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  1. #1
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    2018 Iceman Cometh - Traverse City, MI

    Just registered for my first mountain bike race, The Iceman Cometh in Traverse City on Nov 3, 2018. Pretty pumped.

    Question....My buddy registered in Clydesdale division and suggested I do so also. I cannot find anything on the Iceman website that states what you need to weigh to be a Clyde. Iím not really overweight at 6í2Ē 205 but if the limit is 200 I technically qualify. Other option is to race where I originally signed up in 46yo menís division. Iím not going to be winning anything but certainly could compete better against dudes my size versus you 150 pounders. Looking for advice!

    Also who else is racing?

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    If you are over 200, go Clydesdale. One of my riding buddies got a podium in Clydes a year or two ago. He;s in great shape and rides Expert/Elite. There is no shame in racing Clydes.

    I'll be there. My racing weight is around 165, but God I'm old.

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    Looking forward to it. I had a lot of fun last year. Hoping my seeding is better since last year was my first . Holy crap it was like some people didn't know how to ride bikes on the first singletrack.
    Last edited by ryguy79; 09-21-2018 at 04:43 PM.

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    Such an awesome atmosphere, you'll love it. This was my first race 6 years ago and i've done i every year since, always getting a little faster. I will be doing this race for my foreseeable future for sure. As for clydes vs not clydes, go clydes, live a little, you may not be able to race clyde next year!

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    Gah! Sold out ... I love that Bissell is in the sponsor list

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbshralp View Post
    Gah! Sold out ... I love that Bissell is in the sponsor list
    spots will be plentiful if you want to get in or out as it moves closer to the race date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy79 View Post
    Holy crap it was like some people didn't know how to ride bikes on the first singletrack.
    That's no joke. My first year, I got stuck in a group that was stuck behind an old dude walking through that singletrack, not allowing anyone to pass. GAH!

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbshralp View Post
    Gah! Sold out ... I love that Bissell is in the sponsor list
    Bissell runs a developmental race team, so not surprised at all. I know a guy who raced for them when he was in high school. Not sure if he still does.

    I dunno that I'll ever do Iceman again, tbh. I wasn't a fan of the atmosphere, really. SOO MANY PEOPLE! I much prefer smaller races where crowding is less of a problem. Seemed to me that when I did it, every time the trail got to one of the small climbs, gobs of people had to get off and walk, which forced me to get off and walk because there was nowhere else to go. Then there was the occasional fast guy who I'm sure missed his start wave who'd yell at all the people who got off to walk. Sorry...just not fun for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I dunno that I'll ever do Iceman again, tbh. I wasn't a fan of the atmosphere, really. SOO MANY PEOPLE! I much prefer smaller races where crowding is less of a problem. Seemed to me that when I did it, every time the trail got to one of the small climbs, gobs of people had to get off and walk, which forced me to get off and walk because there was nowhere else to go. Then there was the occasional fast guy who I'm sure missed his start wave who'd yell at all the people who got off to walk. Sorry...just not fun for me.
    All true, but what the hell else is there to do in northern Michigan in November? Since moving last year I now live about 30 miles away so I'll probably do it every year.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy79 View Post
    All true, but what the hell else is there to do in northern Michigan in November? Since moving last year I now live about 30 miles away so I'll probably do it every year.
    Good question. I live in NC now, so I get basically perfect weather then.

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    It typically takes a few years of solid finish times to work your way up to a earlier start wave and then the trail opens up for you.

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    I signed up. It is my first race, so my goal is to finish with enough gas in the tank to enjoy the party afterwards. My brother in law did it last year and said it was fun. We'll see how it goes. I am in the Men's 40-49 Fatbike category. I thought about doing clydesdale, but I am hoping to be below 200 by then.

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    The winning times for my age group vs fat bike vs clydesdales are all within a few minutes. I've been racing Iceman and this will be my 5th year. Not much motivation to declare myself into one of the categories.

