Dirty Dozen – Event Day

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Marko82
Participant
#

No. I was lazy and went to the Pitt game and sat in the cold. Wrong choice on my part, because all I could think about was how I was missing the race (as a spectator).


stefb
Participant
#

I think you should have done the race.


steevo
Participant
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Thanks for marshaling Stu!


Anonymous #

Congrats to Stef and Stevo!

@salty Be very careful :), steevo could chose 15%-25% up hill.


stefb
Participant
#

Thanks for marshaling also mikhail.


Anonymous #

@stu I was a car marshal. I specifically have chosen PennDOT style — steel toe boots, old jeans, yellow vest, thick black head cover, appropriate gloves. Almost always flashing lights and red flag in hands. No question asked, no honking. Ken, Dan and I were at Millwale (both from Berryhill to Seavy and back to Logan. They we got to Suffolk, I closed East Str, Dan in the middle, and Ken at the last turn (Later Ken and Dan went to Sycamore, I covered top of Suffolk till last driver). I went to Woodruff-51, rode with pack and completely shutdown two lane after pack (just put on my flashers on and sticked out red flag from drivers side window). Ken, Dan, Clif got to Banksville-Coast and I got Banksville-Wenzel. Got Cliff on the board and next we got to 12th and Sarah. Completely shutdown it and rerouted traffic Carson, no problem, no questions — PennDOT style, very assertive. And then Cliff and I shut down Mountain-Wagner. In my mind one of worst intersection — stop sign at the botton and Wagner has blind curve just before it gets to Mountain so Cliff ran to the turn and closed line there. The last intersection for Cliff and me was Hazelwood-Calvary letting people go after Tesla.

Ken and I did a dry run (in cars — thanks to Ken) on Thursday and I put all problem on paper which we shared later — it really helped.

Notes for the next year. We need around 5-6 cars with 2-3 marshal inside. Role of each car should assigned before with possible fastest way to get to assigned intersection (Ken and I coordinated but mostly starting Sycamore and further and that allowed us to do stuff independently — just calling each other covering intersections in advance). Drivers do not get mad at other car drivers with vests and flags — they immediately slowed down as soon as they see flashing lights and people in vests jumping out of car. We need a couple of volunteers on motorcycles — they are the best to get ahead of bicyclists if they caught behind DD riders.

But I missed all hill races. :(


Eric Lundgren
Participant
#

Thanks everyone who volunteered and help made this happen!


sarapgh2
Participant
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The marshals and volunteers were amazing. Until I rode in this I had no idea what heros they are. Thank you all!


reddan
Keymaster
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Did anyone hear any reports of traffic problems, aside from a few irate horn-fingerers?

I was pleasantly surprised with how patient other traffic was at the intersections I marshalled…even stopped traffic at busy ones (like the left onto West Liberty) resulted in no more than one or two impatient beeps.


Anonymous #

@reddan A lot of drivers were very interested in what is going on. I think we can make flyers and give it away. :)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

I had a potentially nasty situation at the corner of Second/Irvine and Elizabeth in Hazelwood. I was manning this corner solo.

Most of the traffic that had to be managed came northbound across a small bridge. Very little traffic came down the hill from the north. Northbound traffic had a No Turn On Red sign, and most traffic did indeed turn right. Positioned as I was in the middle of the street, I could easily see the first car in line, but could not see the second car’s intention. Right-turning traffic would not interfere with cyclists, since they were approaching from the opposite direction. So it was difficult to let the first car make a perfectly legal right on green and then NOT let the second car through. Sure enough, the one time I tried to let one through, the second car was headed straight, and right at the same time, along comes a rider blowing the red because he thought I would have traffic stopped. There wasn’t a collision, but it was damn close.

In retrospect, I should have had help there, or forced cyclists to stop on the red. Or just stop everyone going every direction.

As if that was not bad enough, also right on that corner is a large church, whose services were starting at about that moment, so several cars were parking along the path of travel of the cyclists. Wouldn’t you know, someone getting out of one of those cars darn near doored a cyclist. Nothing I could do about that one, and it was only 50 feet away.


