When I first started racing (and riding), most of the other people that I rode with also raced and it was a pretty social thing. Now, most of my riding buddies don't race.
Now, I do a couple of races a year (XC usually). I buy a coaching license, so the race license isn't too much more on top of that.
For me, I guess there's a few things that keep me from racing more. I got to a point where to continue to do well in races, I would need to train more…and I'm simply not that motivated (to do the training or to make time for the training). I like being fit, but being competitive at expert/pro is a whole different level.
Races themselves also take up a fair bit of time. Drive to wherever, pre-ride, race…drive home, and the weekend is gone. And, with coaching thrown in a bunch of weekends over the summers for the past 5 years, I prefer to spend the weekends that I'm not coaching, just riding for fun - whether its a long XC epic, challenging my skills on the shore, or a road trip exploring the rest of the great riding locales BC has to offer.
The money is also part of it, though less so than it used to be when I was still going to school. I can afford it now, its just there are other things I'd prefer to spend money on. The racing I've been doing (24 hr solo) comes with a steep entry fee, and if I keep it up, travel expenses too - not to mention convincing my husband to be my support crew!
So, some food for thought…
What about the toonie race series that NSMBA puts on? It's XC oriented, but how many women show up for those? Here one can't argue cost…need club fee for insurance, plus the toonie, and off you go. Time committment is small too (evening after work).
What would the logistics be of putting on a DH version? (Insurance I assume might be problematic..maybe?) And the key question, would women enter?