Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 3, 2013

Ontario rider crosses the finish line without a seat

By Dennis Chase
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Race officials presented a helmet to the first Canadian who could produce a driver’s license to verify such near the end of Saturday’s Iceman Cometh.

Doug Clute could have used a seat.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario rider had his seat snap on an uphill about 3K from the finish. It was hanging down from the stem as he came across the finish.

Fortunately, the mishap happened near the end of the race and not the beginning.

“Very fortunate,” the 68-year-old said. “But (3K to go) that was bad enough.”

It was Clute’s seventh Iceman — his second since he had an aortic valve replaced two years ago.

“I had hoped to finish under three hours, but I didn’t,” he lamented. “It is what it is.”

Clute came in at 4:01.44.

Clute said he’s never had an issue with his seat in the past.

“But old guys, maybe that’s a message,” he said, smiling.

Don’t expect Clute to be disheartened by his time Saturday.

“I’ve got six more years,” he said.

CRANK PROBLEMS: Pinckney’s John Comella was one of 15 riders from Outspoken, a cycling group in the Ann Arbor area, to compete.

“It was awesome,” he said after crossing the finish line. “Trail conditions were a little slick, but it was a wonderful day to ride.”

It was Comella’s sixth Iceman. As for his time?

“I broke my crank at about 14K so my time got blown,” he said.

ON FILM: Chicago’s Tom Chomicz had a camera mounted on his bike to record Saturday’s 30-mile race.

The only problem?

“The battery died at mile 24,” he said. “So I missed the finish line. I missed all the excitement down here.”

Chomicz, his brother, and his friend Chris Schabel we’re all riding on what was labeled a “guys weekend.”

It was their third Iceman.

“I film this every year,” Chomicz said. “So, over those three years, I have the whole course on here one way or another.”

Chomicz, who only takes part in a couple races a year, said they found out about the race online.

“Three years up here and I’ll never miss it,” he said. “I’ll come back every year. It’s great. I love it up here.”

Schabel said it’s the challenge of the course and the camaraderie of the riders that brings him back.

“I do road racing, too, but the mountain biking community is friendlier and so much more inclusive. It’s a good atmosphere all around.”

Schabel said he saw a “lot of carnage” out on the course.

“You saw people laying along side of the trail, cramping up,” Schabel said.

YOUNG GUN: Ada’s Andrew Baguley was one of the youngest riders in the field. He’s 14.

And a veteran. This was his second Iceman.

His highlight?

“Finishing,” he said.

Baguley had a time of 2:33:18, sixth in his age group.

ENTREPRENEURS: Parking was at a premium Saturday.

Shuttle buses ran repeated routes between designated parking spots and Timber Ridge.

Some residents near Timber Ridge allowed parking on their property — for a price. Prices ranged from $5 to $20.