And, while the roadie-style Euro lycra boys might dominate cross country, the Yanks have always ruled downhill in our minds.
Think of some MTB stars: Tomac (US), Giove (US), King (US), Lopes (US), Donovan (US), Carter (US), Palmer (US).
We'd go to California to find the spirit of the thing, we attend events just to see the US greats. To embrace mountain biking was to embrace American culture, with respec' to the soldiers on lockdown and all that wannabe gansta hype.
And, of course, it 's still that way. Just look at how many top riders opted to ride the NORBA National Championship Series rather than their own National races this year.
And look who won them!
In the final event, held at one of our all time favourite venues, Durango, Steve Peat and Ffionn Griffiths beat all comers.
Ffionn won the Series too.
For those of us who have made the best of 'plucky Brit screws up again,' stories for far too long it is a great shock. It's almost as though it shouldn't be allowed. Like reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards in church with your trousers down and a picture of the devil tattooed on your bum. But keep doing it, guys, and you'll see - we'll get used to it.