Finally, my Iceman report.
Once again we made a fun weekend out of it starting off with the pre-ride on Friday through a new event on Sunday, the Icecross.
So Friday I did my first real mountain bike ride since last year's Iceman race when I pre-rode the course. The first few miles where interesting going through the sand and feeling the bike move underneath myself. It was definitely a different feeling. After taking just about every bad line whether in be in the single track, through sand, around corners, or on the downhills I think I had it all figured out how to ride it the following day. The hard part would be to remember everything in order, doing it behind riders, and at least 5mph faster.
Friday night continued on with going to the expo and registration. After walking through the expo and my dad talking with just about everyone there we went to a pasta dinner held by a mountain bike team that my dad had previously ridden for. Even I was on it briefly back in the day, The Midwest Cannondale Cycling Team. It was put on by the Scurr's, and Sherri was right when she said it was the best buffet in town. To bad I filled up on lasagna, ravioli, bread, and salad before tasting the most delicious and out of the world chocolate chip cookie and brownie piece. Thanks so much and I am looking forward to next years feast already. I'll save more room for dessert this time.
Saturday morning I got up nice and early 6:30 for my race that didn't' start till 2:30, and was a short 30 min drive away. But since my dad started at 9am my brother and I got up to join him and Nick for breakfast and drive them to the start. The amount of people that do this race is amazing. There are waves of starters every 5 minutes for 2 1/2 hours and each wave is between 50-200 riders. Absolutely incredible. Although the thing that might have been slightly more incredible was the amount of guys that would be in a road areo tuck killing it 300meters after the start on the pavement. Check this guy out.
My dad started off at a more reasonable pace, some may call it recreational, but who am I to judge. Word is he picked it up to a more race like pace and came through with a reasonable time for someone who only started training 3 weeks prior. Here's an action shot.
After his finished we loaded up and headed back to the hotel so he could grab a quick shower and I could get some food and dressed for my race. As I walked out of the room to head to the car I realized how warm it had gotten. The temperature was 63, and for northern Michigan in November at race that has seen as many snow days as sunny days, it was very pleasant.
My goal was just to hang on to the group as long as possible and do my best to make it through the tricky sections, and by tricky I mean mountain bikey. The first open section of single track I got slightly off the back as it felt like we were going 100mph and I just couldn't follow right on the wheel. No biggy as I was right back on as we hit the 2 track.
To bad my luck would change as the single track section 8 miles in was a touch tighter. I got about halfway through before a gap formed. A few guys past and I was left to chase again. After a chain drop and bit of chasing I brought a few riders back. By this time we were on some open two tracks, but only one rider, a fellow roadie, Graham Howard, could hang on. I had no idea how far up the front group was, but I just rode it like a TT. After the excitement of heading through Williamsburg Rd. I was starting to feel the burn. It was at this time we hit a bit of a straight stretch and what do I see, the front group about 30 seconds up the trail. Unfortunately other then catching one rider dangling on the back of the group I never saw the 6 leaders again for the final 9 miles.
Coming through Williamsburg Rd. Thanks for all the cheers.
After catching Derek Graham and loosing Graham Howard on one the last hills we came to some more dreaded single track and the last finishing stretch which was sort of tight. The inevitable happened as I took a bad line and Derek past me in the last 500 meters. But I was like a turtle and he was the hare as he went a bit to fast into one of the last corners and crashed. I went by not overlyjoined, but not disappointed to be finishing 7th.
The way I see it if I had made it through that single track section with the leaders there is a good chance I would have finished 7th anyways as the would have flown by me in the last two miles of it. Maybe next time I'll get on my mountain bike a few times before.
Well that night we headed to the awards ceremony which usually takes hours, but had a new format which was rather pleasant as the evening flown by. A lot of guys usually go out partying, but we were just plain out by 10.
The next day was the Icecross and after much himhowing I decided to sit this out and just enjoy watching. Although as my race started I was wishing I was in it as it looked like fun. My brother went out in the B race and showed off his skill at the barriers.
To bad his skills start and end there. Although if he keeps at it soon enough it will all come and you won't catch me on the same cyclocross course as him .
Ok off to my cold, snowy, and long winter. With a baby coming in less then 2 months though that should make things more interesting.