Calif Muni Race Oct 16, 2010

Sorry for very late notice, but if you’re in California and feel like doing a fun cross country race this Saturday, a number of us are going. To get the cheap registration price you have to register by Wednesday - $40 on the day, or $25 online by Wednesday evening.

It looks like there will be enough local interest so that we are guaranteed 5 riders which is the minimum to have an official unicycle class with medals etc. We did that last year at this event - here are my photos:

Last year it turned out that the first 3 places were won on geared 36ers but as you know it’s more the rider than the equipment. There are some sections of the course that will be slower on a small ungeared wheel, but there are sections that will be more rideable to compensate. The best cycle is the one that you can ride really fast!

Here is the mail Tom sent to our local mailing list:

[I]I’ve just signed up for the Knickerbocker race up in Cool this weekend:

Just $25 uni entry, with our own prize category! Looks like we’ll have
enough to qualify for that. John Foss offered his place for anyone who
wants to come up on Friday night, which is what I’m planning to do.
John is planning to do one lap (10.4 miles); the more ambitious will do
two laps. Come join us! Race day registration is an extra $15, so best
to register by Wednesday this week.[/I]

Hope to see many unicyclists there. It is a fun and challenging course and the bikers and organizers are very supportive.


I’m there! Geared 29er for me.

I’m there too of course. Just did my first full-on MUni ride on my geared 36". Never tried the high gear. Maybe that’s because of the nasty fall I took at mile 1.4? I gouged up both knees even though I was wearing my Roach armor. Hydraulic brakes behave differently than cable brakes, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! :stuck_out_tongue:

Also the Schlumpf wheel does ride differently from a non-geared one. My previous “dirt” 36" was the new Coker. Though it had the weight of 48 spokes, it did not have the weight of the Schlumpf hub and heavier Nimbus tire. I could definitely feel that difference, and still need time to get used to it.

I promise to use high gear for at least part of the Kinckerbocker race. If it follows the same route as last year (I think it’s slightly shorter) there’s a section of paved road that goes down a long hill! :slight_smile: So let me know if you’re coming and need a place to stay Friday night (email address below).

I just registered for this online. It’s easy and there are no hidden fees, just $25. The category “Muni Open” is first on the list! Since the other categories are much longer (either 50 miles or 8 hours), their fees are quite a bit higher - good deal for unicyclists!

See you there on Saturday.


Well, the race went off pretty well. We arrived on time and had the pleasant surprise of meeting up with Bill, so we had 6 unicyclists racing. The course was changed from last year, shortened by over a mile to 10.4 miles, with only 1500’ of climbing instead of 1750’ per lap. We also raced in the reverse direction so it was new for all of us. The temperature was warmer, predicted 79, actually something north of 80.

Finish order:
Bill 2:06:22, ungeared 36, clipless pedals, no dismounts on lap 1!
Nathan 2:51:13, geared 36
Tom, 2:54:49, geared 29
Jim, ungeared 36, 3:01:47
Ashley, geared 29, 3:54:26
John, geared 36, 1 lap in 1:29:36

Bill was a machine, going faster than many bicyclists. To compare to last year, Beau won in 2:20 on a course about 10% longer - roughly equivalent.

Here are the photos from 2010:

The organizer specially invited us to compete in the May 1, 2011 Criterium in Auburn. This should be really fun. I’ll post here when we get registration info next spring.


One more photo. (I was too busy or dead to take photos most of the day).

Thanks to John for organizing, it was a pretty intense workout, but a low-key event, only 30 or 40 bikes. All very positive interactions.

Who is this Bill guy? Glad to hear u all had fun. Would have loved to have joined ya.

Yeah, who is this Bill Purcell guy anyway? Where did he come from? Why is he so fast? Why wasn’t he in the U-Games marathon this summer? Why do I keep asking so many questions?

Looking good, there, Ashley!

Maybe I’ll be able to make it to either the Spring or Fall race there next year. There are just so many other races to go to. It’s hard to fit them all in.


Geoff, Bill was on the SF Tour this year with you (also last year). He was riding clipless. Here is his uni and he’s in this photo with you: - he’s the second guy on your right, between Kevin and Ashley. Maybe you didn’t notice him since he just cruised the tour with no worries at all. He is a tough guy, that’s for sure. Probably, he either didn’t know about U Games, or had another race to do then!


Can I ask what size cranks Bill was using for the race?

Long. 165, I think.

Yeah I think that’s right. My 150s weren’t long enough to do all the climbs. It is so amazing to me that he managed the whole first lap with no dismounts. I walked several long sections. I think he said he walked a little on the second lap.

The more I think about it, the more I think it would easier to race faster on that course with more like 160 or 165mm. I could’ve spent more time in high gear then too. As it was I was psyched I still had power the second lap to ride any of it in second gear!


Yep, Bill and I definitely rubbed elbows on the SF Uni Tour this year. He’s probably the only person on the tour who I didn’t really meet and get to know. Doubly odd that I didn’t even notice his clipless pedals. Next year…

where was this?

The Olmstead Loop in Cool. From their site, here is a GPS track of the course.


I’m guessing that the clipless pedals are as much or more of an advantage on uphills than 165 vs 150 cranks.

That’s certainly possible. I don’t know how much difference they make, but a fair amount I’d guess. Still, I am not really that tempted to try them!