A chill in the air, leaves on the ground, it’s feeling like Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge season! As disappointing as it may be to have to miss this year’s edition of the race, we’re working hard to bring you a taste of the fun…safely!
For the past month or so, we’ve been putting together a virtual Celebration Zone to bring together some of the riders, sponsors, and people who make our event so special. From last year’s Men’s Elite winner, Alexey Vermuelen, to our pals from TREK, Michigan Mountain Biking Association, Bell’s Brewery, and a slew of others, it’s our way of thanking donors and showing everyone a little sip of what we’re all missing.
Luckily, the woods aren’t canceled. Riders have been putting in plenty of miles out on the 2020 course, and if you haven’t yet, give it a shot. We have received a ton of questions about the course and plenty of feedback, too. According to a little recon by myself and from other locals, the sand is much better than it was in the last week of September, and with a few more rainy nights, it’ll be fast until the snow flies.
One thing I noticed riding part of the course is just how tough the switch to the Special K and 10km really is. While we completely skip the Boonenberg and the Wall Bypass, two sections with short, sharp, rolling hills, we get instead two long, steady drags up that gain even more elevation, albeit over a longer distance than the traditional direction. At the end of it, there’s still a fast descent to the base of Anita Hill, then it’s “as you were” to most previous editions, without a trip to Headwaters.
Grab the GPX file and give the course a go and let us know how you think the race would have played out!
We will not be marking the course in any way per DNR rules, nor will there be any support or medical staff in the woods at any point this fall, and that includes November 7. Like any bike ride or Out’n’Back, riders should always be prepared to fix mechanicals and bring the snacks they need.