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Calling All Aspiring MTB Journalists

Jun 26, 2024
by Pinkbike Staff  

Ever wondered what it takes to land a job writing for Pinkbike? Well, if you’re attending the Grow Cycling Foundation’s Aspire event at Crankworx this year, you might have the chance to find out.

This July at Crankworx Whistler, Grow Cycling Foundation is welcoming young athletes, families, and underrepresented communities to spend the evening with a host of professionals in the mountain biking space to build connections and discover new opportunities in the industry. From athletes and creators to marketing and media professionals, Grow and their partners are facilitating a unique networking environment for the next generation of talent that shakes up the typical conference format.

Pinkbike has teamed up with Grow to cover the Aspire event in a way that helps bring the mission to life for one aspiring journalist, giving them the opportunity to be mentored by a Pinkbike Editor and have their story published on the Pinkbike homepage. So how does it work?

The Aspiring Journalist will spend the day shadowing one of our Pinkbike Editors, learning about all the important aspects of covering a live event – how and who to interview, what kind of photos to capture, how to craft the experience into a story, and what makes a story exciting to readers. It’s a hands-on, on-the-ground experience that comes with a $500 USD paycheck.

If you’re interested in covering the event and having your story featured on the front page of Pinkbike, submit an application by July 3, 2024. Applications will be reviewed, and the candidate will be selected and announced on July 8, 2024.

We hope to see you there!

Where: The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center
When: 5:30-9pm Monday July 22nd 2024
Tickets: On sale now


5:45 PM: Welcome
First Nations Welcome Ceremony hosted by The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center
Introduction and Event Outline by Eliot Jackson, Grow Cycling Foundation

6:00 PM: Session 1: Be in the room
Host: Tiffany Smith, CEO of Camber Outdoors
As the CEO of Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 that equips Partner organizations across the $887 Billion Outdoor Recreation Economy to implement best practices in Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Workplace DEI), Tiffany has an immense understanding of what it means to hire and be hired. She sets the tone uniquely, explaining what it means to not just have a seat in the room but to use it effectively by asking for what you need and understanding what makes you unique.

6:15 PM: Session 2: Content Creation presented by Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Eliot Jackson
Panelists: Blake Hansen • Bas Van Steenbergen • Jess Hana (Jess the Maker)
We get a front-row seat to view the sport of cycling through the eyes of four of the most unique content creators in our industry. Through stories, laughs, and photos, Blake, Bas, and Jess take us on a visual journey of their favorite projects, interesting moments, and the highs and lows of a creator's career, where some content takes months to produce and others just minutes.

6:45 PM: Session 3: The Business of Athletes presented by Norco
Greg Minnaar
Hailing from South Africa, Greg is the most winning male rider in the history of downhill mountain biking and has always been passionate about creating a path from his home continent to competition on the world stage. The audience learns about the business side of being an athlete from one of the most successful and inspirational cyclists in history.

7:00 PM: Networking presented by SRAM
Aspire badge/Ice Breaker/Networking Prompts
Canapés served by the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center
The Cultural Center is providing the food, and Grow is providing the topic: talk to at least three new people about your aspiration. We are facilitating three 10-minute prompts with potential conversation partner switches, allowing you to either dive deep into one conversation or switch it up throughout the 30-minute session.

7:45 PM: Session 4: Marketing & Partnerships: Demystifying the Business of Sport
Eliot Jackson
Panelists: Gaspare Licata, CEO of Crankbrothers • Mark Harrison, Founder of SponsorshipX • Mandy Davis, Founder of DHaRCO
An all-star session dedicated to answering the most common questions creators, professionals, and athletes receive in their DMs daily. Gaspare Licata, CEO of Crankbrothers, and Mark Harrison, Founder of SponsorshipX, along with Mandy Davis, Founder of DHaRCO, will discuss topics such as what companies value in a partnership, how to highlight and communicate uniqueness, breaking into the industry, the impact of social media, and strategies to stand out.

8:20 PM: Session 5: Women of Mountain Biking: Aspirations for Women’s Freeride
Katie Holden
Panelists: Casey Brown • Patricia Drüwen • Hannah Bergemann
We often celebrate the incredible achievements of women in mountain biking, but where do they envision the future? In 2024, women's slopestyle made its debut at Crankworx, and this panel discussion reflects on the successes and challenges of the year while exploring the aspirations of some of the sport's top female riders.



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  • 70 0
 It would be nice to have more posts with actual writing on this page. It's been a long time since we've got to enjoy the likes of Felton and Cunningham.. where the journalism was carried out with a story
  • 31 0
 I miss Vernon. Thankfully, Mr. Ferrentino is still out there writing.
  • 47 2
 NSMB is the place to go for great storytelling.
  • 17 1
 NSMB is great for this style of writing.

