Iceman Cometh Challenge
More Info... 
Our Sponsors
Presented by:
TREKGary FisherMeijer

Course Info

The Events


The Iceman Cometh Challenge is a point to point mountain bike race held traditionally on the first Saturday of November. The race starts in Kalkaska, Michigan and finishes twenty seven miles later at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort on the eastern edge of Traverse City, Michigan. The course consists primarily of dirt roads, two-tracks (the majority of the course), abandoned railroad beds, and the world famous Vasa Nordic ski trail. It crosses only one paved road (Williamsburg Rd at mile 16) as it winds through the breath taking (literally) terrain of the Pere Marquette State Forest in Northern Lower Michigan. In 2007 3,016 athletes from 32 states and Ontario participated!!


Iceman Cometh
Iceman attracts competitive cyclists from 32 states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and as well as Ontario, Canada. Their ability levels vary from first time racers to seasoned professionals. Ages range from 3 years to 82 years of age.

The Meijer Slush Cup offers beginning riders with a half frozen version of the Iceman. Approximately 8 miles long, the Slush Cup starts at Timber Ridge, follows the Vasa 10K ski trail, and then merges with the Iceman trail before winding up back at Timber Ridge.

The Meijer Sno-Cone is geared for riders under twelve who want to discover the thrill of bike racing. Each participant receives a medal, number plate, and stickers.

Iceman Course

Kalkaska Middle School Parking
Please use the Kalkaska Middle School parking lots on Dresden Street, Birch Street, and behind
the Kalkaska High School. Also, there is parking at the Birch Street Elementary School. There is plenty of parking for everyone. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS. Remember that we are guests of the Kalkaska Middle School and that future use of the school facilities is a privilege and not a right.

Starting at the Kalkaska Middle School, the Iceman trail consists of dirt roads, two tracks (the majority of the course), abandoned railroad beds, and the world famous Vasa Nordic ski trail. Approximately 27 miles long, the course crosses only one paved road (Williamsburg Rd. at mile 16) as it winds through the breath taking terrain of the Pere Marquette State Forest in Northwestern Lower Michigan. Course highlights include “Steve’s Secret”, “Lombard’s Luge,” “Cassle Cliffs,” and “Ice Breaker” (the last hill to climb). The finish line at Timber Ridge, just east of Traverse City, will be a welcome sight to all Icemen and Icewomen. The course can be best described as a road race on dirt.


GT Cycle
Grand Traverse Cycle is once again sponsoring the Feed Stations! Watch for their catchy signs on the course as you approach the three designated feed stations. The Ice House, Oasis, and Ice Station Zebra are located at about six, sixteen and twenty-two miles into the course, respectively. Volunteer crews will be serving up loads of Gatorade, cookies, fruit, and water for all!

Plans are underway to make the Oasis at Williamsburg Rd. a real happening with its own announcer and PA so the entire crowd can hear who’s made it that far.

Slush Cup riders will use the last Iceman feed station, Ice Station Zebra, located on the Vasa Trail.

As always, there will be a large recovery center at the finish line.

Two clothing bag trucks will be parked at the Start line. Each racer will receive a numbered adhesive strip that corresponds to their race number. That number is to be used for your clothing bag. The clothing will be transported to the Finish line and placed under the big tent for you to pick-up there. Each rider is responsible for providing their own bag. Please don’t place valuables in your bag as we cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. The first truck will be for waves 1-15, the second for waves 16-30.

For the personal safety of all riders, the Iceman course will close at 2:00 PM at Williamsburg Rd. for Expert, Sport, and Beginner racers. Those riders (except for Pros) failing to meet the 2:00 PM cut off time will be directed off the course and into a waiting BATA bus to continue on to the Finish line.

First Aid personnel will be located at each food station and at the Start/Finish line for each event. Mobile emergency vehicles and medical service volunteers will be stationed along both the Iceman and Slush Cup trails. Be sure to extend a special “thanks” to the safety crew volunteers as you pedal by!

Riders wishing to drop out of either the Slush Cup or the Iceman are asked to do so at any one of the food stations along the course. If you abandon the race at any other location, we cannot be responsible for returning you to the Finish line.

We cannot be responsible for clothing, tools, or bike parts left at food stations or along the trail. We will make our best effort to get these articles to the lost & found box at the finish line but cannot make guarantees.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide maps of the course before the event since the course is convoluted enough that even locals with maps have gotten very lost in the Pere Marquette State Forest. All it takes is one wrong turn to ruin an outing.

It doesn't seem like much to dispose of an energy gel wrapper by dropping it during a race. "It's only one" must be the mind set. It seems like that mind set also occurs when folks are just out recreating as foil wrappers appear on the trail all year long.

Race staff and volunteers spend a whole day cleaning up the trail after the big race. We understand that there is bound to be stuff left on the trail, but recently it has gotten a bit out of hand. If one out of four racers use an energy gel, and 1/2 of those drop the wrapper, that's 250 packs of slimey, guey, sticky, and covered with ants and dirt (why do you think they named it that way) foil wrappers that have to be picked up afterwards. That's almost 10 wrappers per mile!

Don't ruin a pristine forest, take the two seconds to put the gel pack back in your pocket so it can be properly disposed once your adventure is finished.

Principles of Leave No Trace:

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Respect Wildlife
Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Future Iceman Dates
2009 Saturday November 7
2010 Saturday Movember 6
2011 Saturday Movember 5