Monday, September 26, 2011

Schenectady Muni Only Race 2011

This weekend was the second annual Muni Only race in Schenectady.  Like last year, the family and I made an event of it.

On Saturday there was a fun ride at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.  There were a few new faces this year.  Rob was new to riding but did very well.  Kaycee came from Maine, but showed up about 20 minutes late and didn't make the picture.
Steveyo, Kai, Tom, Rob, Roland, me, (Kaycee not shown)
It was a good ride but the mosquitoes were relentless, thanks to hurricane Irene's recent flooding.  Kaycee showed some impressive skills, landing a few 180 rolling hops over logs. He was also a fast rider on his geared 29er.
After the ride we enjoyed dinner at Roland's house.  Thanks to Roland and family for their hospitality!

Amy made special unicycle cookies just for the occasion.  We had a choice of super fat tire gingerbread unicycles or sugar cookie unicycles.  They were a big hit.  Also, Friday was my birthday and Amy made me a unicycle cookie cake too!  
Gingerbread, Birthday Cake, Sugar cookie
On Sunday we raced at the trails at Schenectady Central Park.  This year we registered on BikeReg.  How official!  Was this the first unicycle only race on BikeReg?  A super serious runner and biker, Heather Rizzi of HHRT, helped put the race together with Roland.  I can't thank people enough for the effort they put into preparing and managing an event like this.  THANK YOU!

There were 9 of us racing this year.  I wished Perry and Jason, who I met last year, could have made it.  Maybe next year.
Kyle, Max, Roland, Kaycee, me, Steveyo, Tom, "non-racer"
Missing from picture: Kelley and Rob
Just like last year, the race was a 2 hour race, as many laps as you can.  You can start your final lap before the 2 hour mark and finish it.  Most laps in the best time wins.

The start of the race comes down a cinder road before climbing into singletrack.  At go time, I waited for a handful of riders go ahead of me.  I knew the race wouldn't be won or lost in the first 30 seconds and I didn't want to get tripped up in the group.  Most riders were ahead of me as we entered the singletrack.  It's sandy right there and I UPD'ed, holding up the few riders behind me.  Oops.  After remounting, I passed a few riders within the first minute or so.  Soon I was riding by myself, with three riders ahead:  Roland, Kaycee, and Steveyo.

I believe it was during my second lap that I found Steveyo in my sights.  We switched places several times during much of the lap, but somewhere along the way I gained some ground.  I was able to use my high gear for a few minutes on a flatter area at the end of each lap, and I'm sure that gave me an advantage over Steveyo, who was riding a 24" uni like me, but with no geared hub.  Roland and Kaycee were riding 29ers, and Kaycee had a geared hub too.
Near the beginning of lap three Kaycee was in sight.  I could tell he was running out of steam, as he was no longer riding up some hills.

As we finished each lap, Heather would yell out our time so far.  Mine were 29, 58, and 1:27.  I was consistently doing 29 minute laps.  This was kind of bad.  At this rate I would finish my fourth lap just under 2 hours.  Would I stand there and let the time run out or head out for another lap?

It must have been during my fourth lap that I saw Roland.  But he was on a trail above me going the other way, so I had no idea where he was.  He knows the trails very well.  Enough to tell me that I was in 2nd place.  Even though we passed within talking range, he might as well have been two miles away.  I still don't know those trails well, so for all I know, he WAS two miles away.

Sometime after that I decided I would definitely do another lap.  I was spent, but I saw two scenarios.  One was that Roland would be waiting at the finish, ready to do another lap only if he had to.  That case would have been fun.  The other scenario was that he'd be into another lap and possible have a technical problem or cramp up, allowing me to catch him.

Sure enough I finished my fourth lap just before 2 hours at 1:57.  I didn't see Roland standing there and I headed back in.  And I didn't see Roland at all during that, my final lap.  My quads started cramping up on the hill climbs.  On steeper hills I stepped off for fear of cramping up bad enough to not be able to continue.

I got a good cheer as I finished.  It turned out I didn't need to do my 5th lap, but I'm happy to have gotten my money's worth. ;-)  I'm proud to have earned 2nd place.

This year we had some prize options:  a helmet, some folding tools, and Park tool pint glasses.  I've started a collection of pint glasses from the races I've done this year, so I went with that.
yeah... anyone have a hack saw? :P
Unfortunately the course was a bit wet from recent rain.  Some of the skinnies were hard to ride and I learned to walk across some rather than slip and slide.  I was able to ride over many more log obstacles than last year, and that saved some time.  The hill climbs felt easier too.  I've definitely a better rider than last year.  My lower back was still sore like last year, but I felt like I could manage it better.  Now I have a sore knee (ITBS I believe) but it bothers me after the ride much more than during.  Stretching is helping.

Here are the results:
1) Roland Kays 25:10, 49:22, 1:16, 1:40, 2:07 (5 laps)
2) Buzz Weetman 29:00, 58:02, 1:27, 1:57, 2:28 (5 laps)
3) Kaycee Stevens 26:00, 55:27, 1:30, 2:05 (4 laps)
4) Steve Relles 28:00, 58:28, 1:36, 2:19 (4 laps)
5) Kelley Terrill, 36:30, 1:14, 1:51, 2:44 (4 laps)
6) Max Demilner 33:45, 56:40, 1:55 (3 laps)
7) Kyle Demilner 40:45, 1:23 (2 laps)
8) Tom Baker 55:38, 1:50 (2 laps)
9) Robert Detweiler 59:30, 1:57 (2 laps)

For the record, here's my fun ride GPS track:

Muni at Albany Pine Bush Preserve - 2011-09-24

 And here's my race GPS track. My cycle computer said it was over 12 miles. And some of my track started miles away, so I trimmed that. And I guess it stopped recording during my last lap, since it ends before I finished. But I guess it shows the general idea.

Muni Only Race at Schenectady Central Park - 2011-09-25


  1. Sweet write-up, Buzz!

    One amendment: it was pretty much Judy and Roland's hospitality, not Steveyo's. My family helped a little, but Judy and Roland did the major work!

  2. I wasn't sure who did what. Thanks... I made a minor update.
    A great weekend! Thanks!