For the last 24 years, The Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge has been one of Michigan’s most notable biking events. Traditionally held in early November, the Iceman is a point-to-point mountain biking race that begins in Kalkaska and ends, 29 miles away, at the Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort located on the edge of Traverse City. Riders navigate their way over dirt tracks, abandoned railroad beds and the Vasa Nordic ski trail as they make their way through the Pere Marquette State Forest.
The first Iceman was held in 1990, with 35 participants. Last year’s event drew a whopping 5,669 riders, the Iceman’s biggest turnout yet. Over $58,000 was awarded to cyclists at the 2013 Challenge, spread out over 250 individual cash prizes.
In addition to the main course, the Iceman also includes additional cycling options. The Meijer Slush Cup Course, a shorter version of the Iceman, acts as a perfect choice for beginning cyclists and riders with less experience in general. Running just 8 miles, The Meijer course is a great opportunity to prepare for the following year’s main event. For the younger kids, the Meijer Sno-Cone race allows children 10 and under to be part of the fun. The Sno-Cone includes a short ¼ race for the youngest participants and a longer 1.5 mile version for the bigger boys and girls.
This year’s Iceman will be held Saturday, November 8. The current projected forecast sits at around 38 degrees. For more information or to register for the event, visit iceman.com.