Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Open letter to the riders and results:
First a few words of appreciation to the sponsors and to the people who made this event happen- You.
Thank you for coming to the event- it is not lost on me that the event would be nothing with out those who dared to come to give their best, and to show and test themselves. The event is an homage to you, the people who came for the ride- I hope the words on the back of your number plate resonated. Thank you.

I would also like to thank those who were behind and in front of the scenes and whose help was invaluable:
-My girl, the wonder woman who is Reba Racer, who served as a sounding board for some of the more kookier ideas I had, who managed details and was the receptionist at check in- without her help the event would not have been as smooth, nor as fun. To highlight her importance I give you example A- I had been given one job by the manager of the event: hand out the twist ties to attach the number plates to the bikes. Having been struck by awe at the arrival of peopel I admire on and off the bike I stood there like a jack ass. Without her prompting- "hey, hand out the twist ties"- we may have had the event with riders riding with plates clenched between their teeth. Grazie girl for making sure I had it under control.
-The trail sommelier whose name has been withheld in order to protect the innocent: while rails on his saddle may have broken during the event, the event may have been derailed without his help on the course set up the night before.
-The builders of the trails: we are blessed with some of the best single track this side of the moon. Without their work and vision we would not have these golden trails.
-The photographers who captured it.
-The locals who gave me crucial updates on the conditions in order to make sure that this event was in compliance.

Thank you.

Like Jimmy Cliff said, "Give the people what they want"- Race results and other non sense.

Yesterday all of you showed up to some place in the woods to attempt to have your best performance on a technical and fitness testing course.

Participants came from all directions, all skill levels and many age ranges.

What was very much apparent to me, was that there was certainly some serious talent from Westchester at the event: it could have been dubbed the "Westchester Worlds" as regular XC racers mixed it up with some of the local world class level super honches who do not regularly pin the number on Sunday. It was great to see this kind of talent- although slightly disappointing was the number of DNF's by the local honches. One in particular I am sure would have been top 5 had he had not flatted- he was lucky enough to get a tube from a passing racer and still managed to finish in the top 20.

Some came in lycra. Some came in flannel. Some came with fancy carbon bikes. Others brought what they brought and did just fine. Some came with fancy hydration packs. Some just stuffed a plastic bottle of water in the back of their dickies. It highlighted that it takes all sorts to make it happen.

The experience was setup with a test down the "Monster" trail, up "Ned's", across the road to "My Favorite trail" and finishing up on the great "Rambler" trail. It was the true bare knuckle boxing that is bleu- this years course created havoc with roughly a 10% attrition rate. Not to mention that my number plates in several instances came back to me bearing battle scars from what looks like multiple crashes- [i]how do you pierce through what is the thickest plastic readily available to man for laminating?[/i]

Format: Riders set off at 30 second intervals.

With a few hitches in registration- I can only say that it was like herding cats through a revolving door as responsibilities caused cancellations, but with almost every person who cancelled a new person would throw their hat in the ring- I was unable to get the full compliment of 40. Nor was I able to fill crucial classes that make the event the event. We moved forward regardless, creating a new class, as I was unable to get 5 single speeders: The half octogenarian class that is the 40 and up. In the next couple of years I will be there with you guys- just not as fast.

One thing is for sure, winners were worthy and best efforts by all were given.

Thank you participants for your time and energy: The process, the effort and idea were all vindicated by you- I had hoped for this, a gathering of like minded people for an event in the woods.
New friends made: Check!
Old friends seen again: Check!
A few laughs: Check!
Need to create art: Check!
Fulfill the need to create bike gathering: Check!

Gracias people.

On a personal level, it was one of the best days of my life- connections made, enjoyment seen and general enthusiasm by all. I normally do not smile much, but by the end of the day my face hurt from showing my teeth in glee.

Now back to our regular scheduled programing.



1. Lorenzo 45.15
2. AJ 45.57
3. Lou 49.09
4. Bean 49.40
5. Pete S 50.08
6. Alex R 50.17
7. Alex P 51.36
8. Jamie 51.55
9. Phil 53.51
10. Adam 53.58
11.Roger the Racer 54.02
12. Roger 54.12
13. Ariv 54.50
14. Matt 55.00
15. Tom W 55.31
16. Double D 58.49
17. JP 59.46
18. SPP 61.39
19. P. Deak 63.17
20. Jeffro 63.09
21. Robert 64.33
22. Mike 64.34
23. Chrissy 69.52
24. Keade 70.29
25. Eric 71.42
26. Tony D 73.35
27. Massimo 80.43
28. Soundz 83.25
29. Bruise Magnet 92.13
30. CJ 114.20

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

With Saturday fast approaching, activity at TBR HQ has kicked into high gear:

Lists are being checked: (check)

-Plates done. (check)
-Excellent wine selection done. (check)
-Winners plaque done. (check)
-Most excellent cast of characters showing up. (check)
-Weather and conditions are abiding to the rules of the play ground. (check)

While nothing is ever in stone, and while I might be tempting fate, it does look like the heavy worship at the alter of the round wheel and the ritualistic head gear I have been donning at night has worked- skies for the next couple of days look clear just enough for trails to dry out.

