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2022 Vert Challenge Winner

Derek Teel on November 7th, 2022

Congrats Danny Pfaff for Winning The 2022 Vert Challenge!

This ride embodies the START MOVING FORWARD mentality.  Danny went on a journey to shift momentum in his life and committed to a ride that seemed impossible.  Hear the details from the man himself:

"Coming off a ruptured Achilles created some of the darkest times I can remember (I gained 25+ pounds during the 6 months of barely walking) and I needed to find a way to help with both rehab and regain cardio strength. I was active and often mountain biked prior to my injury. I began riding it passively again once cleared; however, the risk of re-injuring my Achilles was too high on my mountain bike (falling) so I decided to take my friend's road bike for a spin. I was hooked from that point on. As of today, I have road/gravel biked for about 6 months total.

The hill I choose for my vert challenge is right across the street from my house and I drive up it daily to take my kids to school. I dreamed of the day I would be able to ride up that hill just once during my recovery. My previous PR was in August 2022 and I rode 50 miles and 4,003 feet. I had been training hard since I joined dialed health (which I found from a friend on Instagram) and decided I would attempt 10,000 feet, which was 43 laps of this hill.

I started the ride early in the morning which happened to be colder and windier than normal. The first few laps were a little tough as it takes me longer to loosen up now since the Achilles injury, but then I felt great for the first half of the ride. It wasn't until I hit 5,000 feet when I started to have severe pain on the outside of my right knee. From that point on I was on the verge of ending it with each lap, but then for each subsequent lap the pain didn't get much worse so I figured I would keep going. For the remaining 5,000 feet I changed riding positions and gearing frequently to help alleviate the pain because I was determined to complete my goal. Luckily, I had my family and friends come out and do some support laps with me to keep me going which I am very grateful for. 

When I saw the 10,000 feet finally show up on my watch I was beyond excited and relieved. Without the knee pain, maybe I could have completed this faster, but as I learned in life, nothing goes as planned and given the pain that showed up it added a new battle to get to 10k and made the finish that much more amazing. 9 months ago I could barely walk, 6 months ago I hopped on a road bike for the first time, and now I just completed a PR I thought would not be possible. This has given me hope and ambition to continually challenge myself and look forward to what I can accomplish next.

From watching many dialed health videos, I learned to stay hydrated and bring all kinds of food. I ended up drinking plenty of water and liquid IVs, Stinger Bars, PB&J, Pistachios and anything else I could get my hand on.

P.S. Thank you to my family and friends all those who supported me during this year long rehab, I could not have done any of this without you."

Danny Pfaff Winning Ride On Strava

Danny won a full year of paid access to dialedhealth.com, the Vert Challenge Trophy, and Dialed Health Merch (T-Shirt + Stickers)!

"Thank you to everyone who entered this years Vert Challenge and for making this decision so tough!  As mentioned, the winner is not chosen by who climbs the most, but by the journey the ride entailed.  Danny embodied the START MOVING FORWARD mentality by pulling himself out of a major slump and committing to this massive PR.  You made the Dialed Fam proud!"
-Coach Derek

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