Smile damn it. It’s Iceman

image_1Have you started training yet?  What was your time last year?  What wave are you in?  What do you think the weather will be like?  Have you heard about the finish?  These and many questions like it seem to increase in frequency as the leaves begin to turn and the mercury begins to dip.  For many, Iceman is not only the last race of the year but the most important and therefore taken quite seriously.  Frankly, too damn seriously.  I get it.  It’s the effin Iceman!  The Pros race there!  5,000 other people race there!  It’s the biggest goddamn single day MTB race in the country!   So yes, it is kind of a big deal.  I used to stress about it for months.  I could never seem to get enough training in.  My diet wasn’t healthy enough.  I was drinking too much beer…wait…what the #%!k did you just say?  Forget that last part.

imageThis year, as the “big day” drew near, I decided to just relax and try to have fun for once.  I still found myself consulting with my personal trainer, mechanic, bike guru friend (Thanks Steve) concerning some minor fit issues.  At the end of which he reminded me to “just go out, ride your damn bike and have FUN”.  So I did.  I ate pizza, drank beer and enjoyed the company of friends the night before. I went to bed too late.  I didn’t drink enough water.  I didn’t do a warm up ride.  I didn’t line up at the front of the pack.  I didn’t sprint through Kalkaska.  I didn’t pass every rider like they were on MY trail screwing up MY race.  I had FUN.   Every now and then I would go by somebody and politely say “on your left please” and follow it up with “thank you” and maybe even a “your doing great!”.   I smiled more than I ever have at this race or any race for that matter.

Sure, it was still a competition and occasionally I joined a pace line and got the heart rate somewhat close to the oh shit zone.  But then I relaxed, took a deep breath, looked about me, enjoyed the fall colors and marveled at how quiet thousands of cyclists can be in the woods.

image_2For once I concentrated on having a great time racing rather than having a great race time.  The Iceman truly is a great race.  A chance for a novice to feel like a pro.  Also a chance for us mere mortals to watch in awe as the most elite athletes in cycling tear their way from Kalkaska to Traverse City.

The only thing that could make a party of 10,000 plus fellow cycling enthusiasts more enjoyable is sharing it with some very good friends and teammates whom just so happen to be pretty damn good at this race as well.  I am sure by now that Bell’s Brewery is getting sick of seeing the wave of Founder’s Team members on the podium of “their” race.


And a huge congrats to our 2 elite racers who proved that they belong with the best of them.














Pro Men Cat
70th of 109  Jeremy Karel  Time  1:51:42
95th of  109 Earl Hillaker   Time 2:01:19

Women 25-29

3rd of 42   Danielle Shaver   Time  2:28:59








Women 45-49
1st of 61   Marnie Tencate     Time 2:14:47

Men 35






2nd of 56  Josh Hogeterp   Time 2:01:13
5th of 56   Shawn Crowley  Time 2:07:04
15  of 56  Rob Meendering  Time 2:19:53

Men 36







2nd of 85 Gabe Niehof     Time 1:57:37

Men 36
23rd of 105   Scott Thenikl  Time 2:11:53

Men 38
8th of  118    Matt Remelts  Time 2:00:45

Men 48
10th of 108   Scott Tencate  Time  2:04:07

Men 53-54
4th of 140    Tim Curtis          Time  1:56:50
35th of 140   Dennis Murphy   Time 2:17:12

Men 55-57
20th of 151   Paul Popielarz    Time  2:11:51

Clydesdale 40+
11th of 229  Ralf Scharnowski  Time  2:11:07
42nd of 229  Rick Plite           Time  2:29:05
94th of 229  Ernest Stafford    Time  2:46:03

Male Singlespeeds 39 & Under
7th of 81   Jeff Jacobi   Time  1:59:36
12th of 81  Thomas Stolz   Time 2:05:39

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