    The interesting part is, a couple years back during 2016's "nIceman", my time put me in the top 100--which I am stoked about. However, had I raced as a 26yrs (at the time I was 44), I would have placed top 30. I was told my age group is one of the most populated. Ah well. Still a great time.

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    Well Binge, you'll be waiting for me at the finish line for a LONG time. But I will get there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy79 View Post
    Looking forward to it. I had a lot of fun last year. Hoping my seeding is better since last year was my first . Holy crap it was like some people didn't know how to ride bikes on the first singletrack.
    Last year was my first year as well. I didn't really have that much fun because I started in the middle groups. The people I raced against last year that were usually +/- 1-3min finished like 15-20 minutes faster than me. I'm not an aggressive racer and didnt know the course well so I kept waiting for 2-track for some passing. Whats the point of expending a bunch of energy to pass 2-3 people in the single track when there is a line of 50 people in front of them. There should be an option for a group ride or race. I didn't sign up for a group ride but found myself in one....

    I know its hard to seed thousands of people, but they implemented the Strava thing, which is questionable, thing but apparently didnt use it....

    I signed up this year again hoping I will have more fun with a better starting position, but don't know how good of a spot I will get when I was 15-20 min slower than I most likely should have been.

    I'll give it another shot this year and see, but have low expectations.

    disclaimer: I'm not a party guy, so the whole event may have been lost on me as a whole.

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    Wave 31 - 10:30am start. Goal is 2:30 but since this is my first time Iím not sure what to expect. I told my wife and her friends waiting at the finishing line it could be anywhere between 12:45-1:30pm I guess.

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    I'm in Wave 31 as well, but I'm surprised because I'm not very fast. But this is my first race, so we'll see how it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    Wave 31 - 10:30am start. Goal is 2:30 but since this is my first time Iím not sure what to expect. I told my wife and her friends waiting at the finishing line it could be anywhere between 12:45-1:30pm I guess.
    What are some of your lap times at local trails?

    I think waves in the 30 range is where they put new people who havent done the race since they dont have any previous results to go by.

    Thats about where I was last year. I got wave 14 this year with a not great time of 2:20something last year. 14 isn't great, but I think it at least puts me where I wont have so many people who are just out for a Gran Fondo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus1500 View Post
    What are some of your lap times at local trails?

    I think waves in the 30 range is where they put new people who havent done the race since they dont have any previous results to go by.

    Thats about where I was last year. I got wave 14 this year with a not great time of 2:20something last year. 14 isn't great, but I think it at least puts me where I wont have so many people who are just out for a Gran Fondo.
    I did two laps at Yankee Springs this week at about 1:05 each. Thatís fewer miles than iceman but more elevation. Cannonsburg 60min, Luton 45, State Game 40.... all of those I could ride twice and come close to those times each lap. How about you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    I did two laps at Yankee Springs this week at about 1:05 each. Thatís fewer miles than iceman but more elevation. Cannonsburg 60min, Luton 45, State Game 40.... all of those I could ride twice and come close to those times each lap. How about you?
    I do about a 55 min Yankee lap. I havent done Luton or SGA. I dont have a correct full lap of Cannonsburg. I messed up the end last time I was there. lol

    I think a 2:30 is within reason for you if you ride hard and don't let yourself get caught up too much. I rode SS with a relatively big gear, so when I got stuck in groups before and during hills it was a nightmare. Wasted way too much energy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus1500 View Post
    I do about a 55 min Yankee lap. I havent done Luton or SGA. I dont have a correct full lap of Cannonsburg. I messed up the end last time I was there. lol

    I think a 2:30 is within reason for you if you ride hard and don't let yourself get caught up too much. I rode SS with a relatively big gear, so when I got stuck in groups before and during hills it was a nightmare. Wasted way too much energy.
    This is helpful, thank you. Good luck on race day.

