Joe Camacho and I participated in this really awesome event. It’s a DIY event put on by one guy and his friends. The idea is to climb 10 of the steepest hills in Los Angeles in a stage “race,” based on Danny Chew’s “Dirty Dozen” (which is the same thing, but in Pittsburgh.)
This race has no entry fee, and no prizes. The racers are given points in descending order for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place. At the end of the day, all the scores are totaled to determine the winner.
Joe and I rode to silverlake, where we met about 50 other folks and were given the rundown by the race organizer, Matt Ruscigno.
The setup works like this, slow roll from hill to hill, then the race organizers ride up to the top, and one stays at the bottom and describes the hill, explaining the grade, and any notable history. It’s then: ready, set, go! STRAIGHT UP to a finish line drawn in chalk on the ground.
So from there we went on to climb each hill… They weren’t kidding when they said “the steepest streets in Los Angeles,” one of which (Eldred Street,) is considered the 2nd steepest (paved) street in The US.
Other notable climbs were Fargo Street, which has a 32% grade, and Baxter Street, also at 32%.
Pictured below is Fargo (where you can see the race organizer trying beat me on foot!), Baxter, and some other climb. All of these come from a photo set which can be viewed here: http://errinv.smugmug.com/Bicycles/Feel-My-Legs-Im-A-Racer-2012/22135715_4DX96c#!i=1767408096&k=Qvm9rdb
At the end of the day, Jon Budinoff won every stage, Evan Stade came in 2nd on every stage, and the rest of us battled for 3rd. I ended up 5th. On hill 10, the group had dwindled from ~50 to ~20. We took a photo at the top of the last climb, and headed home By this time it was pouring rain. I was destroyed, and somehow Joe Camacho had the energy to power it back to silverlake, I followed in suit and did my best to navigate us back to the start as we chatted and shivered. I had told Joe in advance that my end point was my old apartment in silverlake, to run some boring errands… So Joe rode like the badass that he is, solo, back to Venice, in a storm!
It was painful and fun and memorable. I’m definitely doing it next year