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Iceman Cometh Challenge: Can You Catch Chuck?


It’s Iceman Cometh Challenge Week! Through the mud, hills, and possibly snow, we’ve got just one question for you: can you catch Chuck?

This Saturday is the biggest party in the woods. That party just so happens to be the biggest mountain bike race in North America, too. Five thousand riders will toe the line for a drag race on two wheels from Kalkaska to Traverse City. Along the way, they’ll tackle nearly 31 miles and almost 2,000 feet of elevation, plus hundreds of other riders. 

With so many racers, the Iceman Cometh Challenge has adopted a wave system to determine safe groups of riders to release. Every three minutes, roughly 150 riders of a similar speed will take off, while the next batch wait patiently in the wings behind them, waiting for their turn. It takes two hours and twenty-one minutes to get all of the age groups onto the course, but there are still plenty of riders left. There are more waves of Junior racers at noon, with another 150 Pro men and women starting at 2:30pm. 

So out of all those bikes, you’ll have to have your eyes peeled for the bright orange kit of Chuck Grzanka!’s founder is slated to take off in Wave Four, which means he’ll have 450 riders queued up ahead of him and nearly 4,000 behind him on the trail! Can you catch Chuck? Keep your head up and see if you can spot him him on race day! 

It might be a little easier to catch up at the BISSELL Celebration Zone. All afternoon, racers and their friends celebrate the finish of the race and the end of along mountain bike season with a few beers and lots of stories of Iceman editions past and present. That’s just as big a part of the Iceman experience as the race; it’s where we connect, put names to faces, and start thinking about next year’s event. 

Once you’re finished, warm, and dry, make sure you pause to enjoy the atmosphere of the weekend. From pre-race nerves to mid-race thrill to post-race bliss, soak it all in; this is what we live for! From everyone at, good luck!