If AERC were to eliminate weight divisions for the NC ride, all MW and HW riders might as well stay home. I watched the finish in Kentucky. There were no HW or MW riders in the first 18 to finish the 50. With no weight divisions it will be FW or LW riders that win every NC--unless you handicap and let's not go there again.
I certainly recognize the achievements of those individuals that accumulate high miles on the trail. They are dedicated. But not everyone can take the time from their families or work to participate every weekend or travel to multiday rides. AERC needs to have a competition that can allow more of the membership to compete with a reasonable experience quotient.
Perhaps there needs to be two divisions. Division A for folks with moderate experience and Division B for those high milers. It would be interesting to follow finish statistics on the two groups. What's one more award--we already have awards for every conceivable classification now.
And lastly...I watched an experienced rider at NC crew for a fairly new competitor. His treatment protocol was sadly inadequate. He has been doing this for a long time but has not kept up with current medical information. So much for miles/ experience.