Daniel Paul "Danny" Chew (born August 26, 1962) is an American former professional road racing and ultramarathon cyclist who twice won the Race Across America. He is also co-founder and promoter of the Dirty Dozen, an annual road bicycle race over Pittsburgh's thirteen steepest hills. Chew is a 2014 inductee into the UltraCycling Hall of Fame.
Early life and amateur career
Chew started cycling in 1971 at age 9, after being introduced to the sport by his older sister. His parents and older brother were also cyclists, and Chew began accompanying his family on recreational touring rides that year. He completed his first 200 mile event the following year in 1972, riding the Midwest Double Century in Lima, Ohio with his family.
Chew turned professional in 1985 and finished 12th in that year's national championship road race, the Corestates USPro in Philadelphia. He was 25th the following year, and 16th in 1987. Chew rode as an independent or free-agent professional without team support in all three appearances.
In 1994, Chew switched his competitive focus from traditional road cycling to ultra-distance cycling events. That year he placed 4th in his debut at the transcontinental Race Across America (RAAM). He was second at RAAM in 1995, and won the following year. He also won the 1999 RAAM, an experience he described as "tiredness beyond belief." Chew is an eight-time solo RAAM finisher.
On September 4, 2016 around Noon, Chew was seriously injured when he suffered from vertigo while riding and crashed into a drainage ditch on Kennard Road near Lodi, Ohio. He was initially diagnosed with a broken neck and possible paralysis. The following month, Dr. Elliot Roth of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago confirmed that Chew was permanently paralyzed from the chest down and would never walk again. Despite having contemplated suicide in the weeks immediately following his accident, Chew suggested during the final days of his hospital stay that he would resume his goal of riding one million lifetime miles, albeit aboard a handcycle.
Before his accident in 2016, Chew was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987.
^Reid, Liz (November 25, 2016). "Now Paralyzed, Iconic Cyclist Danny Chew Plans For 30 More Years Of Biking". 90.5 WESA. Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016. Chew said the first few weeks after his accident were hard; he even contemplated suicide. But now, with less than two weeks until he leaves the hospital, his focus has once again turned to his million-mile goal.