Friday, June 15, 2007

My First WEMS Race

Results of the WEMS race with pictures! WEMS stands for Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series. They last for 12 hours and you can do them alone or with teams of 2, 3 or 4. I was on a woman’s team of four with Amanda, Kisha and Julie, who are teammates (Team Pegasus, yeah!) from Chicago.

I could explain in the race in detail, but basically the four of us did laps of 11 miles apiece, one after the other. There was a running start (see images 1,2) for the start of the race, and after that riders just tag off and it’s pretty informal. The other three girls shared a bike and I borrowed a mountain bike from Cale, because I’m a little taller. Actually, I was riding Cale’s bike as well as wearing his shoes and his helmet (see image 3). Thanks, Cale, for letting me borrow your bikes and shoes all the time. Maybe someday I’ll save your life or something and we’ll be back to about even. Anyhow, the bike I borrowed was a single speed, which means it only has one gear but has brakes and can coast, unlike a track bike. It’s also a 29er, which means it has very large tires, even for a mountain bike, and can run over just about anything, which I took full advantage of.

I was captain of the team and did the first lap, which was a little stressful. I was chosen to ride the first lap because I was anticipated to be the fastest rider of our four-person team, and my job was to put a good gap between our team and the other women’s team. Well, I put a good gap in, but it was in the wrong spot. Meaning, I was pretty slow compared to the rest of the field and there was a gap in front of me, rather than behind. However, we were just there to have fun so it was fine with the other girls. We had a good day and we all did two laps, except for Kisha, who sprained her ankle on her first lap. Some other riders coming in off their lap told us she had stopped and was walking (very nice people there) and we wanted to go out on the trail and get her, but it was against the rules, so she had to walk the rest of the way out. So the race went pretty well and we got second! Of two! (image 5). But the fact is, we’re pretty awesome for even showing up, and one of us hadn’t ever been mountain biking.

Other than that, I don’t know what else to say. It was a good time. When we weren’t riding, we hung out at the tent with the other members of our team there or cheered with our cowbells (image 4). We had a three-person and duo team there as well. The three-person team did well and the duo of Cale and his partner Ben got second (out of a lot more than two). And as some of you may know, our motto is "while you were winning, we stole your lunch" and yes, we did indeed steal another team's food. For the record, I'm going to say that I think it was by accident, and you can interpret that how you like.

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