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Michael Falsetta and Salvatore Babones - January 1998

25 hours 11 minutes - Passing all Stations

The subway circuit contest began in 1966 with Peter Samson's ride and gung-ho riders have since shaved hours and minutes of his benchmark, including a mark set in 1998 by Michael Falsetta and Salvatore Babones.

Falsetta and Babones claimed a ride of 25 hours 11 minutes in January 1998, using the guideline that they ride past all stations, but not stop at every one.  They also did not leave the system over the course of their ride.

Instinct, not planning, worked for Falsetta, a Bensonhurst native whose only preparation for his 1998 record run was a lifetime of riding the trains. 1

In August 2006,when Matt Green and Don Badaczewski set out to challenge their mark, several papers found Falsetta and Babones to find out their thoughts.

Falsetta, an executive at a real estate firm, remembers drinking just one liter of water and eating three Power Bars.  Babones, a sociology professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said, "We took 10 minutes off and missed a transfer at Jamaica station so that we could use the restrooms there."  Babones doubted their record would be broken, but his partner said they "would come out of retirement and issue a challenge" if their record fell. 2

Falsetta and Babones, who've held the record for over eight years, may be coming out of retirement to reclaim the unofficial world championship in competitive subway riding.  Falsetta said, "Everybody told me I have to, the answer is probably.  We certainly aren't going to do right away. We'll wait till October."

Falsetta took a subtle dig at the new champs saying, "These guys are not real New Yorkers. We have have hometown pride. Maybe we have to do it again."  He could have a larger team of six this time around and he says everybody he knows wants to come along. 3


(1) from the Daily News

(2) from the Metro NY

(3) from the amNY Subway Tracker

Photo by Jefferson Siegel from the amNY Subway Tracker