Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Dream of Iceman, Part 1

I've been reading a lot about Iceman in the last week. I follow the blogs of a lot of people who raced and I've was anxious to see their recaps. (I even found this article, which I thought was kind of interesting.) I stayed home yet again this year, but one of these days, I'm going to actually do it. For some reason, it holds a tremendous amount of allure for me.

The first time I ever heard anyone talk about Iceman was probably in 2000. I had bought my first mountain bike in 1999 and stopped into the shop frequently for advice, accessories, etc. (including a new bike and Yakima rack when they both got stolen off my car in my driveway a few months after I got them). The guy at the bike shop, who is now a good friend, mentioned Iceman to me when I had no concept of what training for a race would even mean.

I like to make fun of the way I used to view mountain biking now that I am so experienced. (Truthfully, I am not that experienced, but it's still interesting to remember just how little I knew back then.) At any rate, I thought training for the Iceman might be a good goal to set, even though at the time I thought I was mountain biking if I rode my bike across a strip of dirt.

I used to ride this trail at a state park in the area called Sleepy Hollow. It's mostly a hiking trail, but they allow mountain bikes. It's impossible to explain how easy this trail is if you've never ridden it. So, the day came when my then boyfriend, who also fancied himself a mountain biker, and I drove to Island Lake to ride to expand our horizons a little. We rode the easiest trail there, and I literally ended up sobbing on the side of the trail for a while before walking my bike out to the road to ride back to the parking lot. So much for my dream of Iceman! I didn't even get my bike on the trail again for the next several years.

To be continued ...

1 comment:

Ali B. said...

I love it... I mean, not your pain of Island Lake the first time, but I know exactly what you're talking about - REAL dirt riding vs. those initial thoughts on what it was all about. Soooo very different. I'm inspired to write about this very thing, thanks!