Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:

Barbells:

  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#

Dumbbells:

  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

https://i0.wp.com/i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/64753543/5/stock-photo-64753543-man-practising-weightlifting.jpg

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press

Abdominals:

  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list

Biking:

Stats:
Challenge:
  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

Frigid Bitch 2016

Way over due but here it is, deets on the Third Annual Frigid Bitch! Pittsburgh’s own alley cat bike race put together via our very own Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes leader, Anna Lena! This was my second time completing this race and it was colder and more frigid than last years with wind speeds of up to 25mph and roads covered in snow and ice.

 photo 6snowy bikes start_zpss6h7bk7p.jpg

This year was the real deal! We had 41 riders showed up this year. As per usual we rolled up at the House of Ragging Women; grabbed our cards, maps and manifestos and began plotting routes for completing the most checkpoints in the shortest amount of time.

spokecard and map

manifesto

Just before the 2pm start mark we gathered up to listen to the rules:

  • 6 regular checkpoints,
  • 2 unmanned bonus checkpoints,
  • and 1 secret checkpoint only known by the Ricketts Boys @ the double intersections of Stanton and McCandles

Regular checkpoints were opened til 4; racers had til 5pm to get back to the HoRW. Winners were determined by who hit up the most checkpoints and got back the fastest. Even if riding with teams, on the last stretch back it was every woman for themselves! After that we toss on our gear and rolled out to the start line at Bruce St.

On the mark, the whistle was blown and we were off! At the end of the street we start to see groups splitting off, some turning right and continuing down to Butler St. while others split left after that right turn.

Rundown of the Checkpoints:

FB 2016 map

Screenshot 2016-06-19 18.52.42

FB elevation chart w grades

First checkpoint up for my group: we rode up to Penn Ave., crossed it then rode down to Liberty Ave. connecting to S Aiken then to the bottom of Negley at Fifth Ave. After which we had to climb Negley to finish this first checkpoint, no one was happy about this climb! I ended up having to delayer some at this point – I was really prepared this year!

Next stop for us was one of the bonus spots: The Rubble of the Greenfield Bridge at the end of Pocusset. On the way there I totally hit some ice and slid a couple feet, luckily I was padded with clothing and my pannier caught most of the fall but I did have to reset my seat and my light holder busted. Missing the pic with me in it but here’s part of my group. Quick whiskey and vodka break 😛 then we headed out to the next point.

Next up: Joncaire @ Boundary St. where we had to start from the bottom then ride uphill on cobblestone to Iron City Bikes in Oakland in order to complete the checkpoint. I rode up about half the way before I had to pop off and walk the rest the way up.

 photo group_zps9m83ry3d.jpg

Next stop: The Dead End of Romeo in South Oakland. It took our group a min to find this as we rode past the turning street and had to circle back.

Quick pause for some water, booze, and faux dogs on da grill after that we had to carry our bikes down the long staircase to Bates St. Here our group merged with some others and crossed paths with another going the opposite direction.

 photo bikepgh_zpsws2kvodt.jpg

 photo intersection wide_zpsbyn2e0dd.jpg

 photo alyssa_zpsuj1aoqmf.jpg

We then rode down Bates and popped over to the trail to downtown onto Grant St. It’s on the trail to town that I start to fall a bit behind, my smaller tires were not quite able to push through the fresh snow as fast as the others and by the time I got to the corner of Grant where the GLCC is located I lost sight of my group and noticed time was dwindling down. With only maybe 20-30 minutes left to either get over to the N Shore and N Side and get 1 or 2 more checkpoints but risk being late or head back with less checkpoints but on time, I made the decision to head back. I turned down Penn and rode back to the HoRW.

Check points I didn’t get to:

The Abandoned Barge on the North Shore Trail (marked with pink XXXs)

The Intersections of Stanton and McCandless – where the location of the secret checkpoint was revealed at which turned out to be Espresso A Mano on Butler St.