KBrooks
Participant
#

Yes, thanks to all the marshals! It’s always awesome to do a big group city ride and feel at least somewhat safer.


Swalfoort
Participant
#

I did not marshall this year, but I did catch sight of a potential issue of concern to marshalls…..

I arrived at Canton quite early. What I observed was that there were literally DOZENS of cars who expected to arrive at the hill 5-10 minutes ahead of the riders and find parking and get into position just in time for the riders. The result was a traffic nightmare on Coast (the street at the bottom of the hill).

At one point, a City of Pittsburgh police Department squad car heading towards Banksville had to wait for a line of about 10 cars all heading up from Banksville towards Canton. As they were waiting for the incoming cars, the police were watching all these people gathering on Canton, and all these people double parking, parking on private property, etc. I was really afraid that they’d start asking questions…..

In the future, is there an option to guide people to OTHER areas to park, rather than the bottom of the hill? Is there a way to strongly urge people to arrive well ahead of time to avoid the sort of traffic jam that I saw at the bottom of Canton? If not, I think we risk the wrath of the neighborhood as we create congestion and delay. Hopefully we did not leave a mess in our wakes as well.

I won’t spectate at Canton again. It’s fun, but there are other hills I enjoy more. And, I don’t want to do anything that I think might jeopardize the future of the DD. I think the overflow of spectators at Canton might be a cause for concern.


jonawebb
Participant
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BTW, speaking of parking concerns, I was a little peeved that, when I got near the top of Logan Street on my second attempt, the support cars were already pulling out and blocking the road. I probably wouldn’t have made it anyway, but there were riders behind me and it is just possible that they may have had just enough strength to push pass that steep section except they also had to worry about running into cars. It would be nice if the drivers would wait until all the riders were done before getting moving.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

@jonawebb – this year was MUCH better than the past two years. in those cases, there was a support car parked on the left side of the road, so there was room for literally one bicycle at a time to squeeze between it and the (residents’) parked cars on the right. but yeah, that was a cluster-what-have-you, especially combined with the slippery roads and other riders falling down (i did manage to make it, but had to dodge a lot, and it took a ton out of me).


Mick
Participant
#

People DRIVE to see some of the dirty dozen?

WTF is wrong with them?


HiddenVariable
Participant
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@mick – i’m as transportation-oriented and car-hating as they come, but it’s a bit much to ask people to bike from, say, shadyside to banksville and coast to see the spectacle of canton. and i think canton is a pretty awesome spectacle (i made a spectacle of myself, no doubt!), so i wouldn’t begrudge them that.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I’ll answer that with my usual answer: Use transit! Get on the T, the Red Line specifically, get off at Coast, and walk down to Canton. When done, walk back up to the T, head back into Tahn, etc.

What I should do between now and next DD is put together a Transit Spectator Cue Sheet, telling people how to get around to as many hills as possible.

I may need help with this one. For example, can you get to the top of Tesla from the top? I just don’t know the area that well. But there are plenty of 61Cs to get you near enough that you can hike through or past the cemetery, which would be a lot easier than hiking up Flowers/Tesla from Second Ave.


stefb
Participant
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Logan, BHE, Bousted, or SHB are good ones to watch. Really difficult.


Marko82
Participant
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Just a thought, but I wonder how many spectators would be willing to spend $10-$20 for a seat on a school bus leaving from the oval to see some of the hills? I imagine it would be a pain to organize, but it would be a great alternative to a carravan of random cars.


Eric Lundgren
Participant
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Marko that would be a good alternative as long as peole are willing to walk quite a long ways to most hills. I think it would be hard to park a bus around most of those hills.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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@stu, Tesla is very accessible from the top. See here:

http://app.strava.com/activities/28380097

I think that ride also refutes that is so incredibly hard to ride from say Shadyside to Canton Ave.

The car situation surrounding the DD is always a goat rope.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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What I’d need to construct such a how-to is a rough idea when to arrive and when to leave each hill. This won’t be easy to put together, since it’s so fluid, as well as weather dependent (not to mention a bunch of timetable changes between now and then).

