Albany Muni Club ride

I’ve succeeded in growing one Muni-er. My friend Roland borrowed my Torker LX24 in the spring and learned to ride it, and he subsequently bought himself a KH24XC. Last night we went on our best ride yet in Thacher Park, south of Albany, NY, a loop consisting of a stiff uphill ride on the roads and wicked fun downhill on the park’s single-track trails.

We parked at one of the picnic-area lots and cruised an up-and-down road ride to a climb on Beaver Dam Rd.. Near the beginning of this ride, I stopped to “water the bushes”, and Roland, unbeknownst to me, caught up and surreptitiously switched unis, laying his KH24XC down on the grass behind me in place of my KH29. After peeing, I grabbed the uni and hopped on without even noticing I’d mounted his cycle instead of mine. Spinning furiously, I was wondering why I couldn’t catch him when he slowed up to see how I liked riding his 24.

We both had a good laugh when I told him I hadn’t even noticed the switch! Anyway, we decided to ride half the uphill on the other guy’s uni, and then switch back to compare. The climb is split into two steep sections, and it was interesting to compare the performance of his KH24 w/stock 150mm cranks versus my KH29 with it’s hill-friendly 165mm cranks. The two were quite similar, but I liked mine better and he liked his better. So be it.

This climb was more than a good warm-up and we arrived at the top side of the park’s trail system already somewhat knackered. Here, the first of the trails ran slightly downhill and had few enough rocks and roots to allow for some messing around and then recovery before the next “feature”. My KH29 was perfect for this part.

Then we got to a trail that had way more roots and mud, and with not enough space to recover, and our legs starting to feel the burn, we both began to UPD with increasing frequency. This trail took a dive down some steeper, rocky slopes and I have to say, Roland, though less experienced than I am, cleaned a couple of the descents where I took a couple tries to do so. I told next time he has to let me try out the KH24 on those downhills.

Eventually we found our way down and pedalled to our cars. As we took off our gear and stowed the unis, a park ranger pulled up and said “Hey were you the guys riding unicycles down the trails?” Because some of the trails are hiking-only and others are “multi-use”, I thought “Uh-oh, I hope we didn’t do anything wrong!”

It turned out quite the opposite, as the next thing he said was “Can I check out your unis?” It turns out the young (by young I mean under 30 yrs old) ranger had just bought a 20" uni a couple months ago and he proceeded to try first the KH24 and then the KH29! He loved the feeling of the bigger wheels and I recognized the look on his face of “Gee, I gotta get me one of them things”.

We could tell he’s still wobbly, but we exchanged phone numbers and I anticipate the Albany Muni club will add him to our ranks pretty soon!