Iceman Call to Action

Iceman Call to Action

It’s finally warming up here in northern Michigan and that can only mean one thing! It’s time to hit the trails, pathways, and roads. As you gear up for a busy spring summer, and fall of cycling activity here’s a quick checklist for you.Bike? Check.

Helmet and shoes? Check.

Glasses? Check.

Every piece of cycling clothing you’ve ever owned? Check.

Ready?! – Well, Not quite.

Mountain bike riding can be a gear intensive sport and most of us feel like that should be end of our capital and personal outlay with our sport. Numerous people have told me that’s exactly how they felt until they got involved with their local trails and cycling organizations. Now they’ve found that giving back keeps their trails healthy and encourages others to swing their leg over a bicycle to new adventures.

Bikes change lives but occasionally they need a little boost along the way.  I get that mountain bike riders are not “joiners” but we all need to support the following groups to ensure that mountain bike riding is a recreational experience that generations to come can enjoy. Do it now! You’ll feel better immediately!

League of Michigan Bicyclists

The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) works on behalf of all cyclists to make bicycling safe and convenient for everyone in Michigan. For LMB to meet its mission, we need active supporters like you. Membership aligns you with other bicyclists across the state, adding your voice to an effective grassroots advocacy group. LMB believes that a connected, engaged, and thriving cyclist community will lead to a stronger, more sustainable, and healthier Michigan. Whether you are a racer, recreational rider, mountain biker, touring cyclist, casual commuter, or social rider, join LMB and help move us towards a more bicycle-friendly Michigan. Learn more at

Michigan Mountain Bike Association

MMBA provides resource and advocacy support to the 11 mountain biking chapters within Michigan. Melissa Werkman is the Executive Director and works closely with trail managers, land conservancies, municipal, private, state and federal landowners, legislators and other key stakeholders on trail issues as well as facilitating mountain bike projects throughout the state. This fall the MMBA is hosting the first ever Michigan Mountain Biking Festival at Boyne Mountain August 25-27th.

Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (or your local chapter of the MMBA)

NMMBA is the regional chapter of MMBA here in Northwest Lower Michigan. Don Clewley and the team are dedicated to building, maintaining, and protecting trails in the area that provide recreational opportunities for locals and travelers alike. Their efforts have expanded to the winter months in supporting the Winter Sports Singletrack and the Cadillac Pathways, with grooming efforts supported by donors like YOU! For 2017, NMMBA is excited to bring you the Traverse City Trails Festival on July 22, a new race and tour that celebrates miles of singletrack just out our backdoor. Stay tuned for more details, and follow on Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch. 

Michigan Scholastic Cycling Association

Sean Warren reports that the MiSCA board is excited to announce they’re moving forward with the bid process to become a NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) Affiliate League. If the NICA board approves their bid, MiSCA would become an Affiliate League in the fall of 2018.

Here’s to a new season of adventures with good friends!

Bell’s Registration Party is Today. Watch the Promo Video

Bell's Registration Party is today. Watch the promo video

The 2016 Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge was one for the record books. Warm sunshine greeted racers at TImber Ridge Resort as they finished their fast 27 mile trek from Kalkaska. What will 2017 bring? That’s part of the fun of the event and to help you get registered we’ve compiled a quick and easy breakdown of the paths you can choose depending on your past Iceman history.

Never been in the race?

Option one, come to Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo on Friday, March 3, 2017 at 11am and register in person. Everyone that shows up between 11-4 gets in. Done. Option two, hope there’s room after the 2016 riders register online when the non-2016 riders get their online crack at it on Friday, March 17th at 12 noon. Tips to speed along your entry. Register for an Ice Society account at and get a USA Cycling number (not a license) ahead of time.

Raced in 2016?

If you raced in the 2016 Iceman and want to ride this year you are guaranteed a spot in the race as long as you complete that entry between Friday, March 10 at 9am and Friday, March 17 at 9am. After that it’s first come first serve until the race fills up at 4,500 riders for Iceman and 400 riders for Slush Cup. You can also come to Bell’s, it’s a fun party and a great way to kick off the weekend.

Save the dates, yes DATES

Save the dates, yes DATES.

While winter has finally returned to much of northern Michigan, allowing for the resumption of winter fat biking, we’ve been busy at Iceman HQ getting ready for the March 3 kick off for this years race registration. We’ll be at Bell’s in Kalamazoo that day, the party starts at 11am with in-person registration. Everyone that shows up to Bell’s gets in the race. Registration information has been updated at this link.

And new to the cycling calendar is the Michigan Mountain Bike Festival scheduled for August 25-27 at Boyne Mountain. Details are firming up but here’s what they have planned so far. This is a new event put on by the MMBA that they hope to move around to different areas from year to year. Registration should be up fairly soon.