Shadyside to Canton? Get on a P1 at Negley, off at Smithfield & 6Av, walk to Wood St, board Red Line, get off at Coast. Done.

You’re not going to get to 13 hills, or even 9, but if we can get a bunch of people to bus there instead of drive, there’d be that many fewer cars gumming up movement for everyone else.

As I’ve been saying since the mid-1990s, people don’t use transit because they don’t know how. And here’s a classic case of not knowing how, because it’s damn near impossible to figure out.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Even in a car, you are not going to hit every hill.

Every other hill is mostly doable.

But, if you could link 3 of the more accessible/more interesting hills by transit, that would be great.

I can’t think of a good transit connection to any of the hills north of the river though, so maybe you could just advise on Canton and then Welsh Way, or BHE.

I think Hazelwood/Flowers/Tesla is sort of anticlimactic for spectators, but maybe connect BHE to the Oval for the finish?

In 2011 I tried to log arrival times at several of the hills here on the board. That might give you an idea of arrival times at the various hills. The link is: http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/dirty-dozen-location-tweets-tomorrow

This year, the route dropped rialto, but the slick conditions meant that other slopes took longer than last year.

Might help in overall “arrival” planning.

From 2011: Done with hill 1 by 10:30; On hill 3 at 11:20; Done with High at 11:40; on Logan at Noon; On Rialto at 12:30; Waiting for riders to arrive at Canton at 1:45; riders arriving Boustead at 2:50.

I think the arrival at Logan was similarly timed this year. I’ll check photo details for time at Canton. Those are the only ones I saw this year.


Anonymous #

@swalfoort Yes there was a problem at Canton. I arrived a little bit earlier and tried to drive through Coast from Broadway to Banksville without succeeding it. I know that down Banksville there are Gaetano’s Restaurant and gas station — probably we can contact businesses and ask if support vehicle could park there? Broadway has payed parking spots just around Coast (and one block from Boustead).

@stu There are not just spectators, I know one lady has been following one of bike marshal with extra bike on a roof (a pretty big SUV). And saw some cars following riders with spare parts — non official cars. And Coast can accommodate around 20 cars total. And it’s not possible to use public transportation if you want to watch 5-6 hills.


Anonymous #

@chris Mayhew You are correct. Cliff and I closed Hazlewood-Calvary sending people on foot to look at finish since it’s around 600 feet walk.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

I think that ride also refutes that is so incredibly hard to ride from say Shadyside to Canton Ave.

it is for my girlfriend. she rides a bit, but no more than about 10 miles at a go, and usually for errands or on trails. no way am i asking her to bike on crane or along banksville from the west end circle. she drove to canton, arrived about 45 minutes early, parked far away, and walked, which seems reasonable to me.


ieverhart
Participant
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As I’ve been saying since the mid-1990s, people don’t use transit because they don’t know how. And here’s a classic case of not knowing how, because it’s damn near impossible to figure out.

I’ll agree that it’s probably impractical to use transit to see all the Dirty Dozen hills on race day, but I can’t agree with the idea that transit is just too tricky to figure out. At least not where Google Transit provides coverage.

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=S+Negley+Ave&daddr=Canton+Ave,+Pittsburgh,+PA&hl=en&sll=40.431585,-79.981305&sspn=0.051025,0.111494&geocode=FdhJaQIdwlM8-w%3BFSSdaAIdUtY6-ynjl_873vY0iDHQDASxnM8GCQ&oq=coast&dirflg=r&ttype=now&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=def&mra=ltm&t=m&z=13&start=0


mr marvelous
Participant
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Stupid question, has anyone done this ride fixed or single speed?


stefb
Participant
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Stick and Gunnar and a few others have done it single speed, but I don’t think anyone has done it fixed. There were a few dudes doing it single speed this year, but I am unsure if they officially completed all of the hills.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Has been done fixed. Montana Miller as I recall.


stefb
Participant
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Oh yeah. Well it says on Danny’s website who did what on what and when. I considered doing it single or fixed, but decided that i needed gears.

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