Friday, May 19, 2017

Bumped From The Schedule

Wisconsin weather strikes again!

I’m taking the Iola Bump & Jump off my schedule. Iola is going to get more than an inch of rain tomorrow and that will wipe out the pre-ride window, then on Sunday the skies will be overcast and the wind chill will be 48° for the Cat 2 (Sport) race at 11:30 a.m. With no opportunity to pre-ride an unfamiliar course, and faced with a cold mudfest, I’m staying home.

Skipping Iola has big implications for my WORS season. There are 11 scoring opportunities, the best 7 of which count in the series standings. I got series points back on May 6 at the Englewood Opener. Now I have just 9 more chances to score. Distant races like the Red Flint Firecracker in Eau Claire (June 25) and the Hixon Forest Epic in La Crosse (August 6) have always been nothing more than “maybes” on my calendar. The WORS Cup offers 2 scoring opportunities—cross country on Saturday, July 8, and short track or enduro on Sunday, July 9—but the unusual race schedule meshes badly with my work schedule. Without 7 results there is no prospect of a high finish in the series standings, and the most realistic path to that goal now looks like this:

06/04 - Battle Of CamRock
06/18 - Mt. Morris Challenge
07/08 - WORS Cup: XCO
07/09 - WORS Cup: STXC
07/23 - Colectivo Coffee Bean Classic
08/20 - Reforestation Ramble

Racing at Iola would be unpleasant enough for me under the conditions the weather forecast describes, but it also might compromise my WEMS ambitions. The Stump Farm 100 is coming up next Saturday and I don’t want to miss it because of illness, injury, or mechanical failure. WEMS also uses the “best 7” format to determine series champions and I won’t get to 7 results in that series, but at least I should get to the minimum of 4 results I need to be award-eligible. Stump Farm will be my second WEMS race this year—Alpine Valley was the first—and I already have registered for the 3 races at the end of the season:

09/09 - Northern Kettles Fall Epic
09/16 - 9 Hours Of Silver Lake
10/07 - GEARS Greenbush Grinder (WEMS Championship)

So, 2017 still looks like a very full year of mountain bike racing even without Iola and, perhaps, without some of the other WORS dates.

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