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    I am bummed that I will miss it again this year- good luck to all riders! I have made the podium a couple times in my class in years past, and at the awards ceremony I do recall having seen the clydes step on a scale for proof at least once.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

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    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post
    I signed up. It is my first race, so my goal is to finish with enough gas in the tank to enjoy the party afterwards. My brother in law did it last year and said it was fun. We'll see how it goes. I am in the Men's 40-49 Fatbike category. I thought about doing clydesdale, but I am hoping to be below 200 by then.
    If its your first race, a couple tips.

    Don't change anything right before the race. Get your bike all squared away the week before and ride it during the week to make sure its all set. Don't throw on a brand new chain, dont mount different tubeless tires the night before.

    There is going to be LOTS of people. Just relax and settle in for a bit. People are going to do dumb things so try and be ready. Dont be afraid to pass and call them out.

    Practice riding in the cold the next couple weeks to get your clothing all set for what ever the weather might be.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus1500 View Post
    If its your first race, a couple tips.

    Don't change anything right before the race. Get your bike all squared away the week before and ride it during the week to make sure its all set. Don't throw on a brand new chain, dont mount different tubeless tires the night before.

    There is going to be LOTS of people. Just relax and settle in for a bit. People are going to do dumb things so try and be ready. Dont be afraid to pass and call them out.

    Practice riding in the cold the next couple weeks to get your clothing all set for what ever the weather might be.
    Thanks, that's good advice. I did buy new tires, but I am going to leave the current ones on until after the race. I am going to need to swap the chain because the old one is at the limit, but I have time to put miles on if I get it done this week.

    I am looking forward to it. My wife & daughter signed up for the slush cup, so they will be there too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post
    I am going to need to swap the chain because the old one is at the limit, but I have time to put miles on if I get it done this week.
    Again, like exodus said, don't go replacing stuff, throwing a new chain on to replace a super worn out chain is not always good. your cassette and chainring have worn with that super worn chain. unless its not super worn (i assumed when you say at the limit) just be wary that it may not play nice with the cassette, ive been there and learned lol.

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    The amount of people on the side of the trail in the first 1.5 miles with broken chains or some other issue was flat out comical. My rough estimation would be like 30-40 and that was with only half the field starting ahead of me. lol

    I cant remember the last time I broke a chain.... I think maybe like 3 years ago.... Granted I rode SS almost exclusively for 2 years, but I rode the majority on a geared full suspension this year.

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    It's not passing the 0.75 mark on the chain gage yet. I have a spare cassette and chainring so if it acts up I'll swap the whole thing. I will have a week at home ride it in, which I'll be confident in the bike by then. It's me I'm worried about.

    I'm not surprised about busted chains up there. Sandy soil will do a marginal chain in. I used to design feed systems at glass plants. Sand and busted glass for ingredients, so all the machines in the plants were exposed to abrasives. It made you appreciate the value of preventive maintenance.

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    I'm not very motivated to ever do the Iceman based on what I'm reading. I like racing with a lead group that I know will contain the eventual winner, not dozens of waves and people blocking the course.

    If I have lots of top-10 Strava times on segments at Merrell, Luton, Cannonsburg SGA & Ski, and Wahlfield is there anything I could do to convince the organizers to put me in an earlier wave? I'm not going there to cruise, I'd want to give it all I have.

    I guess I'm talking about next year here.

    Doing Lowell 34 this Saturday, curious how that will turn out as I feel more in my element on singletrack than gravel, much less a very roadie-like gravel race.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sissypants View Post
    I'm not very motivated to ever do the Iceman based on what I'm reading. I like racing with a lead group that I know will contain the eventual winner, not dozens of waves and people blocking the course.

    If I have lots of top-10 Strava times on segments at Merrell, Luton, Cannonsburg SGA & Ski, and Wahlfield is there anything I could do to convince the organizers to put me in an earlier wave? I'm not going there to cruise, I'd want to give it all I have.

    I guess I'm talking about next year here.

