Riding with the wind. When I'm sad, she comes to me.
With the thousand smiles, she gives to me...

Fly on my little wing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Iceman 2011: First Mountain Bike Race

Anyone that happens to be unfamiliar with the Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike Race can check out the details here. In short it’s from Kalkaska to T.C. and it has grown to be the largest one day mountain bike in the US. It also happened to be my first mountain bike race ever.

The day dawned clear and chilly, right around freezing, with predictions for perfect race conditions later in the morning. We had a whole crew racing from the bike shop where I work at (No Boundaries in Boyne City).The race goes off in waves, starting with the fasted seeded times (those that raced previously) followed by age group waves. I was in a wave with my triathlon buddy, Dave Smith (who's blog is here) and we planned to work together. It was also his first mountain bike race. We were in wave 19 going off at 9:54, so there was bound to be lots of traffic on the trail. We we ended up being a bit rushed to get to the starting line (just how I like to roll), but got in our wave in time.

The horn went off as did the mad dash to get to the front, as the first part of the race is open and flat and not to get stuck behind slower riders in the single track. I fell a bit behind Dave after my poor positioning and lack of wanting to red line in the first 5 minutes. There was also a crash in the opening two track section, thus I spend most of the next 20 minutes trying to make up time to catch Dave, as we had wanted to ride together. I eventually worked my way back to him and as the course opened up to a long section of dirt road, he said that this was the spot to make up time and took off. My lack of riding in recent weeks was evident at this point as he was gone and I conceded to not blow up less than half way through the race.

The rest of the race was riding and passing a lot of people from earlier waves. I had to dismount up Anita’s hill, upon which my quads and calves immediatly seized and I noted to not get off my bike until the end of the race. I heard the crowd and the announcer at the finish, which was deceiving as I still had 2 miles to go. In the last section of single track I took few risks, just wanting to finish the race in one piece. I crossed the finish line in 2:07:20; a time I was pleased with considering my conditioning. Dave had a great day, finishing in 1:59. We found the rest of the No Boundaries crew, chowed down on some food, enjoyed some fermented beverages and hung out around the campfire. We stayed to watch the Pros come through around 3pm. It’s amazing how fast they can go. Uphill and on single track. Overall it was a super day and a race that I will certainly be doing more MTB racing in the future.


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