With MTB race numbers dropping so much in recent years (Welsh XC series been on the verge of ceasing). Many riders a saying that something needs to be done. The sport has been driven to become super technical to compete with the rest of the world. Top riders want more difficult courses to improve their skills. The push by them has seen courses become too difficult for average riders.
Compared the early 90's anyone with a mountain bike could enter a race then no matter how skilful they were, they could manage the course and there was nothing too difficult, all rideable, suitable for beginners but also very physically demanding.
Usually someone who did their first race would get hooked and be back for more. There were masses racing and loads of events available. Small races had large numbers and the National races were huge.
Now that races are more difficult to ride, there are a more crashes and many people say they don't like the difficulty so won't race them. How many have decided not to race?
Should there be races available for anyone again. Physically tough as hell but not so difficult. If the races were graded we could still have events that the top riders need in order improve, but also easier courses/series so beginners and average riders could be introduced to racing and not get put off it.
The MTB race scene seems to be less about holding races for average riders. If there were easier graded races as a stepping stone for riders to get into racing then the numbers for more difficult courses would probably increase as skill levels improve.
25 years ago the races of today would have been classed as a different sport, called extreme MTBing or something. Do you think it would be good to see more rideable courses become available for all levels again?