Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
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.
Some observations...

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Technology, though the gap is not as big these days, often makes old equipment "outdated" requiring new equipment atleast every couple years.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? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Had fun at Schweitzer outside the race itself. My chain broke in the first hundred yards. I tried to repair it and each repair broke, for a total of four breaks. I went back down and found a shop with a chain. I had that one installed and just as I entered the race course the first place finisher in my division came in. I ran the course anyway and clocked it about a minute slower than his winning time. Of course the finish was good for last place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
borregokid said:
Had fun at Schweitzer outside the race itself. My chain broke in the first hundred yards. I tried to repair it and each repair broke, for a total of four breaks. I went back down and found a shop with a chain. I had that one installed and just as I entered the race course the first place finisher in my division came in. I ran the course anyway and clocked it about a minute slower than his winning time. Of course the finish was good for last place.
Man I heard there were plenty of flats and you are not the first that I have heard that had chain issues. Schweitzer can be brutal....you didn't ride teh Epert course did you? Last year they ran us around teh really crazy stuff like alter boy etc but it was still brutal on bikes and riders.

I can't imagine repairing a chain 4 times. Was the chain to short with the repairs? Is that what made it break the other times?

I was last place in Sport last year....I just couldn't hack it. I never felt remotely comfortable. Such is Schweitzer. The old WIM course (before the nationals) was lots of fun though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There were a lot of flats, especially the downhill guys. I saw several guys coming down with flats and know one guy who pretty much ruined his rim running on his flat. I dont know what the deal with the chain was. Each repair I made seemed solid. Only thing I could guess is the chain was cheap and too much dirt had removed enough metal so that when it was punched back in there simply wasnt enough to hold. I ran into a couple of young guys from Ellensburg. They spent the whole summer practicing for this race up on the Taneum. They were really ready for Schweitzer, one of the guys took third downhill sport and the other guy took seventh. The Schweitzer X/C course was supposed to be worst than the Sport DH-probably not, but I flipped over and was glad I was wearing a full face helmet.
I dont think there are any more downhill races left. Winthrop has its Mountain Bike festival coming up the first weekend in October. This year they have added cyclocross along with x/c. Maybe when it rains and the dirt gets packed I will hit the Taneum. I havent done it yet without breaking something-on my bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
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 find it's the opposite. Well, at least in my category. in sport 19-29 the downhillers outnumber the XCers by a large margin. I'm not going to race the WIM series anymore because the 3 races I did this year had so few entrants. roslyn - 9 starters. chelan - 10 starters. squilchucker - 6 starters. The DH races typically have over 20 entrants. Road and Cyclocross are becoming more attractive because of the large number of participants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was exactly my point, the younger riders are way more interested in DH than XC. The 19-29 age range in xc does not have enough entrants, and the numbers are getting smaller. The WIMS XC series could go away in a year or two. I am thinking the only thing that might save it would be bigger DH turnouts with the XC races riding on the shirtails of the DHers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
borregokid said:
That was exactly my point, the younger riders are way more interested in DH than XC. The 19-29 age range in xc does not have enough entrants, and the numbers are getting smaller. The WIMS XC series could go away in a year or two. I am thinking the only thing that might save it would be bigger DH turnouts with the XC races riding on the shirtails of the DHers.
The masters will save the series (hopefully). The 30-39 fields are HUGE. I'll race mountain bike again when I'm old :) :) I'm anxious for the emerald city cyclocross series. Last year they were getting 30+ entrants for the mens B field.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top