Well another Iceman has cometh and wenteth. I've lost count to how many Iceman races I've competed in but I've been doing it since I started racing a bike. So this was probably my 8th or 9th Iceman. I didn't have much time to ramp up for this race after taking some time off from Nationals but I still had a few goals for the race. Race my SS, win, and have fun :-)
Scott and I drove up to Traverse City Friday afternoon with his teammate Steve. We pre-rode the end of the course (where most of the hills exist) and then registered at the expo. After that it was time for dinner at a new Mexican restaurant and then bed.
It was cold in the morning and I basically put on every layer that I had for the drive over to Kalkaska (where the race started). My coach wanted me to try and get a longer warm-up in and I failed miserably at this. Mostly because I was being a wimp and wanted to stay in the car with the heater blasting. Finally I got out and started riding my bike around. Brrrr....
The start area was slightly insane because there were so many racers but it was also really organized. Everyone is assigned a wave based on last years finishing time, which means you don't really know who you are racing against. It's basically a time trial to the finish, not something I am particularly good at doing. I headed over to my wave (#6) which was scheduled to take off at 9:15.
At 9:00 a.m. I glanced down at my bike and noticed that my number plate wasn't attached. Scott had taken my bike out of the car and I assumed he had put my plate on. I have a few things to say about this. First and foremost, the fact that I even noticed the missing number plate is pretty darn impressive. I'm always so nervous before a race I have a hard time finding the start area. Second of all, the fact that my number plate wasn't attached was totally MY fault even though I was blaming Scott at the time. I should have checked!
Scott was milling about somewhere in the crowd so I rushed back to the truck. Locked...CRAP. It was 9:03 and I started to sprint around looking for him. The timing chip was attached to the number plate so I needed it on my bike to get a time and not be disqualified. 9:06...total panic mode!!! 9:10....agggghhhhhh! With 5 minutes to go I found Scott, we rushed to the truck and threw my number plate on. Holy moly, talk about a high heart rate. I think I inadvertently got the warm-up my coach wanted.
I didn't have to wait long at the start line before we were off. The moment we started pedaling I realized that I was completely under-geared. I chose to run a 32x17 and it was a bad decision. BAD, BAD, BAD!!! The course was way flatter then I remembered it and I spent the majority of the race spinning my brains out. My legs felt like they were going to explode. Not because I was red-lined but because I was trying to spin so-freaking-fast. I was actually relieved when I reached the hills at the end and normally I don't feel that way!
I finished with a time of 2:06, good for first place. I never got that "wasted" feeling you get when you leave it all on the course though, and I kind of like that feeling. Instead I felt like I did an endurance ride with about 4,000 of my friends :-)
At the finish line....
It ended up being a beautiful day and after grabbing a bite to eat I changed clothes and hopped back on my bike. Scott loaded up my messenger bag with beer and we rode over to Williamsburg road to watch the pro's come racing through. It was an awesome day...
We woke up early Sunday and I have to say it was the best I've ever felt after an Iceman. I think it was due partly to the fact that I was under-geared during the race but mostly due to the fact that I skipped the after-parties and went to bed!
Later in the day at home we went for a bike ride. Temps were in the low-60's and I was able to ride with just a jersey and shorts on.
Scott took me down by the river and I have to admit I was suffering from Mukluk envy...
Finally I got a turn. So. Much. Fun. I can't wait to build one up!!!!
And speaking of Mukluk's....get ready for the farmer's-fat-bike-race!!!!