While Yevuta has walked the steepest hill on the Dirty Dozen course, Rogers has been riding sections of the course for the past three months, often toting a 20- to 30-pound pack to enhance his training regime.
"I've done 11 of the 13 hills," Rogers said, including the fabled Canton Avenue grade. "Your gearing and your approach have to be flawless to make it up the steeper hills," he said.
While Canton Avenue may be the steepest slope in the world, "the hardest one on the course is a hill off Suffolk Street, which is really a combination of three hills," Rogers said.
Rogers said he liked the fact that the Dirty Dozen, now run by Danny Chew, a nationally recognized distance rider and two-time winner of the Race Across America bike race, is a relatively informal, non-sanctioned competition, allowing riders of all skill levels to enter.
"I want to challenge myself and see if I can do what these other riders can do," he said.
For Yevuta, simply finishing the race and reaching the summit of each of its hills would be a satisfying achievement. "I'm planning on being close to the back of the pack," he said. "I'd like to make it up the hills, but if I have to walk up one, I won't be crushed."
If nothing else, he said, "You get to see a heck of a lot of Pittsburgh. You're all over town, at some of the best viewpoints."
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.