    Doing Lowell 34 this Saturday, curious how that will turn out as I feel more in my element on singletrack than gravel, much less a very roadie-like gravel race.
    When I raced it a couple years ago, you could link your strava acct and then organizers will take your rides into account when putting you into a starting wave. I got placed midpack, which is about right for me, but unfortunately made for probably the most crowded conditions, too.

    They will also take prior years' results into account, so if you are a first timer, they are likely to place you into a more conservative wave than if you have a history of strong finishes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    When I raced it a couple years ago, you could link your strava acct and then organizers will take your rides into account when putting you into a starting wave.
    Ah, cool, do you know what metrics they look at?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sissypants View Post
    Ah, cool, do you know what metrics they look at?
    AFAIK, distance, frequency, avg speed. Not sure if they look at power if you record it.

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    Actually the iceman point system is mainly based on elevation gain. A lot of factors are taken into account, but by-in-large the most influential stat is elevation gain.

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    Ya, its almost exclusively about elevation. And it doesnt seem to matter how you got there 1mph... 10mph... Their system just wants to see elevation :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    I did two laps at Yankee Springs this week at about 1:05 each. Thatís fewer miles than iceman but more elevation. Cannonsburg 60min, Luton 45, State Game 40.... all of those I could ride twice and come close to those times each lap. How about you?
    These are pretty similar pace to what I run around the GR area trails. The past three years I've finished 2:26 (2015), 2:03 (2016 - short, Niceman), and 2:28 (2017). Those should give you an idea, though in a race like Iceman it can depend on traffic, race day conditions (like 2014's Mudman vs. 2016's Niceman), and your own ability to keep pushing.

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    Wave 8 here.
    Early weather forecast is rain but that will change every day.
    Please no 2014 again.
    Good luck to everyone.
    LS

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    Quote Originally Posted by sissypants View Post
    I'm not very motivated to ever do the Iceman based on what I'm reading. I like racing with a lead group that I know will contain the eventual winner, not dozens of waves and people blocking the course.

    If I have lots of top-10 Strava times on segments at Merrell, Luton, Cannonsburg SGA & Ski, and Wahlfield is there anything I could do to convince the organizers to put me in an earlier wave? I'm not going there to cruise, I'd want to give it all I have.

    I guess I'm talking about next year here.

    Doing Lowell 34 this Saturday, curious how that will turn out as I feel more in my element on singletrack than gravel, much less a very roadie-like gravel race.
    The wave seeding is structured so it rewards riders for coming back year after year. Do well every year and you will get continually pushed up every year. Just have to pay your dues, basically. I started in wave 27 my first year, 2014 and have worked my way up to wave 2 this year. The Strava points are only used to seed you in your first year, after that your seeding is based on a % back from the overall winner. First year or 2, you are definitely going to sit in traffic at times but there are loads of opportunities to hammer and pass on long 2-track stretches. Also, for most racers it's all about the weekend as a whole and not just the race itself. The expo, watching to pro race, the after parties...the whole weekend is just a great festival celebrating the end of the season with all your riding buddies.

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    Don't worry about the weather forecast until the day you plan on leaving to make the trip to Traverse City.
    Bring EVERYTHING for clothing. Have a good mindset, and enjoy the event! If you're a first timer and have a crummy wave, just know that almost everyone has to pay their dues in the first year. I was wave 32 my first year (2016 / 1:44) and bumped up to a top ten wave for the next year.

    Hang out after your race is finished, cheer on the pro racers on the Icebreaker, and take it all in. This is the largest mtb race in North America!

    hope to see you all out there.

    -nick

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post
    Well Binge, you'll be waiting for me at the finish line for a LONG time. But I will get there.
    No worries. I'll have a cold beer waiting for you!

    BTW, weather looks FANTASTIC. Dry and 35-50F. You can't hope for anything better!

    Very STOKED! Giggigity!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bingemtbr View Post
    No worries. I'll have a cold beer waiting for you!

    BTW, weather looks FANTASTIC. Dry and 35-50F. You can't hope for anything better!

