It's 8:00 in the morning in upstate Michigan, the air temperature hovers around thirty four degrees and there is a light rain coming down. A few cyclists are milling about in the streets, but most are huddled in their cars; heat on full blast sucking up every last bit of warmth they will feel for the next two hours. By 8:30 the pace picks up with layers put on, over boots duct taped, and embrocation applied. Coffee and hot tea are slurped down. A few riders lap the parking lot while others ride rollers. The rain picks up. Soon, there is call for the first of fifty waves to line up at the start. At nine a.m. sharp the first wave is let loose to suffer for 30 miles in less than stellar weather conditions. Welcome to The Iceman Cometh, the largest point to point race in America. Nearly 5,700 riders race during the course of the day through rain, snow, wind and every other weather condition in-between. Started twenty five years ago, it is a race where riders care less about rank and more about just surviving. For Michigan, it's the last hurrah of the season - a sign that winter is just around the corner.
Brian Matter has been racing Iceman for 21 years, and he has now won it four times.iceman.com