The Iceman is now less than a week away and literally thousands of racers are doing their last bit of training. For some it may also be their first bit of training. With close to 2,000 racers many are not in it for the competition but for the "event". This race has taken on a life of its own, there are certainly a lot more races that are longer, tougher, or even more enjoyable to ride for the variety of the trail. But the Iceman has grown to the point that it sells out within a few months after registration opens. For many it's an annual event and marks the end of the season. For others it's just another excuse to party.
I haven't raced the Iceman in several years but last year attended the expo to run the Hammer tent. This year Jason is coming back to help with the tent. I decided I may as well race since I'll be there. After thinking about it I decided to sign up for the Expert 45-54 class. I will be lucky to finish in the top 30 but at least I should be done earlier than starting in Sport and shouldn't have the hundreds of racers in front of me. Instead I'll be looking over my shoulder for the SS class which starts 5 minutes after me. Jason is racing SS so it will be interesting to see how long I can hold him off.
I've managed to get out on the bike Friday through Sunday and think that over the course of the past three days managed to experience most of what you can expect at Iceman, at least as far as the weather goes. No sand to practice on but at least I have been able to get used to the cold.
Both Friday and Saturday were rainy and cold, in the 30's. Then to make it worse the wind picked up during the last half of the ride yesterday. Fortunately I have decent riding clothes so I wasn't too cold, except for my fingers. Today a couple of team members and one of their friends came over and joined me for about 2.5 hours on the back roads. The wind was super strong and made even the flat roads seem like we were climbing. We had a couple of good long intervals to make the spirited ride even better. I got to show them one of our "special" hills that they had never ridden before. They are looking forward to more of these rides next spring.
The weather forecast for Iceman is calling for a chance of snow showers every day starting on Tuesday. I don't know if there will be any accumulation and it may help to pack the sand down and make it faster. The lows the night before the race will be in the 20's so it may even be frozen for a while. I plan on running a 1x9 gearing, using a 42t ring. I hope we don't get too much snow or it will be a struggle. I might take another bike with a full set of gears just in case.