Women’s Skills Clinic
Advanced Jumps & Burms Clinic
Hands-on Trailbuilding Class
Demo Fair & Food Trucks
Group rides on the new Avalanche trail
Kid’s Skills Clinic
Kid’s Movie
Storytelling & Bonfire Under the Stars
Shuttles to trails
On-site childcare
Chairlift Happy Hour on the Mountain
Live Band
and last but not least…

Beer Tent

Oh, one more thing, we strongly encourage all the members of the Iceman Community to support the Michigan Mountain Biking Association. Representing 11 chapters across Michigan the MMBA works to advocate for and protect trail access, collaborate with land managers, communities and other partners to build and maintain sustainable trails. With the huge growth of mountain biking trails in Michigan this year, your contributions are more important than ever!

Welcome 2016 Pro Men Racers

Welcome 2016 Pro Men Racers

Once again, we have tons of horse power about to push each other to the limits of their bodies and bikes.    Race starts at 2:30 in Kalkaska. Don’t miss it.

Troy Wells

Troy, 32, is returning to defend is 2015 Pro Men’s win.  Hailing from Durango, Co., and races for Team Clif Bar Cycling. He finished 3rd at the October 16th US Open of Cyclocross. Apparently he is one of the riders on the Team Clif Bar with the most nicknames. “The Bear” and Trois Biscotti” are two of our favorites. We’re quite sure he enjoyed the 2015 Bell’s Sunset After Party since he pretty much closed it down.  We couldn’t stay awake that late.


Russell Finsterwald

Finsty, 25,  finished 4th in 2014 & 2015. He comes from Boulder, Colorado and races for SRAM | Troy Lee Designs Race Team.   He recently finished 3rd at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals STXC race.  He’s been racing Iceman since the time when he’d try to get a fake i.d. to get into the After Party and now he practically owns it.   @finsty

 Todd Wells

Todd Wells, 40, of Durango, Co., races for SRAM/Troy Lee Designs, and is just killing it this year.  Although we know he has a history of winning including fourteen National Championship titles across four disciplines. This year he’s finished first in the following races: 1st Sea Otter Classic XC, 1st at Whiskey 50 Off Road Crit, 1st Grand Junction Off Road 1st, Leadville 100 and 1st in the USA Cycling Marathon National Championships!  Be afraid other pro racers.  Be very afraid. Last year he finished 6th overall.  @yotwells

Brian Matter

Brian, 37, finished 7th in 2015.  In 2016, he’s won the Midwest MTB Classic Day 2, New Glarus Road Race and the Sun Prarie Cup.   After his win in 2014, Brian holds the record for the most wins at 4!  Will 2016 make it a 5th?  We can’t wait to find out.  Brian is sponsored by Trek / Bontrager / Shimano / Pro Gold / JTree / Rock Shox.  He also rocks the Bell’s After Party.  Don’t miss it.  Find him at and on Twitter  


Travis (TJ) Woodruff

TJ , 33, races for his own coaching company Momentum Endurance, and Pivot Cycles, his best finish is 7th Always a solid rider, he’s not going to let any one take a break on Saturday.  His wife Chloe will be ripping it up with the Pro Ladies and was last year’s Champ.@tjwoodruff

 Ben Sonntag

Ben, 36, from Durango, Co finished 8th in the 2015 Bell’s Iceman and 5th in the 2012.  He rides for 9niner bikes/ Team Clif Bar Cycling.  He finished 4th in the US Cup/Bonlli Park XC #2. Welcome back Ben!@ZeGermanCyclist

Tristan Schouten

Schouten, 34, won the 2003 Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge.  He finished 11th last year. He hails Plymouth, WI and rides for Rolf Prima/Atitude Sports.@SchoutenTristan

 Brad White

Brad, 34,  resides in Holland, Michigan and races for UnitedHealthCare. He’s a former All-American collegiate swimmer and his renown sprinting skills have earned him the nickname “Captain America”. He won the Wilmington Grand Prix this year and has been spotted doing course recon.  @bwcycling

 Cole House

Cole, 28, placed 10th last year. He hails from Oneida, WI. This year he came in 1st in the Reforestation Ramble, 2nd at Treadfest, and 4th at Celtic Cross CX.  He’s raced every year since 2011, with his best result being 5th in 2014.  @Cole_House

Stephen Ettinger

Stephen, 27, finished 5th in 2013.  He is also a member of Team USA.  He comes from Cashmere, WA. He’s certainly looking for the top step this year.  He’s been spotted this week in the woods of Northern MI with the crew from Einstein Cycles. @settinger_

Spencer Paxson

Spencer (Bellingham, Wash./Kona Bicycles Factory Team) is new to Iceman but definitely not new to racing. He’s a 6x US National Team Member and 2x Olympic Long Team Member.  Welcome Spencer! @slaxsonMTB

 Howard Grotts

Howard, 23, was the only member of the 2016 USA Men’s Olympic Mountain Bike team. He is a newbie to Iceman. He races for Specialized and was 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23. Welcome Howard!  @HowardGrotts

Isaac Neff

Isacc, 30, rides for Neff Cycle Service.  He was 18th 2015 and 6th in 2014. In 2016, he finished 1st in the Midwest MTB Championships day 1. He says his bike and his body are dialed and ready for this year! @neff_Isaac

Rob Squires

Rob, 26, races for Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team.  He won the Fat Bike World’s this year.  It’s his first Iceman, but we think he’s gonna love it!  Welcome! @robthesquire

Payson McElveen

Payson, 23, of Durango, Co. races for  RideBiker p/b Sho-Air .  He finished 8th at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals, XC.  Welcome Payson!

