Iceman Cometh 2022
by Michael Green • January 05, 2023
Closing out the 2022 season was my annual pilgrimage to Traverse City. This year the 30 mile point-to-point hammerfest through the forests of northern Michigan included more singletrack than previous years, plus with an inch and a half of rain in the prior 24 hours, it was going to be a fun day.
The first wave started at 9am followed by close to 5000 of your closest friends. The rain hadn’t subsided during the drive to the start and continued to pour during a warm up ride around the airport at Kalkaska, but, somehow miraculously, it stopped for the start.
The soils are mostly sandy in northern Michigan and thankfully had drained moderately well. There were many areas of standing water though and some of the singletrack was certainly slimy, but we were racing and we were all pilling through the very same conditions. Placement by wave is based on past race history and the first wave is full of Michigan’s fastest, outside of those racing “Pro” and the pace was high from the start.
I tried to control myself and not get caught up in the excitement, but it’s truly easier said than done. It wasn’t long before the front wave was stretched out in single file. I was feeling halfway decent but not able to close gaps as easily as I’d been able to over recent weeks, but where I could close gaps was in the singletrack - in contrast to former events, I was happy railing the twists and turns.
It was hard. A few rain showers along the way added a little variability but generally the weather was a non-factor. By half way at Williamsburg Road crossing, the guys I was riding with was most likely the same as I’d finish with. Our group was about ten strong but at times I was really hanging off the back for much of it. I made up time in the tight sections, gave it my best on the climbs and fought to hold on.
By the time we could hear the finish line at Timber Ridge Resort the two decisive climbs were on us - Icebreaker and Woodchip Hills. This year some singletrack was between the two and the finish and I unfortunately got a bit held up by those ahead of me. I sprinted for position at the finish line and pipped the guy ahead.
Another year over, some good results over the year and my final in the 50+ world and into the 60’s. I finished top step in my age which put a smile on my face and was proud of the family for making podcasts and YouTube recap video’s for their noise and intimidating chant of “drink, drink, drink” to anyone who climbed onto the podium with a beer. A great way to end the racing year. Now some work travel.