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It was muddy, windy, wet, and somewhat cold, but after The Out’n’Back, we’re ready to shoot the J. Shoot it. 

But seriously, shoot the J. 

Way, way more people than we expected showed up for The Out’n’Back yesterday. We were thinking, like, six would be there, tops. But literally dozens of people rode in a quagmire, sprinkled with rain and thoroughly soaked over the course of the three-hour ride. We owe a big thanks to Jeff Owens for taking over leadership duties after Yours Truly came down with The Crud late last week.

It was also the big debut of the up.bike #AdventureHub, a state-of-the-art trailer that rivals Team Sky’s Race Hub. The folks lucky enough to hitch a ride to K-Town were 99% drier than those who rode out, and exactly 0% drier 30 minutes into the ride back to Timber Ridge.

The course itself is quintessential Iceman, especially after what was, until this weekend, a very dry summer and fall. The rain did a ton for the ample sand, and a few cooler night will help the loose sections pack in nicely. Word on the street is that Steve’s Secret is back in, and there’s also a new Wall Bypass that’s a pretty good addition to the course. The finish isn’t decided yet, but we’re hoping Madeleine’s is back in after the logging has been cleaned up a bit in that neck of the woods. Alas, it doesn’t appear that Headwaters will make it’s Iceman debut; we’ve wanted to see that added for a few years now, contributing a bit of elevation to the already rolling final 15km.

Dan Ellis and Michael DeBruyn helped marshal a rearguard action Sunday, spending some quality time with Iceman debutant Matt Boone. Matt survived the muck and mire from Kalkaska to Timber, all in some sweet high tops and with a damn good attitude.