Some observations...borregokid said:Did anyone else do Schweitzer this past weekend? The NORBA races certainly gave me a different perspective of the future of mountain bike racing. I had noticed at the WIMS races that xc racers generally outnumbered the downhillers but not by much. AT Schweitzer it looked like three to one on the side of downhill, plus when you considered only riders under 30 it could have be ten to one downhill over xc. The factory support that was in the village also seemed weighted toward the downhillers. It certainly appears downhill is much bigger outside Washington. The lack of younger riders in the XC sections in the WIMS race has to be a concern for the promoter Roundandround. Maybe next year downhill with some more in state promotion will become the dominant mountain bike sport and xc will be the minor player.
I have been racing the WIM series for *counting on hand* 4 seasons. I love the friends that I have made and the fun I have out there......but, (there is always a but)
...some things to think about:
Entry into a DH racing rig, though it has droped in recent years, is still more $$$ than a XC rig.
Technology, though the gap is not as big these days, often makes old equipment "outdated" requiring new equipment atleast every couple years. You can get away with replacing your XC bike less. I still ride my 4yo DH steed but it has been updated.
Practicing DH... with the shuttles, and time commitment, and travel is worst than XC.
Time allowed for practice on the race courses are limited....due to venue layout. Not really avoidable for the most part.
Injuries tend to be more frequent and severe in DH. That puts a negative spin on it for parents looking into it. We might wear it as a badge of honor, but it is not so to them.
Dhr's are normally easier to spot at the races too I wonder what the real #'s were for the race attendance. See if perception was close to reality....I am not holding you to your estimates just wondering if the DH contingent is jsut higher maintenance/ more visable at the races.
Why do I race? I started because after I graduated college my riding buddy while attending college started and I always leaned to DH over XC anyway. He stopped a short while later but I had met up with and been asked onto a local team. It was like going to races with 15-20 of your best friends. It was a big part of what made racing fun....everyone there hanging out and racing.
I think the XC racers are hardcore....I give them mad props for what they do, but that just isn't for me.
Did you have fun at Schweitzer?