2015 Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Bike Race

When I first heard about this event, I thought “no way! this is insane! you gotta be on some other level of crazy to do this!” About a year goes by and as I’m watching the latest videos and reading about that years event I start to think “I could probably do this but I’d break it up over the course of a year and complete a hill a month with a bonus hill during one of the months” – thinking I could split of the levels of difficulty and pair the more difficult ones during the fairer weather months. Another year goes by and I’m totally convinced that I could do this but again probably during fair weather because I hate the cold so much. Then this year’s event crept up and as the month then the week then the weekend of the race approached I was convinced I was ready to try the Dirty Dozen 13 hills.

I didn’t participate in the official race (that is another goal for another year) but I did attempt each of the hills; completing only a few of them from bottom to top and mostly falling over a lot and having to walk my bike the rest the way. I collected my fair share of bruises but nothing too deep and while I was super sore that day and a little still the next I was able to go on and run a 5K the following morning. Stretching, massage and foam rolling were my best tools/friends in decreasing the amount of soreness (particularly DOMS) and pain I was in. Stairs were essentially my mortal enemy, reminding me of my pain every time I had to climb down them.

The 33nd Annual Dirty Dozen up Pittsburgh’s 13 steepest hills took place on Saturday, November 28th at 10am. Usually on the day of this bike race it is snowing outside and dreadfully cold but this year it was rainy and mildly chilly mostly b/c of the rain thus a good year to make my first attempt.

Meet up: Bud Harris Cycling Track @ 1401 Washington Blvd. (Since I did this on my own/ this was kind of like a practice ride for me I didn’t actually meet up with anyone but wanted to stay true to the cue sheet to get the best idea of how this event would go.)

Route: ~50 miles long (including my commute to & from my total mileage was ~60 miles)

Estimated Time: ~5 hours (including my commute to & from the start/finish my total time was 5.5-6 hours) -> (during the race riders bike neutral b/w hills + there are 2 stops for snacks and drinks)

Race rules: (again staying true to the experience I followed these but instead of a whistle I just started speeding up when I got to the bottom of one of the hills) ride neutral = no racing b/w hills, at the sound of the whistle at the bottom of each hill start racing. 2 exceptions = before the 3rd hill (Berryhill) and b/w the last 2 hills where the whistle sounds early

The Dirty Dozen’s 13 Hills:

  1. Center Ave./ Guyasuta Rd. in Aspinwall
  2. Ravine St./ Sharps Hill in Sharpsburg
  3. Bery Hill Rd. b/w Saxonburg Blvd. and Middle Rd. in O’Hara
  4. High St./ Seavey Rd. in Etna
  5. Logan St. in Millvale
  6. Rialto St. across from the 31st St. Bridge
  7. Suffolk/ Hazelton/ Burgess streets on North Side
  8. Sycamore St. on Mt. Washington
  9. Canton Ave. in Beechview
  10. Boustead St. in Beechview
  11. Welsh Way on the South Side
  12. Barry/ Holt/ Eleanor streets on the South Side
  13. Flowers Ave./ Telsa St. in Hazelwood

Dirty Dozen route

Cue Sheet: Read as Cumulative Miles -> Distance (mi) -> Location -> Cue Notes -> Direction -> Elevation
0mi 0mi Highland Park NNE 4° 766.2ft
0.68mi 0.68mi LF onto Allegheny River Blvd. NNW 315° 748ft
0.99mi 0.31mi RT lane onto Highland Park Bridge NNW 331° 813.6ft
1.45mi 0.46mi Aspinwall Take 1st RT off of bridge into Aspinwall. ESE 91° 754.6ft
1.77mi 0.32mi LF at 2nd light onto Center Ave. NNE 19° 757.9ft
2.19mi 0.42mi Hill #1 starts here. NNW 335° 899ft
2.41mi 0.22mi LF around fire station, RT on Guyasuta Road. NNW 347° 1007.2ft
2.69mi 0.28mi Top of Hill #1. LF on Buckingham to Hunt Rd. NW 295° 1138.5ft

