You saw it here first. Even before Cycling News picked it up! I've decided I'm not going to do the LA/Fontana/Southridge/California race next weekend. After looking at how much I was going to spend on the race, I decided it just wasn't worth it. To race the Marathon and XC races was going to run me around $500 for the weekend, and that's if I was extremely conservative with my spending once I'm out there.
I'm not sure why this venue was picked. No camping added nearly $200 to the cost of the trip, and that was if I stayed at a Motel 6! It's great to try to include a diverse cross section of trails and such, but LA seems like a stretch. It would be one thing if the venue was setup for racing and had camping available and the like, but to put everyone there on their own just doesn't do much for me.
Which actually brings me to another point, what's the point of the NMBS? If it's to promote the sport of mountain biking, my one experience with it didn't seem to do that. Look at last year's standings, the only ones that hit more than one or two races were the pros or people lucky enough to have a bunch of races in their state (cough... Utah). I really feel for anyone east of Denver if they're into the Marathon. The closest race they'll have is Park City in July.
I'll probably do a few of the other NMBS races this year just because I would like to try to get the Marathon Series Championship, but with so many smaller races around the southwest that are charging $25 - $35 and are paying out to the top 3 riders instead of $65 - $80 and a congratulations when you're done, I just don't know that I see the point.
I'm hearing grumblings about this at the races I've been to. If NORBA doesn't get their stuff together and start providing better events at the national level, I think they're going to slowly become irrelevant.
On another note, I will be hitting Cloudcroft's High Altitude Classic this weekend. I had actually thought about racing in the sport DH race, but they scheduled the XC and the DH races on the same day, so it'll be XC only for me. Turns out I'm tied for 1st place in the 19-29 Experts in NM, so I'm hoping for a good race. Hopefully there'll be enough pros so they have their own category and I won't have to get beat by - err, I mean race against Dax again. :)