Regardless of event, I sense the collective sigh of local riders who have been jonesing for mountain bike time after what has been a period of rain that was starting to test the mental fortitude of even the strongest- in some ways it served as a reminder how crucial the trails are to all of us.


The trails are looking to be dry for all- TBR riders and all mountain bikers alike- as that season, which shall not be named, that covers the sweet single track making it passable sur le Velo impossible is not far off and we all of the truly devote need these final moments of communion.

So whether or not you show up for my home made labor of love, I hope you are all getting out there- time is certainly finite and it needs to be filled with action.

For riders of TBR- refer to the ride guide I have emailed you.

Questions? Shoot them my way to thebottleride@gmail.com

To all riders- have a great weekend while the getting is good.

I hope to see you out there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I think I made the right choice....October 8th the new date for the bottle ride!

Course conditions on Saturday were summed up best with this:
Picture courtesy of Monkey C productions.

October 8th is new date for the Bottle Ride!

I am glad to know I made the right choice- no one hates cleaning their bike(s) as much as I do after mud.

Not to mention what it would have done to our beloved trails. This season has been hard with all the rain.

Thank you all for understanding and being OK with the date change- it did not seem to change registration too much and I am certainly blessed with a great group of people coming to the event.

Few more items:-There is no "dad's who dont ride" category- just mens, womens and singlespeed.
-40 is the magic number and I am just about there- just a few more spots.
-The event seems stacked with local honches- these are the boys who ride hard and know the lines cold, who do not normally compete. True dark horses. I am not normally a betting man, unless it is a sure thing, but my guess is that the plaque for the 2011 TBR champion is going to a home in the county of Westchester.

I hope to see you out there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bottle Ride update- Date change due to weather.

Saying prayers to the race gods.

After some heavy worship at the alter of the trail gods for an optimal event on all fronts, it has become clear that most of the pieces were present and accounted for:

-Plates done. (check)

-Excellent wine selection done. (check)

-Winners plaque done. (check)

-Most excellent cast of characters showing up. (check)

Weather and trail conditions are crucial components and they have opted not to do their part- evidently booking your event well in advance does not equate to having good weather.

With a heavy heart and the risk of losing riders, I have opted to move the event: I worry more about the trails and rider safety than I do about participation. It is a fun event, and I want to have fun.

NEW DATE: October 8th.

I sincerely hope this does not cause any inconvenience or change your scheduled appearance at the bottle ride: It just would not be the same with out you.

All other details remain the same!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The bottle ride map:

photo.JPG by georouan
photo.JPG, a photo by georouan on Flickr.

TBR this Saturday 9/24 @ Blue Mountain Peekskill.

Before I delve into the first set of details a big word of thanks to you:

Thank you so very much for your interest and participation in this project- it something I have dreamt/thought/talked about for close to three years. Last year was the first one and it served as proof of concept- this years TBR is a fulfillment of roughly a years work and is closer to the vision. I am keenly aware that your time and energy is precious- you could be spending your Ssturday doing anything- so with that knowledge I am honored that you choose to come to my ride. Thank you.

If for any reason you are unable to attend the bottle ride please email me to let me know as I am really hoping for as close to 40 people showing up.


The venue: Blue Mountain, Peekskill NY.
Meet at the top of the Myxx Monster trail.

Registration: Registration opens at 8.30 and closes at roughly 9.10 (don't worry too much if you are late though).
Race meeting: There will a very brief meeting prior to the start of the race at 9.20.
Race starts at 9.30AM.

The course is as follows- start at the top of monster, go down the "myx monster" trail, up the "boundary trail" and then up " left lung", cut across to the entrance of "my favorite trail" and then finish up on the "rambler" trail.

The course, while technical in nature, is very straightforward. Easy to follow with out a map and even easier to follow when marked.
The course will be marked the night before.

Please note: the start and finish are in separate locations.

Course map will be posted here shortly- pending photos.
I will also be able to email you a gps file- just let me know.

The format: This is a time trial. Riders will be sent out in intervals of 30 seconds.

Passing: If you are caught while out on the course by the rider behind you, let he/she pass when it is safe.

Weather: this is not a rain or shine event. The event will be called if conditions are suspect.

