I’m writing this in the hot tub of my hotel, trying to soothe my aching body after the beating it got on the mountain yesterday. I’ll tell you all about my little tumble on my bike in a little bit but first, let’s recap the last few days of Crankworx.
The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized brought out 350 riders to test their metal on this grueling race on Day 3 of Crankworx. Most racers described it as the toughest race they’d ever done, and as an all-day bike race with multiple runs and hike-a-bike sections, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how difficult it was. Check out the results and more information on the Crankworx Enduro results page.
Monday at Crankworx was a day of fun for the kids and amazing races – the Kidsworx B-Line race took place that day. Kids from ages 7-15 took part in the races, where future athletes of the sport get their first taste of competing.
Crankworx brings the top mountain and XC biking athletes from all over the world to the little mountain town of Whistler, and it’s super inspiring for the kids to walk and bike among the greats.
Spotting the Coastal Crew in line for the lifts, seeing Andreu LeCondeguy at a restaurant with his friends, catching Brandon Semenuk at the SRAM tent, and even sneaking a peek at Stevie Smith, broken leg propped up in his wheelchair, puts these kids face to face with their idols and inspires them to be more like these top riders.
This was my daughter’s first downhill race, and unfortunately she took a huge fall during her training laps, but still got back up and did her best! All the kids had a great time competing and having fun racing down the trails!
The next day was my turn to hit the trails. I’m a newbie at the sport, and Jay loves showing me the ropes – and showing off in the process. I have so much to learn about the sport – how to control my bike, the brakes, and how to do catch some air on the jumps.
Crank It Up has to be my favourite trail so far, an intermediate trail which is great to practice jumps and catching air on. It was here that I decided to take a few small rolling hills and turn them into something ridiculous.
Going way too fast, I launched into the air, flipped over, rolled a couple of times, and then flew off the cliff side. Well, not quite. A small, thin tree broke my fall, literally catching me while my bike flew further and got stuck on another tree. The only scary part of the fall was that my helmet flew off, and I remember thinking that the only way my body was going to stop was if my head smashed into a tree. Thank goodness for that baby tree, which dug itself into my upper thigh and caught me.
I knew shortly after that I wasn’t seriously injured, just very, very sore. I was laughing at my ridiculous state, catching my breath and trying to get the courage to stand up and keep going. A couple of other riders saw me fall and stopped to make sure I was okay – this is so common the mountain. Whether you’re skiing or biking, if people see someone on the sidelines, they always want to make sure everyone’s safe and having fun.
After a few minutes, I go back on my bike, shaky, nervous, but alive. I rode the rest of the way down the mountain, just a bit slower this time.
The Garbanzo DH took place on Tuesday afternoon (Day 5 of Crankworx) and is one of the events’ legendary races – it’s been run every year of Crankworx and is known as one of the toughest downhill courses in the world. Descending 3400 vertical feet across seven kilometers of trail, some refer to it as a downhill Enduro race, where no less than 100 per cent will do. Congratulations to men’s winner Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas and women’s winner Claire Buchar. To see all results and webcast of the event, check out the Crankworx Garbanzo DH results website.
Tuesday night we took in the GoPro Dirt Diaries movie festival, where six mountain bikers are invited to create a five minute movie capturing the essence of the experience we all share and love. The riders are given two months to put together their videos to tell their own unique story, and are then screened in front of a massive audience under the open skies at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Our favourite film won the festival, “What I Do In Whistler” by Ross Measures, but all films were amazing. My second favourite, which received third place, was Claire Buchar’s “Hate”, which was amazingly filmed and really showcased her true talent as a mountain biker.
Watch Ross Measures’ “What I Do In Whistler“, the winning GoPro Dirt Diaries movie below:
What I Do In Whistler from nsmb.com on Vimeo.