Sep 27, 2010

The Bottle Ride

Yesterday I competed in a "gentleman's race" at Blue Mountain. The race was one man's vision; organized by a local rider, racer and all around cool cat, he called it The Bottle Ride. He intended to gather a random group of like-minded individuals to race for fun. ... and wine (Prizes were bottles of wine!) The race was kept a mystery up until two days before the event, hinting that it would take place approximately 55 minutes, by train, from Grand Central Terminal. I knew it would be at Blue Mountain. Racers had to email to get a slot in the race and details were slowly divulged over the few days prior to the event via email and a special blog (See The Bottle Ride blog). The mystery of it all kept me interested. One for adventure, I knew this would be right up my alley. It turned out to be a very low key, time trial mountain bike race. Riders set off every 30 seconds from the top of Myx Monster and climbed up Ned's Left Lung for the finish. In my opinion, Myx Monster is the most technically challenging trail in the area. Several large rocks set at offensive angles try to pinch your bike and stop your momentum while you navigate your way down near-vertical sections of trail. Steep rollers and log build-ups are abundant and the obstacles just keep coming one after another. Extremely dry conditions and absurd quantities of fallen acorns made for very slippery trails likened best to marbles in dry graphite lube. I felt bad for one rider who informed me that it was her first time riding the Monster and I cautioned her to take it easy. There were a few speedy XC racers who took the wins for the geared and singlespeed categories. A handful of women raced as well, the fastest of which came away victorious in their category, wine bottle in hand.

I don't know what my time was, but I feel I did pretty well. I'm guessing I placed around 13th or so of the 30-some riders that attended. I did managed to lay the bike down and rough my leg up pretty good. It all happened before I knew it and I found myself face down in the dirt looking over at my bike laying on it's side; wheels still spinning. I was fine and got back on to finish the course. Funny thing about finishing the course: It was all up hill! Ned's Left Lung (Named, I assume, after Ned Overend) really kicked my ass and I actually walked a portion of it. And so this morning I limped out of the apartment scabby and sore but ready to start a fresh new week.

Beautifully orchestrated, the ride was a blast. I'm sure a lot of time went into organizing this race and it was clear that all who attended had a great time. From the hand painted number plates, clearly marked trails to the opening talk; this man made a lot of people happy! THANK YOU!

Edit: 9/29/10 The results were posted. Of the 27 riders, I had the 10th best time. Yay?!


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Cool low key event. I like that.
Nice ODI's I use the same ones.

John Mellor said...

Great pictures! Very cool write up.

Thank you again for showing up.