    Very STOKED! Giggigity!!
    I know, just saw that. It has been POURING DOWN RAIN here in Ohio. I am very excited for this weekend. My wife and daughter are doing the slush cup together too. So it will be a fun weekend

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    Had a blast yesterday. 2:31 from wave 31. Celebrated at the finish with food and beers and watched the pros come in. Fantastic event and awesome day start to finish.

    Random thoughts....it was 32-34į at the start so a tad colder than I had been preparing for but nothing got cold. Happy with my attire choices. Surprised at how many people donít even attempt the climbs. They get off bike at bottom of hills and walk up. Made it smooth sailing for me because there was always a path open to the top. Started cramping at Anitaís Hill which probably slowed me a little but not too bad. Overall I only got stuck behind slow bikers in singletrack twice, both times lasted 2-3 minutes, and both times I was ready for some rest so it wasnít bad. My plus tires 29x3Ē handled the sandy spots great.

    Iíll definitely do this race again.

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    What a great atmosphere! I was way back and still was cheered on to the finish by a big crowd. It felt like a huge festival as much as a bike race. I also really enjoyed watching the pros race in the afternoon, as well. Knowing the speed people are capable of going and seeing it in person are two different things. They looked like deer running through the trail.

    I will definitely be back for the race next year. I heard the race organizers sold the race, if that's true I hope the new organizers do as good of a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    Had a blast yesterday. 2:31 from wave 31. Celebrated at the finish with food and beers and watched the pros come in. Fantastic event and awesome day start to finish.

    Random thoughts....it was 32-34į at the start so a tad colder than I had been preparing for but nothing got cold. Happy with my attire choices. Surprised at how many people donít even attempt the climbs. They get off bike at bottom of hills and walk up. Made it smooth sailing for me because there was always a path open to the top. Started cramping at Anitaís Hill which probably slowed me a little but not too bad. Overall I only got stuck behind slow bikers in singletrack twice, both times lasted 2-3 minutes, and both times I was ready for some rest so it wasnít bad. My plus tires 29x3Ē handled the sandy spots great.

    Iíll definitely do this race again.

    Good job. I'm glad the traffic wasnt as bad for you as it was for me last year. There were people literally pushing 3 wide up hills for me last year. Your time should most likely get you wave 15 +/- next year. Wave 14 was much better for me. Still lots of passing but it was much more manageable. Also I think some of my frustration last year was self Induced by not being more aggressive. The race was billed to me by a couple people as a 2 track fest, so I kept waiting for ideal passing.

    The weather was solid, very similar to last year. Due to some medical issues I have horrible circulation so I couldn't feel my fingers and toes after 20 min. Lol

  42. #42
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    I am happy with 2:26 this year. I was in a car accident in late September and only rode a handful of times in October. I wasn't seriously hurt but stitches in my index finger made braking painful for a couple weeks, and then I twisted my knee riding in Marquette 2 weeks before the race. I'm hoping to get moved up a bit more next year. Still had lots of really slow riders on the singletrack from wave 22.

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    Good job!

    I had a great time as well. Great race, great atmosphere--if you've never been, GO! My finish was good enough to land me in the top 60 (out of 130) in my age group. My previous races only had me near the top 100.

    The thing I do not understand is why they even bother with a "Clydesdale" class. The winning clydesdale time was @15 minutes slower than the pro's. IMO, the clydesdale class should start at 240lbs and have a height-weight restriction. Being 201lbs, 6'2"+ is NOT a clydesdale. Here's a link to results, if you click on the winning "clydesdales" profiile, you'll see a pic of the racer. Certainly not even close to having a "dad bod" and definitely NOT a clydesdale (in my opinion).

