Friday, December 30, 2011

Fwd: 2011 Dirty Dozen Results & Summary Article

8 Links to 2011 DD Articles, Photos, & Videos


The 29th annual Dirty Dozen was held on Saturday, November 26th. With a high temperature of 60 degrees F, mostly cloudy skies, and dry conditions, we had a record turnout of 305 riders! Of these 305 cyclists, 175 (57.4%) were rookies (first timers). A record 47 riders were over 50 years old including ten over 60. A record 16 teenagers. A record women's field of 16. 

Taking 1st & 2nd on the first 2 hills, Steve Cummings (Steevo) and Sam Morrison (started with a fractured wrist he got in a cyclocross race two weeks before) were tied for the lead when Steevo dropped his chain at the bottom of the 3rd hill (Berryhill) forcing him to go to the bottom for a restart. Sam placed 4th giving him a 7 point lead over Steevo. This made Steevo raving at me for going 10 places deep on the points this year. Instead of being down by just 2 points (old 5 place system), defending champ Steevo was down by 7. I explained to him that Sam could have a similar mishap on future hills such as Canton which causes many crashes even among the leaders. On the next 3 hills, Steevo was only able to gain one point on Sam on each hill, but on the toughest hill (#7 - Suffolk), Steevo won and Sam scored no points. This gave Steevo the lead again which he held to the end (winning 5 hills) for his record 8th consecutive DD win. Because of his fractured wrist, Sam stopped on the next hill (#8 - Sycamore) atop of which he quit. 

Finishing in 2nd & 3rd place were 5 time DD riders Eddie Grystar Jr. & Bob Stumpf - the only 2 riders to score points on every hill. The top rookie finisher & 4th place was my Nephew Steven Perezluha from Florida who finished solo Race Across AMerica (RAAM) this summer. Sprinters John Cotter & Mark Nicoll each won 2 hills. 51 year old Jim Doan was the first 40+ rider and finished in 7th place. Of the 29 men to score points, only 5 were rookies, but 8 were over 40 years old. Pro Bikes owner Craig Cozza was the only 40+ rookie to score points. This was the highest calibre DD field I have ever seen. Even with the points going 10 places deep, it was still quite difficult to score. The following riders dropped in places from last year to this year: Gerry Pflug went from 2nd place last year to 8th place this year. Joe Lydic fell from 3rd to 6th. Jonathan Pratt (not the photographer) dropped from 13th to 22nd. Gunnar Shogren went from 15th to 24th. I fell from 6th to 19th. 

Gunnar Shogren headed a new single gear/speed (SS) category this year. None of the bikes were fixed gear. The winner Bill (Stik) Westover finished in 10 place overall. He forfeited points on hill #6 (Pig Hill/Rialto St.) by deciding to climb in the SS heat. Montana Miller (first to finish DD on a fixed gear in 2009) broke Gunnar Shogren's (45x22 {2.045} fixed gear in 2010) highest low gear record by using a 36x17 {2.118} gear this year. Here are the SS results with the gears they used: 

1. Bill "Stik" Westover, 39x22 {1.773}, 10 place overall 
2. Gunnar Shogren, 36x19 {1.895} 
3. Donald Powers, 38x20 {1.900} 
4. Montana Miller, 36x17 {2.118}, a new highest low gear record 
5. Steve Harouff, 42x22 {1.909} 

Without the top 5 places returning from last year, the women's race was wide open this year. 14 out of the 16 women were rookies. I went 5 places deep on the points again. The women tie a piece of pink tape around their handlebars to distinguish themselves from the men. Ironman triathlete Anne-Marie Alderson led through the first 6 hills despite being shut out (no points) on hill #5 (Logan) in Millvale. Near the top of the hill, a guy crashed right in front of her causing her to stop (got a foot out before crashing) so she had to go back down and ride up the hill again. On the toughest hill (#7 - Suffolk), Alderson was shut out again, and Erin Yanacek won the hill and moved into the lead. 

A trumpet player at CMU, Erin lost her lead on the steepest (37% grade) hill - #9 Canton in Beechview which Alderson won and led to the end (winning 9 hills) for her first DD victory. After Erin's manfriend Jean-Christophe Veloso was seen pushing her up Canton, I insisted that she make it up on her own. After many failed attempts, she switched rear wheels with Jeff Lazar (a 25 cog for a 28 cog), and on her 7th try finally made it up - weaving at walking speed all the way across the rough cobblestones, and nearly coming to a stop several times. Bloodied up from crashes on the hill, Erin's heroic effort was truly remarkable and inspiring to watch by the huge, cheering crowd assembled on the hill. After one of these crashes, a photo shows her lying on the ground with her bike, and it looks like she is taking a nap. Erin won 3 hills and finished in 2nd place. 

Karen Brooks (of Dirt Rag Mag & Bicycle Times) finished 3rd. Despite not having her feet attached to her pedals (this gives a huge advantage for climbing up steep hills), Linda Thomas was 4th. Riding her mountain bike, 15 year old Angelina Palermo was 5th, and became the youngest female DD finisher. Only 5 women made it up all of the hills. The DD was quite a family affair for the Palermo's of Butler. Angelina's parents Ron & Cheryl rode, and Ron's brother Dan attempted to break bike race promoter JR Petsko's heaviest DD finisher record of 240 pounds (set in 2009). 245 pound Dan nearly had it until he had to veer off and loop around side streets on the last 2 hills. 

