederwood 49 Tim Drook 50 Jim Logan 51 Paul Stevenson 52 Mike Helbling 53 Brent Heitzenroder 54 Bob Ansell 55 Matt Pascal 56 Dave Coulson 57 Scott Ogden 58 Mark Jakybowycz 59 Ted McPherson 60 Brian McCandless 61 Jim Andreyo 62 Matt Grove 63 John Wiesemann 64 Paul Fiorino 65 Ed Grystar 66 Robert McMasters 67 Dan Schar 68 Robbie Sedgewick 69 Bill McNelis 70 Mark Bailey 71 Bill McNally 72 John Steers 73 Nick Lubecki 74 Mike Wagner 75 Kevin Madzia 76 CAROL CLEMENS 77 *BARBARELLA HOWE 78 *EMILY MACKAY 79 *Tim Heck 80 *Jeremiah Wann 81 *Del Kovacevic 82 *Joe Sroka 83 *Matt Mayhew 84 *Matt Bond 85 *Mike Burchianti 86 *Jeff Remaley 87 *Dustin Wehler 88 *Dave Curry 89 *Larry Popeck 90 *Kent Watson 91 *Robert Madden 92 *Michael Low 93 *Fred Klehm 94 *John Havel 95 *Joe DeLucia 96 *Jeremiah Gantzer 97 *Jerry Chessman 98 *Billy Chessman 99 *Chris Newport 100 *Joe Morris 101 *Scott Reckless 102 *Nick Hall 103 *Joe Fotia 104 *Pat Steckman 105 *Jack Stitt 106 *Max Kellogg 107 *Dave Torick 108 *Kraig Diehl 109 *Brad Quartuccio 110 *Sam Morrison 111 *Dave Rust 112 *Jason Draper 113 *Xavier Szigethy 114 *Rick Neff 115 *Daniel Reid 116 *Matt Stidle 117 *Dan Doan 118 *Benjamin Stephens 119 *Michael Smith 120 *Jason Goldberg 121 *Bob Stumpf 122 *Steven Kurpiewski 123 *Stephen Stubna 124 *Mike Halahan 125 *Andrew Hollis 126 *Dan Reiner 127 *Karl Rosengarth 128 *Volker Musahl 129 *Dale Harris 130 *Brian DiSalle 131 *Lynn K. Shields . ................................ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Total . . Hill #
* denotes a first timer or rookie
ALL CAPS denotes a woman rider
If two riders end up with the same point total at the end, the tie breaker
is who has more wins, 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, & 5ths if needed.
Hill Wins Steve Cummings 7 Ryan McDermitt 4 Mike Stubna 1 Joe Vallese 1 Jared Babik 1 .