Iceman Info for Jonathan and Chad

At the end of episode 192 Jonathan and Chad were discussing Iceman Cometh Challenge. ( ) They guess it was likely a 100 mile race in the snow. It is actually just under 30 miles with the distance changing a bit every year due to a surprise finish create every year just before the race. I have down this race 4 years in a row and have only seen minimal flurries, meaning 4 straight year of “niceman”. In 2014 the conditions were bad and it was a “mudman”, and there were mean years I have heard of where it was a true “Iceman”.

The crew up there puts on a terrific race and the finish line area is some of what makes it such a special race with over 5,000 in the field.
Here is some history:

First half of this video gives you a bit of perspective of what the finish is like.


@chad @Jonathan @Nate_Pearson - If you fellas come up to god’s country, I’ll swanny for you! It really is a great race.


double swanny and I’ll buy you a beer.

am i the only Michiganer that laughs at the race growing 70 miles by the time these guys hear about it?


No kidding, right?! I mean, yeah, some look like hell @ Williamsburg Road but that’s only 17 in :rofl:

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look closely at my profile pic…that was heading back out and deep pain cave…i’m pretty sure there is drool

That’s a river! (jk)

Only 30 miles…that makes it more interesting :-D.

I wish you could fly with bikes for free! I will work on da boys.


‘Registration for the 2019 Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge, Saturday, November 2nd, will open on Friday, March 1st at 11:00 AM at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo and 7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City. Once again registration will be limited to the first 5,000 Iceman riders and 300 Meijer Slush Cup riders.’

The CBS Pro coverage is finally up on YouTube… Iceman Cometh Men's Coverage - YouTube


It’s a fun race. I’ve done it when it was a true iceman complete with lots of snow. Even won the junior sport class :). But that was back in 1999 I think it was :joy:.

People now-a-days ride their 4” wide fat tire bikes and float on the snow. Back then, we used 26” tires 1.8” wide and had to carve a trail from 5’ of snow without even gloves on our hands :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Come on Nate. Make it happen. You guys would love the race. I’ve been working on you guys for three years now to get you here :grinning:. We’d have a pretty good TR team representing. Get your buddy Kabush’s take on it and I’ll see you in November.


def. a good laugh! 100 miles would be a very different race!

Come on TR team… This has your name written all over it! For us michiganders, this kicks off the trainer season! :wink:

Definitely worth checking out. It isn’t an exceptionally hard race unless you choose to pedal hard, so it is the perfect end to the season. Post race there is a killer scene, good beer(@chad), and is generally a fun end to the season rather than an event that tests your endurance. Would love to see you guys make the trip to Michigan for a very unique event.

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I’m doing this race for the first time this year. This essentially guarantees it will be abysmal weather.

If the TR crew wanted to do a week in Michigan they could do the Lowell 50 the week before and get a taste for what fast, Midwest gravel racing is like.


I got into Iceman on a transfer spot and still have 24hrs to claim it - I put the route together from the site notes and a few local TC people I follow on strava (including the race director). I’m fairly sure this is 98% accurate based on the aforementioned items.

I have a slight hesitation to fully commit because I’m a roadie at heart - do any of you Iceman Alumnus have tips for for a first timer? I’ll be riding my gravel drop bar bike (SC Stigmata) on 700c x 43 as I don’t have a MTB bike, however, after learning about Kabush and recent blog post about drop bars on the Iceman site, I feel better about riding it with this set up.

Full disclosure: I’m a Michigan native - Chicagoan and my parents and in-laws both own homes in Traverse City - so I’m familiar with the area, terrain, and some sections of the course. If I decide to commit I’ll be able to do a full course pre-ride about 3 weeks before race day.

Iceman Route 2019

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Its not free but Traverse City, MI is served by Delta and United and the airport is about 5 miles from the finish and closer than that to a boatload of hotels. This might actually be one of the easiest big races to fly to.

Problem solved! I forgot that Delta recently did away with bike fees.

Google says Delta currently has a 1 stopper from Reno to Traverse City for $361 round trip.

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Nice work! It looks like the excuses are running out. Come visit us in Michigan! The race is sponsored by a beer company. What more do you need to know?

I’m not racing in it this year (hopefully next), but I’ll make the 3.5 hour drive to meet you all and buy you a few beers if/when you do race here.


They were imagining this race: The Arrowhead 135, not Iceman. The later is about fun, fast racing and beer. The former, survival.

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Accept the transfer. The best thing about Iceman is you can make it anything you want. Want to race and give it 100%? Do it. As a first timer you will probably be in a later wave. Make it a game and see how many people you can pass. Want to ride? Settle in with a group that will do that. Or make it anything in the middle. Great article on the Iceman site this week about the positives and negatives of riding drop bars. This will be my 5th or 6th. Just a great day in the woods with 10,000+ friends and family.

Come on @Nate_Pearson, @chad, and Jonathan. It’s just a 30 mile sprint you’ve got it in ya. As someone mentioned above it really is an easy big race to travel into. And to cap it off it’s the 30th anniversary.

Now I’m getting ready to head out and do an out and back of the course.

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