The 19th annual Iceman Cometh Challenge—a 27 mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City—rides Saturday, November 8.

A difficult race? Try grueling. The Iceman trail consists of paved roads, dirt roads, two tracks, abandoned railroad beds and the world-famous Vasa cross-country ski trail. And race participants compete no matter the weather. Past races have seen high winds, rain, sleet and even a blizzard.

Whatever the weather, the Iceman will have a record number of riders again this year: 2,000 amateur and professional riders from across the country and Canada registered for the Mountain Bike race via its ‘lottery’ system this past winter. Just under $25,000 in cash prizes and $10,000 in merchandise prizes will be awarded.

Want to check it out?

Head out to the finish line at Traverse City’s Timber Ridge Campground and Nordic Center. From there you can watch the amateur icemen and women roll in (amateur riders leave Kalkaska at 9 a.m.), as well as the pro icemen and women (pro’s leave Kalkaska at 2:30 p.m.).

Get inside the head of an iceman

Read one man’s blog about his first-time quest to compete in the Iceman, his first bike race … ever.

Enjoy more Iceman events

The Slush Cup, the half-frozen version of the iceman that starts in Traverse City at the Iceman finish line at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 8 at Timber Ridge Campground and ends at the same location.

The Sno-Cone event, a mini race for smaller Ice cyclists (ages 2 to 12). Now in its fourth year, the Sno-Cone event will get underway at Timber Ridge Campground at 3:15 on Saturday, November 8. Pre-Registration is requested, but not required.

 The Ice Cycle Expo, a consumer outdoors show held in conjunction with the 2008 Iceman Cometh Challenge mountain bike race on Friday, November 7 at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.In addition to bicycles and cycling products, camping equipment, outdoor clothing, car rack systems, and snowshoes will be on display and available for sale.

The Ice Capades Awards Ceremony will put the finishing touches on the bike season. Ice Capades will take place at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa following race day activities.

For more information on the 19th Annual Iceman Cometh Challenge, see

Photo(s) by Photo courtesy of Iceman Promotions