Timber Ridge Resort Preps for Iceman Bike Challenge
Nearly 5,000 racers and thousands more spectators are expected at the 22nd Annual Iceman Cometh Challenge 29-mile mountain bike race in Northern Michigan Saturday (Nov. 5), the Grand Rapids Press reported.
The course starts in Kalkaska and finishes in Traverse City and takes riders through hardwood forests, meadows and cross-country ski trails of the Pere Marquette State Forest.
Athletes hail from 38 states. An estimated 7,500 spectators will line the course as the competitors roll along the trail.
“Iceman is unique due to the unpredictable weather that occurs in Northern Michigan in November,” said Lary Bell, president and owner of of Bell’s Brewery in Comstock, near Kalamazoo. Bell’s is the event’s sponsor.
“It could be 55 degrees and sunny or it could be 20 degrees and snowy like it was last year,” Bell said.
The Bell’s Beer Iceman weekend kicks off with the Ice Cycle Expo, noon-9 p.m. Friday at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme.
In addition to the Iceman main race, the Meijer Slush Cup features a half-frozen eight-mile event for beginning racers. The Meijer Sno-Cone event is for riders 11 and younger.
The Iceman challenge is widely regarded as one of the premier mountain bike events in the Midwest. Sanctioned by USA Cycling, The Bell’s Beer Iceman boasts a $52,000 cash purse with $30,000 reserved for professional cyclists.
For more details, go to www.iceman.com.
The event is a big draw for Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort, a 200-site park located near Traverse City which fills up with campers for the event. "It is a huge one-day celebration for one of thee largest single-day mountain bike races in the nation," said park spokeswoman and co-owner Kristin Levesque told Woodall's Campground Management.