To be an official DD finisher, you must ride up every hill without stopping or crashing. You must have continuous forward motion UP the hill! You can weave back and forth as long as you are continuing to go UP. As soon as you start to go level or back down the hill, you are disqualified. You can go back down to the bottom of the hill, and try again as many times as you want. In the early days of 20 or fewer riders, I was able to keep track of who made all the hills, but once the DD grew bigger than this, I was unable to police it anymore. Now there exists an honor system where riders keep track of themselves. Of course when it comes to scoring points and setting DD records, I still have to keep track of this. 

With the DD growing so fast, I had to organize an entire staff again this year to help me run it. Thanks to Maura Spillane, Ashley Bock & Nina Wilczek for doing registration in the morning. Thanks to Lee-Ann's brother Kevin Beatty (men's), his wife Amanda (videotaped top men finishers), & Carol Moore (women's & single speed) for officiating (scoring points) atop hills. Thanks to Ron Lutz & son Eric and Dave Shaffer for driving the food vehicle, and organizing the food stops - Millvale's Riverfront Park on the Allegheny River at the bottom of the 5th hill Logan, and at the top of the 9th hill Canton Ave. Thanks again to Steve Mentzer for loaning me his 10 gallon orange coolers and 6 gallon blue cubes he uses for the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. 

Thanks to Glenn Pawlak & Big Bang Bicycles for sponsoring the DD again this year. Glenn's brother Scott drove the BB support vehicle again with Glenn's son Isaac, and mechanic Evan Robinson making on-the-go repairs. Thanks to Gary Baun (Ian's father) for driving the clothing/spare equipment vehicle. If you lost any clothes, please e-mail him about it at

Thanks to the Eat'n Park and Vice President Brooks Broadhurst who really stepped up to the plate this year. They donated hot chocolate, Smuckers Uncrustables peanut butter & grape jelly sandwiches, and smiley face cookies. Once theBud Harris Cycling Track (oval) parking lot filled up at the start in the morning, Brooks made sure people didn't park illegally by sending them down to overflow parking - a gravel lot North of the oval on Washington Blvd. Thanks also to the little girl who held up a sign for this. Brooks also allowed my DD food crew to empty trash and get water at his restaurant along the route at Crane Ave. & Banksville Rd. in Beechview before Canton Ave. At this location and at Middle Rd. & Rt. 8 in Shaler Twp. (also on the route between hills 3 & 4), Brooks had his employees come out and marshal traffic at these very busy, dangerous intersections. Here is a photo of Brooks, myself & Glenn at the start. The registration table is to our right. 

With such a huge pack/field of riders this year, safety became my #1 concern, so I increased the number of orange vest marshals and made Chris Helbling head marshal. A big thanks to Chris, his son Ian, & the rest of the marshals: Returning from last year were Bob {looks like Al from "Home Improvement" TV show with Tim Allen} Bliss (Aaron's father), Tom Reay (Andrew's father), & Michael Hordijk. Also helping were Gene Nacey & his daughter Nina Wilczek, Ken Kaszak, Mike Horowitz, Mark Rauterkus (Erik's father), and August (a woman from Miami, FL). Ron Mower (Tyler's father) was a motorcycle marshal. Riding marshals were Joe Ross, Matt Kurpiewski, Owen Bittner, & Seth Gernot. If I have left anybody out, please let me know who you are. Thanks to West Virginian Steve Harouff for giving us 4 stop/slow signs and 4 orange flags all of which belong to JR Petsko. 

Neighborhoods have been getting involved. Thanks to Julie Ewing & her Troy Hill crew for sweeping clean closed hill #6 - Pig Hill/Rialto St., and removing the barrier atop the hill. Thanks to Fineview's Melissa Gallagher for welcoming riders (with signs) up hill #7 - Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess - the single toughest DD hill! Thanks to Oscar Swan and Bob Stumpf for lending me their electronic bullhorns again. 855 people have ridden (started) the DD over the past 28 years. 30 riders graduated to my 3 or more DDs ridden list this year. I was unable to ride the 2008 DD because of back surgery. This ended my record 25 consecutive DDs streak. Currently, Steevo has the longest consecutive DDs ridden streak at 9 years. Only 7 people have ridden more DDs than Steevo. Of these 7, only two (Ray Russell & myself) rode this year. Bryan Routledge has ridden the most DDs (9) without ever scoring any points. 

Congrats to all the riders who conquered every hill. To those who didn't, train harder next year and bring a lower gear. If you have say over 50 DD photos in a Facebook album and would like to share them, please send the link to me at and I will put them in my media links section. Could somebody with an advanced GPS unit please send me a file with the entire (oval to oval) 50 mile DD route on it with a cue sheet at least as nice as this one? I need to replace the old one (Liberty Tunnels used to be on the course) on my website. 

Last year, brothers Rich & Greg Hartley started the DD, but only Rich was able to finish. This year, Greg came back and finished. Greg would like to get a 2010 DD jersey (black & yellow) for his brother Rich who inspired him to finish this year. Greg will pay the $75 purchase price for a size XL jersey in good condition. I still have one bran new (unopened) size medium jersey left. If your XL jersey is way too big (maybe you just lost a lot of weight), and you would like to make a trade, I can sell Greg my new one which he will trade you for your old one. If interested, please call Greg at 412-445-5570 or e-mail him at 




412 298 3432 = cell

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