2013 Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen - Canton Ave.

This past weekend was the Dirty Dozen.  If you aren't familiar with this event, you should head over to Youtube and search for some of videos.  In short, it is where cyclists race up 13 of Pittsburgh's steepest hills, including the steepest hill in the world Canton Ave. with an incline of 36%.  Oh and it is cobblestones too.  I went to 7 of the 13 hills this year to photograph the cyclist, including Canton Ave. Feel free to grab a drink and click through the 1700 or so images from the day located here.

Below are a few a my favorites from Canton Ave., which is also where the largest crowds are and the atmosphere has a feeling of the Tour de France.  Cowbells ringing, people yelling, and cyclists conquering and failing.

This year there was about 200 or so participants in the event.  I estimate that less than half actually make it up Canton Ave.  Most never make it even half way!  That is why the first image is my favorite this year, since this is the fate of most.  Your wheels are supposed to be on the ground, right?  Needless to say he ended up on the ground.

This hill is tackled in phases.  First the leaders, who are actually racing for points, which is the second image.  They are booking up this beast.  Then phase 2, which is carnage as the a large group tries to climb and someone falls and takes down a large group, see image 3.  Then phase 3, which is when people line up and orderly take their turn attempting to climb Canton (See Images 4, 5 and 6).  Some try many times.  For instance the girl in image 6 attempted Canton probably 5 or 6 times before she finally made it up to the top.

This event is one to add to your calendar to either participate in or at the very least watch.

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