Don’t forget our top local racers who know the course and plan on giving the pro’s a run for their money: 

Jorden Wakeley

Jorden is racing a new bike from Cannondale, for a new sponsor M22 and has a new hunger that he didn’t have last year.  He’s in this race to win it and we can’t wait to watch him try.  He finished 9th last year, has podiumed at many Michigan races this year including winning Ore2Shore and is the 2015 Arrowhead Ultra winner. @JordenWakeley

Alex Vanias 

Alex, (Team OAM Now), placed 12th last year and just won Peak2Peak.  He’s fast on skis and bike, don’t let his quiet personality fool you…he’s an animal.

Jeff Owens

Jeff will be racing for Keen Technical.  It’s his first time at the big dance but that doesn’t make him a wall flower.  Jeff is humble, but has a stamina and speed that is the envy of Traverse City.

Sean Kickbush 

Sean, (M22 racing) is part cyclist, triathlete, business owner, barista, and bartender but he is 100% a competitor. 

Cody Sovis,

Cody (Einstein Racing), won the Men’s Fat Bike division last year.  He’s no stranger to the Pro Race, but this year he’s rebuilt himself.  He’s faster. Stronger.  And quite possibly the funniest blogging cyclist we know.

It’s gonna be good folks.  So, so good.

Welcome the 2016 Pro Women’s Racers

The Pro Women’s field is shaping up nicely with some familiar names and some new ones.  It’s going to be a great race to watch!

Chloe Woodruff: 

Chloe is returning in 2016 as reigning Women’s Champ for 2015! We are so glad she is back defending her title and we love seeing kill our course.   Sheis no stranger to Iceman as took 2nd in 2013, and has been racing mountain bikes since 2002.  She races for Stans NoTubes and rides a 9niner. And if you’re wondering about the After Party at The View in 2015… yup, she arrived late but won that too.  Find her at or on twitter @chloewoodruff 

Amy Beisel:

Amy is making the trip from Gunnison, Colorado.  After finishing 6th in 2015, she’s back and ready for another shot at the top step of the podium.   She races Team RideBiker p/b Sho-air |Isoride |LIV. She credits her brother, also a pro cyclist, with encouraging her to buy her first mountain bike.  Amy is also the reigning Fat Bike World Champion.  You can find her on Ice Society and Facebook. 

Erin Huck:

Erin is coming from Boulder, Co. Erin finished 4th last year and knows what she needs to do to get the Ice Trophy!  She rides for SCOTT-3Rox. She took 1st at the 1st US ProXCT #1, Bonelli. Contact  here on Ice Society,  or twitter @EEHuck

Catharine Pendrel

No stranger to being a winner, Catharine returns to Bell’s Iceman this year.  She won the 2013 Pro Women’s race but even more impressive is her winning a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Not only that, she also won her 3rd Overall World Cup title this year.  She races for the Luna Pro Team. It’s going to be a pleasure to see her in our Northern Michigan Woods again. 

Haley Batten

Riding with Luna Pro Team with Catharine is Bell’s Iceman newcomer Haley Batten.  At only 18 years old and an already impressive resume, we look forward to watching Haley for many, many years to come.  Welcome to Bell’s Iceman Haley!

Riding with Luna Pro Team with Catharine is Bell’s Iceman newcomer Haley Batten.  At only 18 years old and an already impressive resume, we look forward to watching Haley for many, many years to come.  Welcome to Bell’s Iceman Haley!

Also in the mix are Local Michigan Favorites:

Mackenzie Woodring, a member of the USA Paralympic squad with her tandem partner. They’ve won 4 medals including gold.  We haven’t seen her at Iceman in a while but in 2013 she placed and impressive 3rd overall.  Welcome back Mackenzie!

Susan Vigland, is the quintessential local sweetheart.  She’s raced Pro Women before but she’s back and faster than ever.  Don’t be surprised if 99% of the crowd is cheering for her!

Kaitlyn Patterson showed up at her first Bell’s Iceman raced last year and made everyone take notice by placed 5th!  She moved to Ann Arbor but has been on the top step more times than we can count this year.  We can’t wait to see what she has in the tank for this year’s Bell’s Iceman!