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Iceman's Challenge 2016

My last scheduled event of 2016 was the Iceman's Challenge outside China Springs, TX. You could not have asked for a better course or worse conditions. On ride day, it was raining, 45 degrees, and a northerly wind at about 20 mph. Depending on your perspective, it was either ideal or the worst conditions ever for a gravel ginder. I ride to be with friends and for the adventure, so this definitely ranked high on both meters.

The Peloton: Jason, Me, Erik, Rebecca, Graham, Amy
We had all registered for longer distances, but when we woke up in Waco and it was pouring rain and we saw the conditions as we rode to the starting line, we all opted for the shortest 31-mile distance. That was plenty on a day like this. 

Mud, mud, and more mud
Riding was difficult, as you can imagine, but everyone took the conditions in stride and laughed our way through the hills, mud, wind, and rain. You really get to know people when you are on the road with them in these conditions and fun turns to survival as the day goes on. I rode with a quality group of people. This was Graham's first sanctioned cycling event. I hope he will want to try another.

Kudos to the Iceman's Challenge Race Director and crew. They were a great team and supporters, and the tracking app, RaceJoy, they used was excellent. The Bear Mountain was a good pre-race host and support if you needed it, and the post-ride meal was unquestionably the best I've experienced. Give Iceman's Challenge a try if you want a good grinder experience.

I'll go back for this one next year when it's dry--or, ride again in the mud, wind, and rain.