Sunday, September 23, 2012

Schenectady Muni Only Race 2012

Once again the family and I made the trip to Schenectady for the annual muni race.

On Saturday I went to the fun ride at the Pine Bush Preserve.  The turnout was small, with only Robi, Tom, and myself.  But it only takes a few of us to have a great time.  It was nice that the thunderstorms waited for us to finish our ride!

After the fun ride we went to Robi and Liz's house for dinner.   The tamale pie and sweet potatoes were awesome!  It's always nice to visit with fellow muni riders.  We seem to be a rare breed.

Today we raced at Schenectady Central Park.  We had 8 racers, which isn't bad, though it would be awesome to have double or triple that sometime.

This year we got a good picture of the Schenectady Muni sign.  It gives me a chuckle every year.  While the golf course is to the left, the muni race is actually to the right.  Someone should probably fix that.

In the past, Roland mainly organized the event, but he has since moved to North Carolina.  Robi, who has only been riding for just over a year, took the initiative to organize this year's event.  He and Liz did a great job, and we really couldn't ask for anything more.  Tom, who lives an hour away, helped mark the course early this morning.  Thanks for making it a great event guys!  Also, thanks to Heather Rizzi for managing the timing and insurance for the race!

The course this year turned out to be a bit different than the last two.  It was longer and took us into some super rooty sections and some extra hill climbs.  I liked it.  Unlike last year's 25 minute laps, this year's took me about 45 minutes.  But the rules were the same: as many laps as you can, and your last lap must begin before the two hour mark.

This year I didn't have the great Roland ahead of me.  My greatest challengers were Steveyo and Robi.  Steveyo is a strong experienced rider and has always placed in this race.  Robi is the newcomer who has made huge progress in a short time.

I'm happy to say I was able to earn 1st place this year!  Robi got 2nd, and Steveyo 3rd.  Each of us did three laps. (me: 2:17, Robi: 2:31, Steveyo: 2:32)  Maybe they let me win because today is also my birthday!  Nah. ;-)

I picked a skate-style helmet as my prize, but even cooler than that was the trophy that Robi had made for those who podiumed.  So cool!

Amy made her awesome muni cookies again for this year.  They're certainly a crowd pleaser.  Thanks Amy!

My GPS has never recorded the race properly.  This year it seemed to miss 90% of my first lap.  My cycle computer says the three laps totaled 11.3 miles.  That's just shy of my somewhat typical trail ride at Whiting, but this course is at least twice as tough.

I was happy to find my hill climbing abilities have truly improved.  I was able to climb every hill even when fatigued.  It's rewarding for me to conquer these hills that I was forced to partially walk the past two races.  I had some long clean runs on the skinny sections too.  I also made in over nearly all the log obstacles that are within my ability.  There are a few big ones on the course that I couldn't do even outside of a race.  Probably the biggest difficultly of this course is a few sections of insanely dense, and wet, roots.  But even on those I had good luck, falling a few times.

My lower back was screaming for much of the race.  It's frustrating to have that problem return.  I tried to straighten up and stretch as I rode, but otherwise I just had to do my best to ignore it and push on.  Toward the end of lap three my legs were pretty painful on the hill climbs.  But in general I felt pretty strong.

It was a great birthday weekend for me.

Muni at Albany Pine Bush Preserve - 2011-09-22

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


  1. Great race, and nice writeup, Buzz!

  2. I'll keep an eye out for this event next year. I used to live up there. It would be a fun reason to go back.