    Link to Pro's results:
    https://www.iceman.com/events/199098...ro-cat-1-men-6

    Link to Clydes results:
    https://www.iceman.com/events/199098...ydesdales-40-5

    If you're a racer, this is not directed at you personally. I believe the promoter or UCI just needs to re-evaluate this classification or do away with it. FWIW, I haven't weighed 200 lbs since grade 5.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliketexmex View Post

    I will definitely be back for the race next year. I heard the race organizers sold the race, if that's true I hope the new organizers do as good of a job.
    It was sold to the people who arrange the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, but the current (original) organizers will be sticking around to help with the transition for the next few years.

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    [QUOTE=JDHutch;13873156]Had a blast yesterday. 2:31 from wave 31. Celebrated at the finish with food and beers and watched the pros come in. Fantastic event and awesome day start to finish.

    Random thoughts....it was 32-34į at the start so a tad colder than I had been preparing for but nothing got cold. Happy with my attire choices. Surprised at how many people donít even attempt the climbs. They get off bike at bottom of hills and walk up.

    This is why I don't race it SS anymore. It was so frustrating to see people downshift before they even got to the bottom of the hill. I was never that great on a SS, and my times were just about the same as geared, but starting up hills with zero momentum irked me.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bingemtbr View Post
    I had a great time as well. Great race, great atmosphere--if you've never been, GO! My finish was good enough to land me in the top 60 (out of 130) in my age group. My previous races only had me near the top 100.

    The thing I do not understand is why they even bother with a "Clydesdale" class. The winning clydesdale time was @15 minutes slower than the pro's. IMO, the clydesdale class should start at 240lbs and have a height-weight restriction. Being 201lbs, 6'2"+ is NOT a clydesdale. Here's a link to results, if you click on the winning "clydesdales" profiile, you'll see a pic of the racer. Certainly not even close to having a "dad bod" and definitely NOT a clydesdale (in my opinion).

    Link to Pro's results:
    https://www.iceman.com/events/199098...ro-cat-1-men-6

    Link to Clydes results:
    https://www.iceman.com/events/199098...ydesdales-40-5

    If you're a racer, this is not directed at you personally. I believe the promoter or UCI just needs to re-evaluate this classification or do away with it. FWIW, I haven't weighed 200 lbs since grade 5.
    That 15 minutes would have made him 50th in the elites. I don't see the issue. There were plenty of age groups with times faster than the clyde winner.

  47. #47
    3SA
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    This was my 2nd year- went from wave 30 last year to wave 15 this year. HUGE difference- particularly in the beginning and on climbs. Singletrack was still quite slow, but it wasn't the snail-paced parade that it was out of 30 last year. I was also completely shocked at how people coasted into climbs. I just don't know why they didn't try to get some easier momentum. I made a lot of passes on the climbs- which luckily was clear enough for me to ride this year! Took a little over 10 minutes off my time from last year, so hopefully I'll move up again next year.

    This year was phenomenal for conditions/weather/ and people sticking around to spectate. I had a blast even though this wouldn't be a ride that I'd normally pick for fun (2-track/ hammerfest).

  48. #48
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    I passed a lot of people on the climbs because they didn't carry any speed into them and I was in wave 4!

    Went in this year wanting a sub 2 finish and I got it (did it in 2016 but that short course doesn't count).

  49. #49
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    Yeah i also passed alot of people on climbs in wave 2. Was on track for a 1:45:00 until two guys in wave 1 took me out and blew my front tire off with 4k to go. ran it out for a 1:56:00

  50. #50
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    Ya, I cant understand the coasting into hills. Its mind blowing.... it's not like a technical climb where you need to pick a line either.... even a pure roadie should have zero problems navigating everything at iceman.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryandurepo View Post
    Yeah i also passed alot of people on climbs in wave 2. Was on track for a 1:45:00 until two guys in wave 1 took me out and blew my front tire off with 4k to go. ran it out for a 1:56:00
    Seems like there was a lot of that going on this year. Not sure what the deal was with all the crashes. I got caught up in that pile up right at the start of wave 2. Tweaked my bars and I had to stop just past the barriers, pull out a tool and straighten them. Managed to ride back into the race though at 1:54:28 and 5th in AG.

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