Ouch! That’s all I can say right now. I have been meaning to update this blog for the last few days but since my computer sits nearly 12 feet from my couch and my sore legs only allow for trips less than 10; I have been unable to provide the fascinating insight you are used to.
Although I have not kept the training pace I proposed in my initial blog post, I have been training on a fairly consistent basis and it is starting to catch up to me. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have used the stationary bikes at the local “y”, ridden some great local single tracks and spent some time dodging traffic while biking on the roads. I have met a few others that have participated in previous Iceman races and it sounds like the hill climbing is not the biggest challenge of the Iceman. Typical of northern Michigan terrain, sand covers a large portion of the course and makes for a long 27 miles. There is really no way for me to prepare for this, but I will still push to try to get myself into the best shape possible for this race. I have found a local “rails to trails” path that is 9 miles of crushed limestone. Tomorrow, I plan to ride the 7 miles of asphalt that connect to this limestone path. Riding the two trails there and back will come to just over 31 miles. Although this will not offer the challenging terrain that makes the Iceman difficult, the distance alone should help provide a barometer of my readiness.
A friend of mine has also loaned me a pretty good bike to ride in the Iceman, (Warning; bike geek alert) a 2000 Cannondale Jekyll that has all of the component upgrades – XTR brakes, Kevlar tires, Shimano XTR derailleur’s, CODA EX3 crank set, etc. I already ride a 2002 Cannondale Terra hard tail which I like a lot, but the Jekyll is full suspension with both front and rear lock out and is still significantly lighter than my Terra. I rode the Jekyll at the Tree Farm single track over the weekend and it really made a difference. The aggressive knobby tires kept the bike tight through the technical portions and rear suspension made climbing log piles and running the downhill routes much easier. I imagine that the full suspension will not make much of a difference during the Iceman race and I will probably ride with at least the rear locked out, but the lighter bike and super aggressive knobby tires will probably help move through the sand a lot more manageable.