Commonplace Coffee at Buena Vista and Jacksonia over in the N Side

The other unmanned bonus checkpoint The Submarine at the Carnegie Science Center off the 3RHT

I was very glad that I decided to head back, I ended up being one of the first few back even though I didn’t hit up as many checkpoints as I would have liked (last year was against a smaller group and with less checkpoints so I was able to hit them all up and make it back in time). I still had a blast and met a lot of cool new friends. This year was also great because I lived closer to the start line and so when I got back I was able to head home, shower and put on clean, dry, warm clothes then head back over for the winner announcements, prizes and after party (so I def won there).

The Swag:

  • multiple Chrome bags
  • multiple tool rolls
  • a certificate for a pair of DZR shoes
  • a Surly women’s wool jersey
  • Analog Forest’s Sparkle Pony jersey
  • jerseys and shorts/bibs from Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, Aerotech
  • a 10 pack of spin classes from Steel Revolution
  • wind jackets
  • road shoes
  • a giant pile of comic books from Phantom of the Attic
  • lots of other goodies: locks, lights, computers, saddles, pumps, tires etc. from The Appalacian Bicycle Racing Association
  • lots of saddle bag and bells
  • a slew of handmade bikey candles from North Ave Candle company
  • Garbella garments and handmade pins
  • passes to the Wheel Mill
  • a pile of socks
  • a BikePGH membership in a bottle
  • $300 in gift certificates to Free Ride
  • winter gear
  • bike magazine subscriptions
  • many flasks
  • tons of toe clips and a helmet from Iron City Bikes
  • La Prima Espresso coffee
  • random fun stuff from the Mattress Factory
  • approx. a billion T Shirts and water bottles

Needless to say, regardless of where you placed, everyone went home with some swag!

My Swag:

Winners of this year’s Frigid Bitch:

Veteran Bitches:

This year was an absolute blast and I was so thrilled to see so many ladies that came out to race. Mad thanks to the volunteers who came out to support us with love, hand warmers, food and booze!

Additional footage:

Women and Biking Forum

Session 1Winning the Streets We Want

(Other sessions: Bike Maintenance I & Harder/Better/Faster/Stronger)

Look for BikePed Committee in Lawrenceville

Start one at Chatham??

T-shirts

Successful committee attendance – have near or at food/drink place; biker friendly area, monthly occurrence (same day, time); have guest speakers; have impactful first meeting

Bike Lane Construction

East Ohio St.

Bike lane plan will be happening this construction season

PennDot lanes; in the Strip; entrance/exits from trail (3RHT); 23rd Street

 

Timeline:

Dec 4th 2014 – NSCL’s intern Abe Stucky provided sketch of proposed lanes

Feb. 25th 2015 – bikes lanes for E. Ohio St. blueprints – lanes on both sides of street; 2 lane business district till end then opens up to highway

March 4th 2015 – PennDot new lanes

March 5th 2015 – PennDot put on street; Mayor Peduto came out to show thanks and support (has been really supportive; county executive has been too)

March 17th 2015 – Oct 2015 – finish protected lanes on both sides ($11.5 million project)

July 9th 2015 – proposed ideal bike lane situation … hotel set up then sidewalk then bike lane then car park lane (on business side) then left turning lane, then 4 driving lanes (2 opposing) then bike lane

October 26th 2015 – 2 bike lanes with no bollards on Lareda and Suffolk Streets (about 1 mile long) but when totally finish will continue up hill ($66,100 project)

Councilperson has not been supportive

Road does not need to be as wide as it currently is (I279 is finished now); slow down traffic (cars will speed in 12’ space more than 9’ space) Pedestrians = safer

March 29th 2016 – John Burkle PA Shek Assoc. – pro bono lanes

 

Have bike rides – north side has rides Friday at 6pm (corner park near AG hospital) – use to have 2 rides (beginners and experienced) now just once a month – open to public; art rides; brewery rides (@NorthSideRides)

“Anything that is good for bikers is good for pedestrians”

Must be willing and able to bring ideas/solutions to them; present something that is ready to go

Get to know business owners in area – talk to them about putting in bike lanes or racks

Studies have been done that show bikers = high consumer volume increase

Connect with PennDot Dist. Engineer – take pics – talk to people

PennDot = city road projects

Kristin Saunders – city coordinator

Construction season = March – October

Every bike committee contributes to BikePGH efforts

Advocate to friends, family and community -> general public – talk about how good idea and positive even if don’t bike

