TRAVERSE CITY — Details remain vague regarding a rider who died while competing in Saturday's Iceman Cometh bike race, but race director Steve Brown called the news "devastating."
"We're all in a state of shock about it," said Brown, who started the popular autumn race from Kalkaska to Traverse City 23 years ago. "Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Brown, who could not provide any new details about the fatality on Monday, confirmed on Sunday that a rider went down with about 5K to go in the 30-mile race and died of cardiac arrest. It was the first fatality in the 24 years the race has been run.
Brown had heard that several participants in the race stopped and attempted to aid the fallen man to the best of their abilities before medical personnel arrived on the scene and tried to revive him.
"I don't know who they are or anything. At that point it's like we're all in this together. Forget about the race. Life is certainly more important than a race result," said Brown. "I was behind a similar situation in Grand Rapids in the spring. I know a bunch of bike riders who were right there jumped off their bikes and helped a guy out who was having a heart attack."
Brown said nothing has been concretely planned yet to memorialize the rider.
"Just literally 30 seconds ago my son and I were talking about it, but I haven't been able to get in touch with his family yet or any of that kind of stuff," he said. "Apparently a lot of bike riders are talking about what can we do as a community to help ease the pain some."