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Iceman Cometh Challenge
November 7, 2015
The 2015 Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge is a point to point mountain bike race held traditionally on the first Saturday of November. The race starts in downtown Kalkaska, Michigan and finishes thirty miles later at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort on the eastern edge of Traverse City, Michigan. The course consists primarily of dirt roads, two-tracks (the majority of the course), abandoned railroad beds and the world famous Vasa Nordic ski trail. It crosses only one paved road (Williamsburg Rd at mile 17) as it winds through the breathtaking terrain of the Pere Marquette State Forest in Northern Lower Michigan. In 2014, 5795 athletes participated!!
The Bell’s Iceman events attracts competitive cyclists from Canada (British Columbia & Ontario) and 36 states including Alaska,Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Ages range from 1.5 years to 80 years of age. Their ability levels vary from first time racers to Olympians who participated in the London games.
The Meijer Slush Cup offers beginning riders with a half frozen version of the Bell’s Beer Iceman. Approximately 8 miles long, the Slush Cup starts at Timber Ridge, follows the Vasa 10K ski trail, and then merges with the Bell’s Beer Iceman trail before winding up back at Timber Ridge.
The Meijer Sno-Cone is geared for riders 10 & under who want to discover the thrill of bike racing. Each participant receives a medal, number plate, and stickers.
The Iceman Course
Starting in downtown Kalkaska, the Bell’s Beer Iceman trail consists of paved roads, dirt roads, two tracks (the majority of the course), abandoned railroad beds, and the world famous Vasa Nordic ski trail. Approximately 29 miles long, the course crosses only one paved road (Williamsburg Rd. at mile 17) as it winds through the breath taking terrain of the Pere Marquette State Forest in Northwestern Lower Michigan. Course highlights include “Steve’s Secret”, “Lombard’s Luge,” “Cassle Cliffs,” and “Ice Breaker” (the last hill to climb). The finish line at Timber Ridge, just east of Traverse City, will be a welcome sight to all Icemen and Icewomen. The course can be best described as a road race on dirt.