Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The 2017 WEMS Schedule

Last night the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series announced its 2017 schedule, and it appeals to me as no WEMS schedule ever has before:

04/29 - The Wild Ride Buzzard Buster @ Hatfield
05/06 - Southern Kettles Classic @ Eagle (Emma Carlin Trails)
05/13 - 9 Hours Of Alpine Valley @ Elkhorn
05/27 - Stump Farm 100 @ Suamico
06/10 - Romp In The Swamp Epic @ Wausau
07/15 - RASTA Rock ‘n’ Root @ Rhinelander
08/19 - Hundred-Down In The Underdown @ Gleason
09/09 - Northern Kettles Fall Epic @ New Fane
09/16 - 9 Hours Of Silver Lake @ Silver Lake
10/07 - GEARS Greenbush Grinder (WEMS Championship) @ Greenbush

If I’m still working overnight, finishing my last shift of the week on Saturdays at 7 a.m., then the races in Hatfield, Wausau, Rhinelander and Gleason probably won’t make it onto my calendar. It’s asking too much to work for 8 hours, then to drive 3 hours or more from Brookfield, and then to race for 3 hours or more. But the rest of the WEMS schedule is intriguing. My participation at Emma Carlin might come down to whether I can practice on those trails prior to the race. The weather can be quite limiting that early in the season. Greenbush has often been used as the first venue of the year, and lack of access to it in April has been one of the factors keeping me out of that race. As the series championship race in October, Greenbush is more attractive. There will be many opportunities to practice there during the summer. And the new race at Silver Lake in western Kenosha County could be fun … but as with Emma Carlin, I’ll need to see those trails in practice before I commit.

I’m still working on my 2016 racing season, so any plans for 2017 are very preliminary. But I’m pretty sure I will give more emphasis to mountain bike racing and less to cyclocross next year, and it’s not unthinkable that I will be going after series points in WEMS and in the Wisconsin Off-Road Series.

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