Bike Map #6 coming out this month

Get in and out of neighborhoods

Highland Park – East Liberty

Bike parking hub -> no way to get to it, safe storage

Small winnable projects like bike racks

Thoughtful planning and development -> needs to happen

Problem: speed enforcement (example story: highland park car crashed in fountain)

Assets vs. Challenges

Negley Ave. bike lane in work

hpelbikeped.com

amtpgh@gmail.com

b13islucky@gmail.com

Lunch

Session 2 – Bike-Packing

(Other sessions: Bike Maintenance II & Running Errands by Bike)

Food:

  • Rolled oats and couscous
  • Peanut Butter
  • Trail mix
  • Fruits & veggies
  • Think about weight on bike
  • Pack vs. buy on ride -> depends where going, how long gone for

Water – drink 3L/day and/or filtered

Winter rides -> think about it freezing, need to clean

Mechanics, supplies:

  • Know how to fix a flat
  • Know how to change a tire
  • Trouble shooting (cables, bolts)
  • Be familiar with your bike
  • Patch kit, 2 spare tubes, “bad tube” for misc. uses
  • Multi-tool
  • Pump
  • Cables
  • Wrench
  • Screw diver
  • Limit screw adjust
  • Derailer
  • Calk

Things to know:

  • How far can go in a day
  • Speed
  • Load
  • Terrain
  • What you can do
  • Destination

Clothes:

  • Rain gear – windbreaker
  • Think about what want to wear
  • Layers
  • Not freeze/ sweat, cold rain etc.
  • Wool socks
  • Synthetic vs. wool under layers
  • Bike boots
  • Bike shorts
  • Marathon shirt – lightweight material – or athletic shirts/ shorts

First aid kit

Sunglasses

Sunblock

Protection – lights, u-lock, knife

Chargers (generator hub – generate electricity or Solar power)

Camping:

  • Making own food
  • See things around
  • Warm showers
  • Gear
  • Panniers
  • Camping air mat

Peeing as a woman – go girl, pstyle

Periods – menstrual cup if possible

If riding single:

  • GPS
  • Find my friends
  • Blog

If think fun, want to do it then do it

Make goals ahead of time and run through any potential challenges

Route planning – traffic, shoulders, lanes, highways, Internet (Google maps), bike maps, adventure riding

Interstate: east coast can’t ride, west coast can ride

Spring Break Check-In

Fall semester has come and gone; winter break has come and gone, and now I’m heading into the 10th week of my spring semester a.k.a. spring break! Spring semester is once again my most busy and full schedule and this semester is particularly so. On top of taking 20 credits I’ve started my thesis project, interning and am working 2-4 jobs. Plus it has not been too inviting outside with bone cutting wind chills and inconsistent weather changes.

I ended the fall semester/ 2015 with multiple PR race times and a good amount of lifting PRs, along with these measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 40″
  • Chest: 35″
  • Biceps: 10.5″
  • Waist: 35″
  • Hips: 37″
  • Thigh: 21″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 141# BF: 27%

January measurements:

  • Neck: 13.5″
  • Shoulders: 42.5″
  • Chest: 37.5″
  • Biceps: 11″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22.5″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 149# BF: 24%

We got a new toy in the exercise science dept. it’s called Skulpt and it is a more accurate measurement tool for body fat and muscle quality. I had the chance to try it out and measured my RT biceps, triceps, abdominals and quadriceps muscles.

I got some interesting results: my upper arms, which are really sculpted/toned showed that my biceps were 101 MQ (average) & 26.4 Fat % (needs work) and my triceps were 111 MG (average) & 28.2 Fat % (average) while my abs, which are somewhat toned though not much compared to other muscles were 124 MQ (fit) and 21.4 Fat % (athletic) and my quads were 121 MQ (fit) and 20.5 Fat % (athletic), which was not really all that surprising to me. It measures more muscles than just the above, which would also produce a better total body composition but this is a fairly accurate/ genuine reading thus far.

I’d like to remeasure and get a full body scan once I’m back up to my fitness level from that of end of fall semester.

