Icebike 9

Today I raced in the ninth annual Icebike race held in Winnipeg at The Forks. It had been postponed a couple of weeks due to the brutal cold, but went ahead today with only -16C and moderate wind.

I wasn’t really sure about doing it this year but yesterday I registered and after church Shirley & I headed down to The Forks. There were some familiar faces at the race, but not as many as in previous years. Apparently there were 50 pre-registered and it’s been as high as 197.

The course was quite forgiving this year, a combination of long hardpack snow covered paths, some pavement (rare) and lots of sections of loose snow. Thankfully there was no riding on the glare ice skating paths as in previous years. The hardest part was along the river bank on the St. Boniface hospital side where the track was sloped across the direction of travel and had lots of loose snow, especially on the first lap. By the second lap the traffic had cleared the high side of the trail and if you rode straight and steady you could avoid being pulled into the deep loose snow.

I rode to work all summer 2-3 times a week, but since the snow came, I’ve only been out once prior to today, so I wasn’t exactly in top riding shape. But, I achieved my goal by completing the 20km Abominable course and not being last. Not to bad for a guy my age competing with a mostly under 30 crowd. Scott took some photos, so there should be pictures later.

Update (2007/02/19): While at the Icebike the group was introduced to Rune the Viking biker. This guy is cycling around the world and has started in Bolivia, crossed the USA, into Northern BC and was in Winnipeg last weekend. This years race results are not posted yet, so I’ll update that later. Flickr seems to be down right now, so I’ll also update with a link to more Icebike photos courtesy of s2photo

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