the economy... the economy and the bike

the economy
the changing economy is more than likely showing its effect on your world in one way or another
lives are being changed
layoff is a word on the tip of too many tongues
the corporate chopping block has been dusted off and getting plenty of use
too many people I know are scrambling to get back into the workforce

everybody knows somebody who recently got laid off
these are definitely going to be tough times for many if they are not tough times already

how are these economic times going to effect the sport of mountain biking or cycling in general?

last season mountain bike races all over the mid-atlantic were filling to maximum capacity
even the granny gear 24 hours of big bear with its reputation of high registration fees showed an increase in racers

what are we to expect for next year?
there will be a number of people who will have to cancel out racing as a weekend objective
who knows what the numbers will be?
it could be slight... it could alter racing as we know it
race promotion is a labor of love... a business... but a labor of love
so many promoters have had to move away from mountain bike racing because it is hard to pay the bills... while others have remained stable
will this change in 2009 after a brutal 2008?

bicycle shops are a business
will the utilitarian market rise to make up the decline in the recreation market?

what about bicycle manufacturers?
will INTERBIKE be a ghostly scene?

and sponsorships?
I have heard talk of VW dropping from the sponsorship of the Trek mountain bike team as well as some smaller squads losing their big sponsors
how about the grass roots sponsorship? will that take a hit?

I am not an economist
I do not have a crystal ball
but I anticipate some visible changes
what am I saying... we are already witnessing changes

just throwing this out there
please expand in the comments area