This semester I switched my workout focus to more muscular endurance based rather than strength alone; including more super sets and working with about 60% of my 1-RMs (instead of 80-90% as before). I started out strong this year with only 4 workouts missed in January; hitting the gym 21 times, which is 12 more workouts than last Jan.

Workout Plan for Jan:

Weeks 1-4

Day 1 – warm up 10 min
1 Front barbell squat 6:25,20,20,15,15,10 and Mt. climbers 5:30sec ea
2 Leg press 6:20,12,12,8,8,4 and Single-arm kb swing 5:10 ea
3 Stiffed leg DB dead-lift 6:25,25,15,15,8,8
4 Arnold press 4:15,10,6,6 and pop squat 4:15
5 Neutral grip single-arm DB press 3:12,8,6 and DB squat jump 3:15
6 Single-arm upright row 3:15,12,8 and MB slam    3:15
7 Seated calf raise 3:08 and Standing calf raise 3:12
8  Cardio 47 min total =40 min steady state, 5 min HIIT

Day 2 – warm up 10 min
1 Wide-grip lat pull down 5:16,12,10,8,4
2 Rope straight-arm pull down 4:16,12,8,6 and DB squat jump 3:15
3 Seated cable row 4:16,12,8,6
4 Alternating incline DB curl 4:12,8,6,4 and Mt. climbers 4:15
5  Ez-bar reverse curl 4:12,8,6,6
6  Standing palms-up barbell behind back wrist curl 3:15 and lunge jump    3:15
7 Cardio 47 min

Day 3 – warm up 10 min
1 Single-leg cable kickback 6:25,25,15,15,10,10 ea + 10 partials
2 One-legged cable kick-back 4:10
3  Smith sumo squat 5:25,20,15,15,10 and Quick step-up 5:40
4  Thigh abductor 5:25,15,15,10,10 with 10 partials to finish ea set
5  Plank 3:1 min ea
6 Cardio 47 min

Day 4    Rest Day

Day 5 – warm up 10 min
1 Hack squat 7:25,16,16,10,10,6,6 and Mt. climbers     7: 30 sec ea
2 Dead-lift 5:12,12,8,8,4 and MB slam 5:15
3 Single-leg extension 6:15,15,10,10,8,8 ea and Leg extension 6:15,15,10,10,6,6
4 Lying leg curl 4:15,10,6,6 and Squat 4:15
5 Side lateral raise 4:15,10,6,6 and DB squat jump 3:15
6 Front DB raise 3:15,12,8 and Bench step-up 1 min
7 Rear delt cable raise 3:12,8,6
8 Seated calf raise 3:08
9 Standing calf raise 3:12
10 Cardio 47 min

Day 6 – warm up 10 min
1 Incline DB press 4:15,12,8,8
2 Decline bench press 4:15,12,8,8 and Mt. climbers 4:30 sec ea
3 DB fly 4:15,12,8,8 and lunge jump 3:15 ea
4 Cable single-arm triceps extension 4:12,8,6,4 and Cable single-arm triceps push-up 4:12,8,6,4 and Squat 4:15
5 Skull-crusher 4:12,8,6,6 and Close-grip barbell bench press 4:12,8,6,6 and Side bench step-up 3:15 ea
6 Cardio 47 min

Day 7 – warm up 10 min
1 Barbell step-up 6:20,15,15,15,15,10,10 ea
2 Smith hip thrust 8:25,20,15,15,10,10,5,5 and Quick step-up    8:40
3  Cable hip abduction 6:25,25,15,15,10,10 ea and Lying leg curl kick-back 4:15 ea
4  Cable crunch 3:15
5  Pull-up leg raise 3:05
6 Cardio 47 min

15 SEC B/W SETS Stretching 11.5 min

February 1-RMs:

Barbells:

  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 95#
  • Dead lift: 185#
  • Squat: 125# (new PR)

Dumbbells:

  • Arm Curls: 30#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 495# (349.964# at a 40° angle)
  • Leg Extension: 140#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 135#
  • Hip Abduction: 245#
  • Hip Adduction: 245#
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 96.6#
  • Seated Rows: 110#

Not too bad for not feeling as active this semester as I was last semester. This month tends to be the toughest for me, it’s the coldest and most miserable outside plus my depression flares up more often because of the season. I missed 10 workouts this month, which turned out to not be as many as I thought I had missed and I managed to maintain a decent amount of muscular strength and PR in my Squats. Also I hit the gym 11 times this month, which is 5 more workouts than last Feb.

