Muni Race April 29 (Northern California)

I’m new to these forums, so I hope I’m posting in the right place. Anyway, I just got a notification from about a mountain bike race in Northern California this weekend–the Shasta Lemurian at Whiskeytown Lake just outside Redding. Anyway, since my teenage son has lately been joining my friend Gary and I on our bi-weekly muni rides here in Chico, I asked both of them if they were interested in entering, and then found out from the organizer that not only were munis allowed (on the short course only), but if we could round up 5 riders (total) we’d have our own class in the race. So, I figured I’d put the word out and see if anybody else was interested.

This’ll be my first time to muni at a MTB event (I’ve raced on my b*ke at such things), so we’ll see how things go. I suspect , given the results from last year, that my cohorts and I won’t end up in the dead last position–some riders took quite a bit over 2 hours last year, and I’m guessing we’ll be in well under that mark. The course, which I’ve ridden as part of a triathlon, is a four-mile fire-road climb with some too-steep-for-me-to-ride sections (I had to push my MTB in the triathlong a couple times), followed by a four-mile singletrack downhill that was a blast to bomb down. It should be a lot of fun, and it’d be great to be joined by some other NorCal muniers!

Dang, this sounds like fun. I’ve always wanted to ride the Shasta Lemurian, but I have to work this weekend.

Hey, sounds like Peter Kittle! Still got to come up there sometime and do a ride of your Chico trails someday…

The race this Saturday sounds like a fun one, but unfortunately I’ll be on a plane at that time.

Results …

Well, the race was today! It turned out to be only the three of us–my friend Gary, my 15-year old son Drew, and me–on unis. The course was tougher than I’d remembered, and it took us a little longer than we’d anticipated, too–I think our official time (we all crossed the line together!) was 2:06 for a little over 8 miles. So, we’re no speed demons, but we decided on the way to the event that we were just going to stick together and have a good time, and that’s what we did. This was Drew’s first real race event (Gary’s a long-time marathoner, and I’ve done a few things here and there), and we wanted to make sure he didn’t feel abandoned or anything. Not that we would’ve been a whole lot faster anyway …

At any rate, the course was a 4.25 mile fire-road climb that had some pretty steep sections, followed by a 4-mile single-track descent (interrupted a couple of times by uphills–one cruelly long and steep–on fire roads. There were a few spectacular sections of steep, loose, rooty trail that were hardly rideable; Gary made a number of valiant attempts to master some of these, and I tried a couple as well–but neither of us cleaned any of the big sections, and had to settle for some walking. Nobody had any spectacular falls, but we did successfully ford the trailside creek four of six times.

The biggest disappointment, I suppose, is that, within the final half-mile, we were caught by two bicyclists who’d completed the 20-mile route. We were really hoping to make it in before that happened! But when we made it into the finish area, I think we had probably the best set of cheers heard all day! People were excited to see us start the race, and even more psyched that we made it through. Lots of hearty congratulations were handed out to us, which made us feel good about coming. It’s funny, but I think the MTB community is actually more respectful of muniers than most other groups–probably because they know how tough it is to ride the trails on two wheels. Anyway, the race organizer came over and took pictures of us and chatted, which was cool, too.

Actually, the only thing that definitely wasn’t cool was the weather. After the coolest, wettest spring in many years, we seem to have suddenly changed to summer. It was 93 (f) as we drove through town on our way home, and felt bloody hot even at the 9:00 am start. I definitely needed the Endurolyte capsules today to keep my electrolytes in balance–I was more than a little sweaty!

All in all, it was a great experience for all of us. I’m hopeful that we’ll make a return trip next year, and that we’ll have enough muniers to make our own class!


PS: John, we’ll all be happy to give you a big Chico welcome anytime you want to head north!

I wish I would have read this sooner, I would have definetely been there. I just rode out at Folsom Lake Saturday