Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Passing The Savings On To You!

Further to yesterday’s post … if you are a cost-conscious mountain bike racer, the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series is an outstanding value. Here’s the WEMS schedule for 2015:

05/09 Northern Kettles Endurance Challenge @ Greenbush
05/23 Stump Farm 100 @ Suamico
06/06 18 Hours of Alpine Valley @ Elkhorn
06/20 Wild Ride Buzzard Buster @ Hatfield
07/18 Thunderdown in the Underdown @ Gleason
08/08 Southern Kettles Classic (Emma Carlin Trails) @ Eagle
09/12 RASTA Rock N Root @ Rhinelander
09/19 Northern Kettles Fall Epic @ New Fane
10/03 WEMS Championship (location TBD)

If we can assume that series registration fees and per-race prices do not change from last year—the details are not yet available on the WEMS website—then the entire season can be enjoyed for as little as $205 for the short-distance category. You will pay a little more to compete in the middle-distance or long-distance categories. For most races in the series, the short-distance category is about 3 hours or 30 miles, middle-distance is about 5-6 hours or 60 miles, and long-distance is about 10-12 hours or 100 miles.

Yesterday I wrote about a couple of options for my 2015 calendar that would give essentially the same experiences as the “name brands” but without the high registration prices. WEMS races are longer and yet cheaper than Wisconsin Off-Road Series races. And WEMS doesn’t require a USA Cycling license, which by itself is $70 annually. (I have a license anyway. For some people, $70 is a barrier to participation. Others just prefer not to support USA Cycling.) On the WEMS calendar there is no greater example of value than the 18 Hours of Alpine Valley. The race will begin on Saturday, June 6, and continue through the night, finishing on Sunday, June 7. There’s nothing like it in WORS, but it should be a lot like the non-series Wausau24 race, whose entry fees range from $45 to $140 per person. So, the Alpine Valley race is cheaper and an opportunity to earn series points and 100 miles closer to my home. As so many ads for so many products have asked us, “Why pay more?”


  1. There are signs of life at! Less than an hour after I posted the schedule here, WEMS sent out a mass email and started to update its website.

  2. The WEMS series is pretty much the best thing ever.

    1. Yes, but it does a rotten job of promoting itself. Its last update on its Facebook page is dated Feb. 23, 2014, and in the meantime an entire season has passed. Requests for information by prospective racers go unanswered. On Twitter, the situation is even worse: no updates since June 21, 2013. It’s such a shame that the organization can’t get its marketing together. Social media costs nothing!