Monday, August 16, 2010

WEMS Cancellation Forces Eki Back into Training

Oh the WEMS series... In a nutshell the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series is comprised of some of the best single track in the midwest. However, a good portion of these courses are in State Park territory. Therefore, WEMS is married to the WiDNR to some degree. That is to say, if it rains there's a good chance the race is going to be cancelled.

Now, being a series participant one must be cognizant of possible cancellations when planning a summer of racing for myself and my wife, Amy. A series racer must complete 5 races in order to be counted in the Series standings, there are 9 total races scattered all over Wisconsin (mostly southern Wi.). So, in my case I am only able to compete in 5 WEMS races this year due to other races being scheduled as well as Amy's marathons and 1/2 marathons. A long story short, if it looks like there is a possibility a race may be cancelled due to weather conditions, I still have to go, just in case it isn't cancelled. If I miss a race by choosing not to go I'll be out of the series standings due to not completing 5 races.

The weather for this weekend's 12 Hours of Blue Mounds looked 50/50. We had to go! I checked and re-checked the website. At 1:45 p.m. Friday I checked for my last time. There were no indications that the race was in jeopardy. We packed up the camping gear, bike gear and hit the road. 7 hours later we arrived at our campsite to wet conditions and stories from other campers about a severe rain storm that moved through just a few hours ago. The weather looked good at the time so I figured I'd be riding in a bit of mud the next day, but the forecast looked good. I figured things would dry out by afternoon and it would be a race similar to the others.

We departed the tent at 5:30 a.m. I attached my number plate to my bike, brushed my teeth and we were heading to Blue Mounds State Park. My head was right for this one. I could hear the "Eye of the Tiger" playing over and over. I had my pit strategy dialed in my mind. I could feel that this was going to be a good day.

We pulled into the parking lot and something seemed strange. THERE WASN'T ONE CAR IN THE LOT!!! The only thing in the lot was a WORBA trailer and some coiled up yellow marking tape.

CANCELLED!! Yes, the race was off. My spirits crushed.

I hold no ill feelings toward the race directors, they can't control the weather. I do however feel that WEMS personnel could tweak their communication protocol a bit to aid those of us who travel great distances to participate in their races.


Dave Schuneman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Schuneman said...

Afton State Park has different guidelines buddy. Keep your chin up, it's right around the corner!

Charlie Farrow said...

Safety first!

Bear said...

Hey Tim,

It was good having you at Blue Mound and Pitch Black last year. Super sorry about having to cancel this year. I think the notificiations went online at about we didn't miss you by much. Beleive it or not the DNR would let us do as we want in foul weather. It is more a funciton of rider safety and the extensive trail damage that would have ocurred. I think the trails at Blue Mound reopened on Tuesday and were still soggy. The place dries super slow. Hope we can get you back out there next year!

Scott Baryenbruch
CORP - President

enduroloco said...

Tim if you are racing at Salsa24 Good Luck!! Let me know if you are doing any of the remaining wems races.