It's also looking like xc mtb racing has decided to move on, at least the East Coast mountain biking I knew when I first transferred from road to dirt in 2004. My second mtb race ever was at the 2004 NORBA Nationals in Snowshoe, WV. This was NORBA at its height. Kabush’s sideburns were in peak form, Alison Dunlap had not yet retired, and Dara Marks-Marino was my favorite underdog. My initial intentions for traveling to Snowshoe were to follow-up on a crush I had on a certain semi-pro. The crush never went anywhere, but my love affair with racing in the dirt had just begun. Although my chain broke on the first lap, I felt strong and was eager for another shot at the podium. And that’s how I ended up traveling to Mt. Snow the following weekend. I know, a little over kill for a sport racer, but I’m glad I managed to experience NORBA at its peak. Looking at the 2011 calendar, it seems that the only Pro XCT race to hit the East Coast this year will be the Hoo-Ha.
But the void left by the glory days of NORBA (and 24hr racing for that matter) has been filled by the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series …slightly ironic when you consider that the NUE is the bread and butter of my husband’s racing career. The hundred miler scene is pretty healthy these days, and continues to grow with each additional season. This year the NUE has grown from 8 to 11 races, many of which sell out early in the year.
So, I’m still not exactly sure what this blog post is about. Is it about my own personal decision to stop racing and reinvest in forgotten pockets of my life, or is it about the evolution of mountain bike racing on the East Coast. I’m not quite sure. Maybe it's about Pareto efficiency. Pareto efficiency is that point of minimal efficiency, where supply and demand sort of meet, but have yet to arrive at that sweet spot where a socially desirable distribution of resources has been found and the overall well-being of society has not yet been satisfied. We're all just doing the best we can, trying to make the best decisions we can with what little information we have. Someday we will finally reach equilibrium. And this blog post is already too long