Cycling Toward Recovery
This year’s Dirty Dozen will raise money for Danny Chew, the event’s longtime coordinator and guiding spirit, after a bike accident left him paralyzed
When 300 cyclists gather in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 26 for the grueling Dirty Dozen, the event will in many ways be an exact repeat of a bizarre sufferfest that's been celebrated annually since 1983. The riders will climb greater Pittsburgh's 13 steepest hills, with race points going to the fastest 10 men and 5 women on each climb. Victory will go to whoever scores the most points, cumulatively, on all the hills. The whole chilly 50-mile escapade will last about five hours.
One thing will be different, though: the ride will be a fundraiser for race founder Danny Chew, who was paralyzed in early September.
This year's race director, Jonathan Pratt, expects to give about $10,000 in entry fees towards Chew’s recovery. “I've been Danny's friend for about 40 years,” he says, “and he's in a real bind now.” Chew needs to pay off over $15,000 in uncovered medical expenses, buy a handicapped-equipped vehicle, and pay for a $100,000-plus renovation of his Pittsburgh home.
A Dirty Dozen bike jersey with a picture of Chew is selling for $79.95, and a tribute T-shirt reading “Danny Chew Is My Spirit Animal” is available for $20. The proceeds from the sale of both shirts will go to Chew.
Supporters can also donate to a Youcaring.com website created by Chew's nephew, Stephen Perezluha, a 2011 Race Across America finisher.