Unless there is a dramatic change in the weather – which there certainly could be – between now and 11/3, they might have to rename the Iceman race “Sandman”. Yesterday, Craig Gietzen, Kirk Graham and I made the jaunt up to Kalkaska to check out the condition of the traditional Iceman course. I say traditional because every year organizers make minor alterations to accomodate changes in the course condition.Parking at Turtle Creek Casino, we rode the 12+ miles to the start in Kalkaska where we jumped on the first section of two track and were off to the races. It became apparent very quickly that despite the recent rains, the course was going to be pretty soft in spots. Between Craig and I, we did an admirable job of remembering the course and keeping on track, even discovering what appears to be a new section of single track about 2/3 of the way between the start and Williamsburg Road. It was also about that point we found a few sections of the sandy two-track which had been so churned up by the logging trucks that we all had to get off and hoof it up the road a bit.
Kirk, who was riding the course for the first time and will be competing in the Clydesdale category this year, was surprised at the amount of single track and and also the challenging climbs having been told by many friends how flat and fast the course tends to be. He was definitely feeling the effects by the time we pulled into Timber Ridge and started our trek back to Turtle Creek.
After a fast decent down 5 Mile Road to highway 31 we made our way back to M-72 and found an unpleasant headwind as we headed up the long grind out of Traverse City. One very short loop of the parking lot at Turtle Creek netted us 50 miles for the day. A pretty good workout for one old and two semi-old geezers.