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Yeah it was a mess. The question being asked was 2014 worse. 2014 was much worse. 2014 was a steady rain at 35 degrees. It was impossible to stay warm. It was the coldest I have ever been in a race. 2019 was cold but no rain/snow. Just a middle third of the course that was a total mess that threw mud and slop everywhere on everyone. It was impossible to ride certain sections of the middle third of the course. There were long line ups. At that point it turned into a hard training ride. The pics are from the Williamsburg Rd. crossing. I will try to load some more later. Yes, I will be back next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mud

This gives you a much better idea of what the middle section was like.
There was one stretch it was about two miles of nastiness like this.

Quote of the day was after my race I went to watch the pros go thru the Williamsburg Rd. crossing. A middle of the pack pro/elite rider was about at the top of the hill and I heard him mutter, "this is stupid".
 

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I uttered the same words myself. I've been too busy since returning to wash my bike yet, won't get to it until tomorrow. The thought of what I've done to my precious drivetrain makes me want to cry. I started racing Iceman in 2015 so I missed the slop of 2014. The weather was fine this year of course but this may be my last Iceman. I have no desire to put myself or my bike through that insanity again.
 

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I thought it was fun except having to wait for the people who don't have enough handling skills to ride the muddy section.

Im sure I lost a few miles from my drivetrain longevity, but my only casualty was a seized up derailleur pulley. Yay for quality sealed bearings!
 

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Honestly, this was a bit of mess in many ways. The mud was rideable for me, but being a mid pack age group level rider it was hopeless because of traffic. I surrendered to it pretty quickly, and just took a 45 minute hike in the middle of my 30 mile ride. I'm not really much of a racer anyway, so I now just think of it as a really expensive ride.

The traffic and shuttles also had an impact on many later waves of riders. I had riders from many waves in front of me pass me from behind because they were late to the start line. The mud has been worse in previous years, but the traffic and shuttles were a new kind of epic. I ended up walking back to the parking and I beat the shuttle by 20 minutes.

I know they aren't, but the race organizers should be getting healthy kickbacks for the future sales of drive train parts. I've never seen drive train carnage on that scale. I personally saw at least 50 broken chains or twisted derailleurs.
 

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This gives you a much better idea of what the middle section was like.
There was one stretch it was about two miles of nastiness like this.

Quote of the day was after my race I went to watch the pros go thru the Williamsburg Rd. crossing. A middle of the pack pro/elite rider was about at the top of the hill and I heard him mutter, "this is stupid".
Im pretty certain that was me! I was very much on the verge of quitting at Williamsburg. There was nothing fun about the first 16ish miles to Williamsburg. Pace was incredibly slow and the bike was not running as it should. Some sections were better off the bike running. Passed 3 racers attempting to climb make it stick while i ran.. In the end I hammered on to the finish, cramped up pretty bad at headwaters. Managed to get back at it and passed a handful of racers on Woodchip and Icebreaker.
 

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Im pretty certain that was me! I was very much on the verge of quitting at Williamsburg. There was nothing fun about the first 16ish miles to Williamsburg. Pace was incredibly slow and the bike was not running as it should. Some sections were better off the bike running. Passed 3 racers attempting to climb make it stick while i ran.. In the end I hammered on to the finish, cramped up pretty bad at headwaters. Managed to get back at it and passed a handful of racers on Woodchip and Icebreaker.
The race was something else. Conditions were great at the start, nothing sandy, then went up 18 notches once in the slop. Like nothing else, but was a great feeling to finish it.

Can't wait to go back next year. It can't be any worse, can it ... :)
 

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Passed 3 racers attempting to climb make it stick while i ran.. In the end I hammered on to the finish, cramped up pretty bad at headwaters. Managed to get back at it and passed a handful of racers on Woodchip and Icebreaker.
You probably passed me somewhere in there. Given the stories of shuttle issues and the waiting line for single track, I'm glad I bucked uptimes to by my USAC license and raced the Pro/Cat1 wave after my initial Wave 32 assignment for the fat bike class.

The conditions weren't great, but I've seem far worse in other races. For me, it just took a reset of my expectations for a fast course to get back to a place where I felt it was worthwhile again. I thought my drivetrain would be trashed, but after just a spray and a lube, it seems to be back to normal.

For some reason this was the worst race performance I've ever had, was feeling OK up until about mile 4, but for some reason missing my very top end power. At mile 4 or so, I was running about 25th, then the bottom dropped out, I still haven't figured out why, just wasn't my day. A power drop off of that magnitude has never happened to me before. I averaged only 205 Watts for the remainder of the race...freaking weird.
 

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With the new start, we showed up 15 minutes early-and a good thing too with backups. Didn't get much of a warm up, but the guy next to me at the start was glad just to make it before the wave took off.
Lots of black greasy mud like the pix above and some walking, but not as bad as 14. For me anyway, 14 was more physically grueling. This year it was just greasy slow. I was about 40 minutes slower then last year but placed quite a bit higher. Maybe some of that was peeps in earlier waves not getting to the start on time.
With the weather being up in the air, I brought both my Fatty and my mtb. Elected to ride the mtb and I think it was the right move for me anyway. I wasn't thinking about mud when I made the choice, but from what I could tell, the skinnier tires were digging down to solid ground for better traction so I lucked out there.
All and all I had a good clean race. I did end up soaking my chain and cassette and replaced the bogies on my RD when I got home.
 

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I was in wave 3 and I thought some of the slow going was annoying until I heard how bad the backups were in later waves. Turns out I had it pretty darn good! I had to stop a couple of times in the middle singletrack but didn't have to walk more than about 50'.

Washed the bike and cleaned the chain and cassette and it's good to go. I'm actually really glad I never got around to replacing my drivetrain earlier this year as I didn't feel bad at all using a chain and cassette with 2000 miles on them in those conditions.
 

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The race was something else. Conditions were great at the start, nothing sandy, then went up 18 notches once in the slop. Like nothing else, but was a great feeling to finish it.

Can't wait to go back next year. It can't be any worse, can it ... :)
That is the attitude ekraft84! 2020 will be glorious!
 

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Okay- we all lived through this. I am building up two sets of wheels- one a typical XC set- the other to tackle the conditions we faced during Iceman last year. What tire brands and models would you recommend?

-Patrick


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I can't give you any guidance on the tires. I rode Terrene Wazia Lights which were pretty good in the mess, but unless you ride fat they won't fit.

I think Iceman will be a great event this year just because everyone has been couped up and that is far enough in the future things should be back to "normal". I am looking forward to it already.
 

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Agreed- I am really looking forward to it. And yes- I won’t overthink this too much. I have two sets of wheels, so I’m trying to make the most of having variety. 😎👍
 

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Conga Line

This is from someone in a later wave.
I was in wave 8 and it wasn't much better for us.
Two years late to the party here, in the last pic that's me on the Quiring Fat bike with the Nextie Rims. The mud wasn't as bad as dealing with the crowds of people standing still. Wasn't as bad as 2014, however with the 2019 race my chain froze up with ice for some reason. Warmed up by a spectator's fire then was able to finish without issue.
 
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