DD hill 1 Center Ave. Guyasuta Rd. 0.90 milesDD hill 1 elevation
3.3mi 0.61mi RT, still on Buckingham. NE 31° 1168ft
3.68mi 0.38mi LF on Hunt Rd. WNW 287° 1030.2ft
4.6mi 0.93mi Cont. on Maurers Lane. W 258° 1063ft
4.72mi 0.12mi LF on Kittanning Pike. S 169° 1095.8ft
5.77mi 1.05mi Under 28, cont. on Canal St. WSW 232° 751.3ft
6.01mi 0.24mi Etna LF on 13th St. W 254° 741.5ft
6.09mi 0.08mi LF on Clay St. WNW 272° 734.9ft
6.45mi 0.35mi RT on High St. E 74° 754.6ft
6.47mi 0.03mi LF on Ravine St. Hill #2 starts. N 0° 754.6ft
6.81mi 0.34mi LF on Sharps Hill Rd. NW 297° 1017.1ft
7.15mi 0.34mi Top of Hill #2. NNW 358° 1181.1ft

DD hill 2 elevationDD hill 2 Ravine St. Sharps Hill in Sharpsburg 1.2 miles
7.57mi 0.42mi RT on Kittanning St. becomes Dorseyville Rd. NE 36° 1154.9ft
9.89mi 2.32mi Shaler LF at stop sign onto Brownshill Rd. DESCEND
SITTING UP, HANDS ON THE DROPS. Stop sign at the bottom at the intersection with Saxonburg Blvd. = can’t see oncoming traffic. not much rollout before stop sign, dab brakes occasionally on way down, so that you can stop. DON’T ROLL ACROSS & GET SPLATTED! tight LF/RT onto the asphalt wall of Berryhill. WNW 281° 1118.8ft
10.34mi 0.45mi LF/RT onto Berryhill Road. Hill #3 starts. W 268° 876ft
10.54mi 0.2mi Top of hill #3. NW 312° 1056.4ft

DD hill 3 Bery Hill Rd. between Saxonburg Blvd. and Middle Rd. in O'hara 0.80 milesDD hill 3 elevation
11.12mi 0.58mi LF on Middle Rd. to Etna. WSW 229° 1138.5ft
13.19mi 2.07mi Merge w/Saxonburg Blvd. SW 220° 754.6ft
13.22mi 0.03mi LF on Route 8, go through Etna business stretch. SE 121° 748ft
13.94mi 0.72mi RT turn lane. RT turn at light across RR tracks, then LF on Butler St. SE 132° 757.9ft
14.32mi 0.37mi Right at 1st light on High St. Hill #4. starts. W 269° 754.6ft
14.53mi 0.21mi At top of High St., turn RT on Morelock then LF on Seavey and cont. up hill. NNW 345° 889.1ft
15.51mi 0.98mi RT on Davis. WNW 272° 925.2ft
15.61mi 0.09mi LF on Seavey Road. SW 204° 849.7ft
16.18mi 0.57mi Millvale LF on Evergreen. SSW 194° 771ft
17.19mi 1.02mi RT before 28 onto East Ohio St. WSW 230° 738.2ft
17.4mi 0.21mi RT in front of concrete wall, Maryland Ave. NW 300° 767.7ft

DD hill 4 elevationDD hill 4 High St. Seavey Rd. in Etna 0.80 miles
17.44mi 0.04mi 1st LF on Logan. Hill #5 starts. WSW 242° 780.8ft
17.67mi 0.23mi Top of Hill #5. LF on Pittview. SSE 143° 1026.9ft

DD hill 6 elevationDD hill 6 Rialto St. across from the 31st St. Bridge 0.09 miles
18.49mi 0.82mi Mt. Troy LF on Mt. Troy Rd. SW 205° 990.8ft
18.64mi 0.15mi LF on Rialto, park on RT at big intersection w/Ley Street. SSE 147° 905.5ft
18.75mi 0.11mi Down to East Ohio St., back up Rialto to Top of Hill #6 at Ley St. BE VERY CAREFUL! Very steep hill with very little rollout at the bottom before stop sign at route 28. CARRY BIKE AT LEAST HALFWAY DOWN SO CAN STOP BEFORE ROLLING INTO TRAFFIC &  SPLATTING ON 28. SE 122° 879.3ft

DD hill 7 elevationDD hill 7 statsDD hill 7 Suffolk Hazelton Burgss streets on North Side 0.60 miles