Finally a little of the heavy stuff:
Safety: Ride within yourself as this event is about fun. There is an inherent danger to riding in the woods- by signing up for the ride you are assuming all liabilities. The bottle ride assumes no responsibilities for your safety.

More details to be revealed this Friday.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bottle ride notes:

Bottle ride notes:
Slightly better organized.[
-Number plates are in the bag: a sense of relief is welcome as now I can focus on other details like the winners plaques. 40 and change in total- Can I say I like them without sounding stupid?
40+ plates.
Already shredding.
-Entries coming from the north to the south, east and west: the finest folks are coming. From former winners, to dads of future winners(this boy is ripping on the bike and off- with top notch genetics from both parents he is a future Olympian for sure), to new friends, and old friends are all coming: the spots are filling up. About 10 spots to go till I meet my goal of 40. Thank you everyone for signing up.
Making art and drinking wine.

Course details will be emailed out to all signed up participants in the next day or so. H2H racers this Sunday should get a sneak peak of the course at the mighty Chain Stretcher. The Stretcher is one of the best races at one of the best venues in the area- my 2nd favorite race.
You can guess what my first favorite one is.

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The process continues- more details, riders confirmed and a little insight to the project.

The number plates are hand painted- which does not make them better  than a non-hand painted number plate, it just means I spent a bunch of time on each one. I hope it mirrors in some small way the time and energy people put into their riding.
Whether it is training for a competitive event or a fun ride, riders work on getting better through practice (both technique and the physical element that is involved in biking). There are some who make great sacrifices to make the most of what they do. It is something I deeply respect in the most devote practitioner's work ethic and discipline-all that work and energy that goes into training and diet is an art form in itself.
That is where some of the genesis of the bottle ride comes from- the rest is a mix of wanting to meet new people and see who would turn out for an "event" that is not a part of any formal agency/organization/series. Who are you people?

Riders are starting to confirm for the 2nd annual bottle ride- with about a month away, I feel hopeful in my personal goal of getting forty riders to show up for some great singletrack and a bottle of wine. 

I hope to see you out there.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Saturday, September 24 2011.

The 2nd annual Bottle Ride on Saturday, September 24 2011.
Winner in three seperate classes takes the bottle and the plaque.
Course details will be revealed soon.
I hope to see you out there.
Untitled by georouan
Untitled, a photo by georouan on Flickr.

Bonzai tree.
What is this? A group ride that happens to be timed with a bottle of wine as the prize.

Format: Timed runs with riders separated by 1/2 minute intervals. Fastest person to go down, then up earns themselves a bottle of wine. If 5 or more girls ride, their prize is a bottle of champagne. If 5 or more singlespeeders show up, then their prize will be a bottle of wine. Strict adherence to the honor code and all IMBA rules apply.

The course: It is technical and requires fitness. A good expert class racer will finish the course in roughly 40 minutes.

Where: The exact details of the course and location of the event will revealed at a later date, but it is within Westchester county.

Limited Seating: Capacity constraints keep this event to truly limited seating. Advance registration only. Please email to reserve your place. Due to the nature of the event, details are on a need to know basis and will not be release until a few days before the event.

Admission: No cost other than being a participant through out the ride. Come to the meeting point. Sign in and register. Hear the opening statement. Line up. Race. Finish. Stay for the brief closing ceremony and awards. At that point you are free to go ride and explore the most excellent trails.

The event is free with a few conditions: 1. One must be willing to have your picture taken. 2. Must return the number plate. 3. Finally,all rules apply. These include the following: A. It is a gentleman's (or gentlewoman's) ride, so obviously no cheating. B. If someone is hurt, please stop and help-this is about fun. C. IMBA rules apply.D. No drinking of the wine on site of the event- Anyway, one should be drinking fine wine with fine food.

Apres Ride: After the event and a good bit of dirt riding, riders are encouraged to go to the Local Brewery for booze and victuals at around 1PM.

When: Saturday the 24th of September. Sign in as 8.30AM. Ride starts at 9.30AM.

Please email for more details and entrance into the event: thebottleride@gmail.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TBR Pieces.

Little by little the project is taking form and pieces are coming together.

I hope to have a final version up shortly- and once done it is off the races.

July for a bottle ride? Maybe....

TBR: phase deux III., originally uploaded by georouan.
Step by step.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TBR 2011.

The 2011 design is just about finished- Just a teaser for today. More to follow this weekend.
TBR 2011.
Needless to say I am really excited.

-Course is 99% settled on.
-Prizes for fastest man, woman and child is still on deck.
-Course record prize- maybe...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Take these words to heart.

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic."
— Jim Jarmusch