Legendary Pittsburgh cyclist Danny Chew was injured in a bicycle accident over the weekend and his dream of reaching one million miles on a bike may be in jeopardy.
Chew, 54, is known throughout the region for his ultra-long rides and for hosting the Dirty Dozen race up the 13 steepest streets in Pittsburgh. The event, which includes the famous Canton Avenue climb up a 37 percent grade, has grown from a challenge amongst friends in the early 1980s to a huge event with police escorts and hundreds of participants.
According to Chew’s friend Cassie Schumacher, who was riding with him in Ohio at the time, he lost control of his bike and rolled into a ditch, she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He did not lose consciousness but fractured two vertebrae and is not able to move his legs. The full extent of his injuries may not be known for several days, she said. It is still not clear what caused the accident.
Chew has twice won the Race Across America—in 1996 and 1999—and was pursuing a lifelong goal of cycling a million miles. Right now he is about 200,000 miles to go.
“I’ll just have to finish my million miles on a hand cycle,” Schumacher said he told her. “So be it.”
As a integral part of the cycling scene in the city where Bicycle Times was founded, we hope you can donate or spread the news of this terrible accident. Many Bicycle Times employees over the years have tackled the Dirty Dozen, and we hope to see Danny back on a bike soon.
From Danny’s nephew, Steven Perezluha, on the the youcaring.com fundraiser:
“Recently, my Uncle, Danny Chew, had a bad crash on a hundred mile ride. During the ride, he suddenly passed out and lost control of his body. He broke his neck and remained unconscious. Doctors informed us that he could potentially be paralyzed from the waist down. He is currently in extensive care in Ohio undergoing surgeries.
Danny lives to ride his bicycle. He does not have a 9 to 5 job, he does not have kids, nor is he married. Bicycling is his one true love. To me, my uncle is one of my best friends. With the thought of never being able to ride a bicycle again, it is important that we come together to help him recover and get back to an active life where he can hopefully use his legs again.
My Uncle is the man that got me into cycling. Without him, my life would not be the same. When I was 16, I developed a love for cycling through my Uncle. Our cross-country journey to Alaska developed us as true companions. Danny is a big inspiration to many people and myself. My Uncle has pushed me to accomplishing my biggest goals and has inspired me in everything I do in life. What I’ve learned the most from my Uncle is that with dogged determination and patience, I can accomplish anything that my heart desires. Let us be patient and hope that Danny can continue to ride his bike.
All donations will go directly to Danny Chew’s accumulation of medical bills throughout his long road to recovery. Currently, we are not sure of the extent of his medical needs, but I will do my best to keep all donators updated with news on Danny’s condition.”Tweet Print
For a lot of kids growing up in poverty, the world they know is only what’s directly in front of them. Pittsburgh attorney Mark Rubenstein was seeing young adults make the same mistakes and commit the same crimes as their parents and grandparents. He knew that if he could only expose them to the wider world it would give them a greater perspective on what they could achieve in life.
In 2006 he founded Pittsburgh Youth Leadership, a non-profit that would take at-risk kids from the city on all-expense-paid bicycle tours. Along the way the teens have learned invaluable leadership skills, perseverance, teamwork and how to challenge the world around them.
Since then the group has racked up more than 137,000 miles through 44 states. This summer the organization is planning a 3,000-mile journey from Oregon to New Jersey and filming a documentary of the trip. The film they hope to create a long the way, Conquering the Cycle, will hopefully inspire more teens to challenge themselves and reach for their dreams.
If you’re inspired by how far they’ve come, you can make a donation to Pittsburgh Youth Leadership on its website.Tweet Print