19.03mi 0.28mi LF on Lowrie St. to Troy Hill Rd. SSW 186° 882.5ft
19.4mi 0.37mi LF on Troy Hill Rd. SSE 157° 899ft
19.91mi 0.51mi says “Peralta,” but you actually cont. on Mt. Troy. WSW 234° 754.6ft
20.1mi 0.19mi RT on Chestnut. NNW 348° 771ft
20.16mi 0.06mi LF on Suismon. W 255° 757.9ft
20.29mi 0.13mi RT on Madison. NNW 345° 757.9ft
20.5mi 0.21mi Cont, on East St. NNW 340° 767.7ft
21.24mi 0.74mi LF on Suffolk, Hill #7 starts. WSW 243° 859.6ft
21.52mi 0.29mi RT on Hazelton, cont. up Hill #7. NNW 346° 1108.9ft
21.59mi 0.06mi LF on Burgess, cont. up Hill #7. W 257° 1164.7ft
21.79mi 0.2mi Top of Hill #7. Go LF on Perrysville. SSW 191° 1112.2ft

DD hill 7 elevationDD hill 7 statsDD hill 7 Suffolk Hazelton Burgss streets on North Side 0.60 miles
21.83mi 0.04mi North Side Bear RT on Federal St. SSW 188° 1112.2ft
22.77mi 0.94mi Pedal around Allegheny Center Mall. W 255° 767.7ft
23.24mi 0.47mi RT on Federal St. South, cross 6th St. Bridge. S 168° 738.2ft
23.76mi 0.52mi RT on Penn. WSW 236° 0ft
23.87mi 0.11mi LF at Gateway Center. S 178° 725.1ft
23.93mi 0.05mi Downtown SW 203° 731.6ft
24.06mi 0.13mi LF on Blvd. of the Allies. SE 116° 734.9ft
24.35mi 0.29mi RT on Smithfield St. cross bridge. SW 207° 744.8ft
24.78mi 0.43mi Left on Carson St. go under the RR & bear RT on Arlington. SE 124° 738.2ft
25.01mi 0.23mi RT on Sycamore St. Hill #8. WNW 277° 777.6ft

DD hill 8 elevationDD hill 8 Sycamore St. on Mt. Washington 0.50 miles
25.46mi 0.45mi RT on Wyoming. NNE 8° 1086ft
25.54mi 0.07mi Mt. Washington LF on Grandview. NW 305° 1102.4ft
26.01mi 0.47mi LF on Merrimac. SSW 190° 1115.5ft
26.37mi 0.36mi RT on Woodruff. SW 223° 994.1ft
26.83mi 0.46mi LF on Saw Mill Run (Route 51). SSE 144° 810.4ft
27.51mi 0.69mi RT on Crane. W 262° 833.3ft
28.39mi 0.88mi LF on Banksville Road. SSW 188° 892.4ft
28.86mi 0.47mi Beechview LF on Coast Ave. ESE 105° 951.4ft
28.96mi 0.11mi LF on Canton, Hill #9, steepest paved road in the world (37% grade). NNW 356° 990.8ft

DD hill 9 elevation

29.03mi 0.06mi Back down Canton, RT on Coast back to Banksville Road. S 175° 1030.2ft
29.41mi 0.38mi LF on Wenzell Ave. S 162° 974.4ft
29.56mi 0.15mi LF on Boustead St. Hill #10 starts. E 89° 1053.1ft
29.79mi 0.22mi Top of hill #10, 1st saltbox on Broadway side of Boustead. LF on Broadway. ENE 56° 1204.1ft
29.87mi 0.08mi RT on Pauline Ave. ENE 56° 1204.1ft
30.65mi 0.78mi LF on West Liberty. [Race day, go through the Liberty Tubes to a RT on McArdle] Otherwise: detour around the tunnel via
Broadway -> Suburban -> LF on Fallowfield -> RT on Crane -> RT on route 51 -> LF on Warrington (go up the hill) -> LF on Arlington (and go back down) -> RT on McArdle. NE 40° 948.2ft
32.45mi 1.8mi RT on McArdle. ESE 112° 856.3ft
33.05mi 0.6mi RT on 10th St. SSW 181° 761.2ft
33.09mi 0.04mi LF on Freyburg. E 89° 777.6ft
33.2mi 0.11mi RT on 12th Street. S 176° 764.4ft
33.32mi 0.11mi RT on Welsh Way, Hill #11, then back down. WNW 283° 813.6ft

