Events: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen
(2016) Live outside of Philly long enough and it’ll become obvious there are competitive spirits against the other major city on the other side of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Back when I watched the NHL, no matter how bad either or both teams were, the Flyers and Penguins would go after each other with hammer and tongs. There have even been yearly rumors both teams would meet each other in the dead center of the state to play an outdoor game at Penn State. There are two more reasons Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are at odds with each other, yet both events share the same name.
This weekend the first reason takes place on the right side of the state. Cadence Cycling in Manyunk is hosting their Philly Dirty Dozen on Saturday, November 12th. The course meanders for forty-one miles around the northwest sections of the city. The route flings itself up the carvings created by the Schuylkill River. What would the Dirty Dozen be without a trip up the Manyunk Wall just like the professional men and women do each year for the Philly bike race? This will be the seventh time riders have looked to best the one dozen hills around the Roxborough and Conshohocken sections of the city.
The ride finishes with a post event feast and libations. Cadence has always finished rides with pancakes. The Dirty Dozen wouldn’t be a real deal without brewing support. Conshohocken Brewing Company will be supplying the gear.
In the city with the oldest street in America, albeit the ride doesn’t go down it, the Philadelphia Dirty Dozen is just the thing to experience the still colorful fall display going on in the woods. Donations will be accepted and applied to the Cadence Youth Cycling.
Across the state, some 300 miles away, Pittsburgh sees Philadelphia’s oldest street and touts the fact it has the steepest road in America. The fact that it’s partially cobbled could lift some eyebrows.
The thirty-fourth annual Dirty Dozen takes place November 26th. Danny Chew has put on this event that involves the massive climb, however this year has new meaning. According to the event website, Danny Chew was involved in a cycling accident in September, suffering a spinal cord injury. Proceeds from the ride will go to Mr. Chew’s recovery. Those unable to make the trek to Pittsburgh may make a donation at YouCaring.com (vetted by the event page).
The ride is fewer than fifty miles and sports two food stops. There is a points competition, though I doubt I’d ever be in that mix. Remember: I’m not a climber. The sizable crowds lining many of the climbs could be just the incentive to stay on for a couple more cranks if it's looking bleak. Canton Avenue is the romantic steep climb, but they’ll all grind riders down. The neutral peloton between hills might be the saving grace. Make sure you register by November 24th, when the event is $40. The current fee is $30 for a few more days.
It’s not hard to side with the ride that’s been around the longest. But one thing that could be thrown out there: Since these rides are exactly two weeks apart, why not do both? That way the smack talk about which city’s events can happen in person.