A Cheer-me-up Time Trial: BWAM!

It was the brain child of Energizer Bunny Dan Bale, our neighbor, who cajoled his wife Lynette, my husband Jerry and me into “mounting” the Ride of the Century…well, Ride of the Year. Ride of the Month? O.K. Ride of the weekend. It was fun, though: the First Annual BWAM Time Trial (BWAM: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon). A good time was had by all.

BWAM: Ladysmith, WI, Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

BWAM Course Map

The race was held on Saturday, November 12th, and mother nature blessed us with sunshine and relatively warm weather along Wisconsin’s Flambeau River, at least during the race.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Race Master Dan Bale explains the rules to contestants with the Flambeau River behind him.

Dan and Jerry had laid out a 2.5 mile course through the woods of their adjacent river properties (as well as the nearby college property), a course that included two bridges, a log across the path (with a rubber duckie and a sign reminding racers to “DUCK”), and a skeleton to warn racers of Heartbreak Ridge, a steep curving ridge near the end of the race. Racers completed two laps and were required to ring a bell as they raced by the start/finish line on their first lap as well as at the finish.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Heidi poses with the skeleton before Heartbreak Ridge

Seventeen racers completed the course, three women and fourteen men. In the women’s race, with a daunting field of three racers, Lisa finished first, surpassing race organizer Lynette Anderson by nearly a minute. Jan turned in a good time until she realized she’d missed one of the loops in the course. Oh, well!

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

The Mighty Women Racers of BWAM!

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Lynette reaches for the bell at the finish line.

Frank Lowry, a veritable mountain bike animal, took first overall. (Local Boy Makes Good!)

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Frank Lowry, Overall Winner

Jon Lane, a Lakeside Racer from Excelsior, did an endo and face plant at the first bridge yet still finished second overall. Amazing!

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Jon flies through the gate for a photo finish!

The only other mishap was Jerry’s reconditioned mountain bike, which unhinged its seat about a third of the way into the first lap. He limped in carrying the seat, then—undaunted—repaired it and headed out to finish a lap. There were a few mis-steps in the race as well. Jan and John Z. skipped a short loop on one of their laps, and Bruce rode an additional short loop on the college property. He saw Jerry come through and just followed him. Honesty prevailed, though, and disqualified racers still received their awards.

Race timer Ann Marie Mershon (too fearful of the risks of woodland racing to participate as the only Virgin Rider*) was assisted by friends Diane and Tom to produce meticulous records of race times. Kudos to the wonders of iPad technology, which recorded each lap to the hundredth of a second.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Timer Ann Marie Mershon clearly took the race seriously (assistants Tom and Diane on the deck.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Best-Dressed Racer, Micah Wilkes, poses beside his father Jerry, who was oblivious of his impending disaster.

No expenses were spared on this event. In addition to extensive publicity (e-mail and phone calls at a cost of $0), nearly $14 were spent at the local thrift stores on bibs (fashioned from old pillowcases) and fabulous prizes for each participant, ranging from Shawn’s Whoopie Cushion to stuffed animals and beer mugs. The grand winner, Frank Lowry, went home with a giant zucchini that had a first prize trophy embedded in it. Actually, he didn’t go home with it—he left it behind, along with his red jacket. We’re all getting just a little older and a little more forgetful. Life goes on.

And then there was the FOOD! Oh, my—It doesn’t get better than this event. Ever.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Shad passes Micah on the turn behind Jerry’s pasture.

 

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

Ted “Espresso” Siefkes flies past the skeleton toward Heartbreak Ridge on his fat bike.

In case you’re interested, here is a list of the official awards. Times are top secret.

WOMEN:

Lisa Siefkes:    1st Place, Women—stuffed Bear in the Woods
Lynette Anderson:    Got Skunked Award—stuffed skunk
Jan Paulsen:    Shaky Memory Award (for missing a loop)—book “Improve Your Memory”

MEN:
Frank Lowry:    1st Place overall (mountain bike)—giant zucchini with  imbedded trophy
Robert “Legs” Legler:    1st Place on a fat bike—Big Cahuna cigar and beer mug
John “JR” Lane:    Drown Your Sorrows Award (2nd place mountain bike)—beer glass
Shad “Diggit” Prinz:    Drown Your Sorrows Award (2nd place fat bike)—two beer mugs
Micah Wilkes:    Most Interesting Garb (tie-dyed t-shirt)—Hawaiian shirt
Josh Wilkes:    Turtle Award (raced on the heaviest fat bike in the race)—turtles, racing CD
Jerry Wilkes:    Biggest Whiner award (after his seat fell off)—a bottle of wine
Dan Bale:    Energizer Bunny Award—singing and dancing mechanical rabbit
Lake Marshall Bechtell III: Things Will Get Better (3rd place)—Pick Me Up pink water bottle
Bruce Larson: Most Lost Racer Award—orange hunting cap
Ted “Espresso” Siefkes: Miss Congeniality—cowboy mug and squirt gun
Steve “Silver” Knowlton: Happy Birthday Award—stuffed moose with a birthday hat
Shane Klein: Youngest Racer—Whoopie cushion
John Ziemer: Most Relaxed Racer—Pokey (Poker) Hat
Watch your inbox for information about next year’s race, which will be held on either September 16th or October 7th. Time will tell.

  *Virgin Rider: one who has ridden less that 10 times this season.

BWAM race, Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Bale, Wilkes, Anderson, Mershon

After their post-race fits of coughing, racers pose in the afternoon rays: Frank, Shad, Dan, Silver, Legs, and Lake.

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One thought on “A Cheer-me-up Time Trial: BWAM!

  1. I thought all was lost of late! This event reminded me it’s never lost.

    Like

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