DD hill 11 elevationDD hill 11 Welsh Way on the Southside 0.20 miles
33.71mi 0.4mi LF on 12th St. NNE 9° 816.9ft
33.89mi 0.18mi RT on Sarah St. ESE 95° 754.6ft
34.11mi 0.22mi RT on 17th. SSW 183° 754.6ft
34.15mi 0.04mi LF on Jane St. ESE 94° 754.6ft
35.01mi 0.86mi Hairpin RT onto Barry St. (bottom of hill #12a). W 269° 794ft
35.2mi 0.19mi Cont. on Holt St. (hill #12a). WNW 284° 944.9ft
35.3mi 0.1mi LF on Eleanor St. (hill #12b). S 172° 981ft
35.63mi 0.33mi Top of Hill #12. RT on Arlington. W 261° 1177.8ft

DD hill 12 Barry Holt Eleanor streets on the Southside 0.60 milesDD hill 12 elevation
36.66mi 1.03mi Bear LF on Wagner St. SSE 149° 915.4ft
36.84mi 0.19mi LF on Becks Run Rd. back to Carson St. ENE 62° 866.1ft
38.04mi 1.19mi RT on Carson to the Glenwood Bridge. S 159° 738.2ft
39.78mi 1.74mi Pass under route 885, stay towards the LF, follow signs for 837/885N, Glenwood Bridge. The ramp for the bridge is a LEFT HAND EXIT from East Carson St. just as you pass under the bridge. SE 124° 738.2ft
39.91mi 0.13mi go under Riverton St. en route to the ramp for the bridge, which is the 1st RT after under Riverton Street. S 174° 751.3ft
40.05mi 0.14mi Cross the Monongahela on the Glenwood Bridge. NNW 357° 774.3ft
40.61mi 0.56mi Hazelwood 885 becomes 2nd Ave. WNW 279° 777.6ft
41.5mi 0.89mi RT on Flowers Ave. Hill #13a. E 75° 774.3ft
41.86mi 0.36mi RT on Nansen St. SE 114° 833.3ft
41.95mi 0.09mi LF on Kilbourne St. ENE 46° 889.1ft
42.2mi 0.25mi LF on Tesla St. (Hill 13b). NNW 334° 1049.9ft
42.48mi 0.28mi Greenfield Top of Hill #13, end of race. Rest of route takes back to Washington Oval. Turn RT on Harlem St. NE 41° 1145ft

DD hill 13 elevationDD hill 13 Flowers Ave. Tesla St. in Hazelwood 1.0 miles
42.59mi 0.11mi LF on Calvary Street. NNW 317° 1131.9ft
42.65mi 0.05mi RT on Frayne Street. NNW 355° 1115.5ft
42.68mi 0.03mi RT on Hazelwood Ave. ENE 64° 1138.5ft
42.98mi 0.31mi OPTION: turn LF on Murray to Forbes, RT on Forbes, LF on Beechwood to 5th OR can go down the hill & pick up the other end of Beechwood directly, which is a slightly quieter road than are Murray & Forbes. ESE 94° 1072.8ft
43.04mi 0.06mi 5-way intersection. Beechwood angles off to the RT ahead of you. SE 126° 1053.1ft
44.28mi 1.24mi LF at stop sign, cont. on Beechwood. NNE 16° 1138.5ft
44.6mi 0.31mi Squirrel Hill NNE 1° 1135.2ft
46.86mi 2.27mi Shadyside RT on 5th Ave. E 79° 951.4ft
47.42mi 0.55mi Cross Frankstown, 5th Ave. becomes Washington Boulevard. NE 29° 892.4ft
48.57mi 1.16mi Finish at Washington Oval. NNE 3° 764.4ft

dirty dozen course

dirty dozen elevationdirty dozen elevation with grade


Hill #6 Rialto St. = 5th steepest hill in Pittsburgh at 25% grade

Hill #9 Canton Ave. = the steepest hill in Pittsburgh at 37% grade

Hill #10 Boustead St. = 3rd steepest hill in Pittsburgh at 29% grade

Til next year! Here’s a couple videos I found recounting the event:

Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Bike Race

2015 Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Bike Race- Canton Ave.



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