Workout Plan for Feb:

I went to bodybuilders.com for this one … 4 weeks 2 shred challenge (28 days, which is perfect for this month even if it is a leap year)

Week 1 -4 (the exercises change but the focus groups are the same for each day)

  • Day 1: AM Back and Biceps PM Calves, Abs & Cardio
  • Day 2: AM Shoulders & Triceps PM Cardio
  • Day 3: Active Rest (Cardio and Abs)
  • Day 4: AM Legs PM Cardio
  • Day 5: AM Chest & Calves PM Cardio & Abs
  • Day 6: Active Rest(Cardio and Abs)
  • Day 7: Active Rest (Cardio and Abs)

I also raced in the 3rd Annual Frigid Bitch Alley cat Bike Race.

Game plan for March

Tuesdays and Thursdays will focus more on Cardio based exercises – biking and perhaps swimming. Increase the weight by 5-10# each week.

Monday
Barbell Full Squat 5 sets of 5 reps
Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip 5 sets of 5 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row 5 sets of 5 reps
Accessory Exercises
Sit-Up 5 sets of 5 reps
Cable Lying Triceps Extension 5 sets of 5 reps

Wednesday
Front Barbell Squat 5 sets of 5 reps
Standing Military Press 5 sets of 5 reps
Barbell Dead-lift 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps
Pull-ups 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps
Accessory Exercises
Barbell Curl 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps
Crunches 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps

Friday
Barbell Full Squat 5 sets of 5 reps
Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip 5 sets of 5 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row 5 sets of 5 reps
Accessory Exercises
Bench Dips 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps
Ab Crunch Machine 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps

Spring break fitness plans are to get outside more, as the weather is forecasted to be in the 60s and 70s, I plan to do more biking & running plus a day trip for hiking while getting all the work done. As the weather fairs up overall I will begin commuting on my bike again increasing my activity levels once more.

Keeping the momentum going

Exercise recap from 2015 flowing right into 2016 and keeping it going.

January:

  • Training Runs and Races: 11.5 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 15.7 miles
  • Gym: 9x
  • Kayaking

February:

  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 34.2 miles
  • Gym: 6x
  • Kayaking

March:

  • Training Runs and Races: 27.38 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 74.3 miles
  • Gym: 8x

April:

  • Training Runs and Races: 5.1 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 46.4 miles

May:

  • Training Runs and Races: 20.54 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 76.5 miles
  • Gym: 3x

June:

  • Training Runs and Races: 77.11 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 438.2 miles
  • Hiking: 8 miles
  • Gym: 3x

July:

  • Training Runs and Races: 97.08 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 1,149.2 miles
  • Gym: 3x

August:

  • Training Runs and Races: 117.02 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 907.2 miles
  • Gym: 3x

September:

  • Training Runs and Races: 22.6 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 359.5 miles
  • Gym: 25x

October:

  • Training Runs and Races: 25.54 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 428.9 miles
  • Gym: 24x

November:

  • Training Runs and Races: 23.14 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 254 miles
  • Gym: 20x

December:

  • Training Runs and Races: 67.38 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 133.6 miles
  • Gym: 10x

 Goals for 2016:

  • continue to PR at each milestone distances
  • PR in weight lifting (bench, squat and dead lift)
  • summer bike tour
  • officially complete pgh triathlon
  • officially complete the dirty dozen

2015 National Bike Challenge

I wrote about this year’s national bike challenge in one of my fitness updates but here is a recap of this year (12 months) in biking mileage.

Jan bike milesFeb bike milesMarch bike mlesApril bike miles

Official challenge begins:

May bike milesJune bike milesJuly bike milesAug bike miles

Official challenge ends: Sept bike milesOct bike milesNov bike milesDec bike miles

I biked nearly 4,000 miles this year totaling at 3,917.7 miles

These miles are totaled from commuting to and from work, school, errands… from training in the gym and touring around Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas

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.