Edit: @Loche beat me to it apparently.
  • 23 0
 And Levy... who could make the most mundane and boring subjects hilarious
  • 16 5
 Pinkbike is for the science of MTB. NSMB is for the art of MTB.
  • 12 0
 It's all videos again.... @brianpark cut back on video content for a bit, but the ratio now is all video, no journalism again.
  • 6 0
 @rickybobby19: Green site is for the science.
  • 6 0
 Freehub and Mountain Flyer Magazine still providing great print as well.
  • 6 0
 @rickybobby19: I would not categorize Pinkbike as being particularly scientific
  • 4 0
 @Loche: and the Radavist
  • 35 0
 Will there be weekly eliminations and weirdly forced interviews about the unfolding drama?
  • 13 2
 Only for those with a BMX background
  • 25 0
 A proofreader would be a good start.
  • 14 1
 It was a dark and stormy night.....
  • 7 0
 Thanks for all of the comments!

We would love to open it up to more people by covering costs, hopefully in future years!

In our dream world, we would be able to bring people in from around the world, but as always, we can't let perfect be the enemy of starting, and I am super proud that PB has provided a paid opportunity and mentorship for someone who may not know how to get into journalism or be able to make the contacts otherwise.

This is also a test to see how short-term temporary "mentorships" with tangible output work. Doing things in a small, controlled way is a perfect way to see if things like this can scale to non-in-person events, different career paths, etc. Without direct observation, we would miss out on a lot of learning, which is why we bundled this with Aspire this year.

In terms of who is in the area. Whistler/Squamish/Vancouver is home to more than just people in the bike industry. Many people travel to Whistler Village for tourism and ignore the Indigenous culture that is in the area. There is a huge ridership of people who aren't regulars in the bike park and young athletes who do not have many means and would love the opportunity to do more. That is one of the main reasons for Aspire!

We've partnered with local community groups and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center to ensure that most of the people who come are local to the area, and we also are sending this opportunity out to more places than just on Pinkbike.

Applications are open to everyone Smile

Feel free to DM me on IG if you have feedback!
  • 6 0
 It looks like you linked to editable version of the form instead of the actual form itself. Might need to fix that to actually get entries.
  • 2 0
 That should be fixed now.
  • 7 0
 I'd like to nominate the UCI for this opportunity to learn how to do a better job.
  • 5 1
 $500! Wow! Really outdid yourself this time Outside inc! Doubled the price of trailforks and offered up this generous prize ! I wonder how much in fuel the winner will spend to get to whistler !
  • 1 0
 It ain't much, but at least it's honest.*

(*Assuming it will take four full work days to travel, attend, and write)
  • 1 2
 A full week's salary for a day's work seems pretty generous to me.
  • 8 2
 ...It'd be nice to not have to go all the way to whistler to write.
  • 24 2
 yeah, as though people who already live in the Whistler area, or have the means to travel there for a conference, need the most help breaking into the MTB industry.

I'm sorry, Grow. I love what you stand for but how is this making a career in the MTB industry accessible?
  • 8 1
 @H2o1199: Oh, wow. 'for those attending the event' that's a sad oversight, especially in so far as the 500 check likely doesn't even cover the flights. so you can't even make a gamble based around the prize or whatever. i'm not totally sure what this is trying to accomplish.

this doesnt land you a great writer or a clearly underrepresented writer. just sounds like an experiment for somebody who wants to spend this event working instead of having fun. i'd love to apply but i dont think i fit the criteria in any way other than i used to work in the industry.
  • 2 5
 @H2o1199: Or,
People who have chosen to live in Whistler or surrounding area, have shown a certain commitment to both the lifestyle, and passion to want to work within the industry.

Like theyve chosen challenging living conditions, less pay to live in an area known for the things that they love to do.

If you were looking for an aspiring country music artist, or wanted to provide an opportunity to an up and coming/struggling country artist, would you do that in Nashville, or Monaco?
Grow is offering an opportunity to someone who has chosen, or is lucky enough to live in what is likely the worlds biggest mtb mecca, this seems like the best choice for success, dont you?
  • 5 1
 @onawalk: I see what you're saying, but if it's writing, that can be done from anywhere. Even if Whistler is the biggest MTB mecca in the world, it doesn't mean there aren't other great & amazing places rich with MTB history & enthusiasts. Also, there are tons of extremely passionate riders all over, all of whom have different experiences and journeys in biking. I mention this because those unique experiences may offer a writing voice that is uniquely exceptional and, as a result, highly valuable to an entity like Pinkbike. In short, they may be missing out on fantastic writing talent simply because someone doesn't currently have the means of uprooting themselves to go out to whistler for an event.
  • 3 3
 @shaun-ridefast-michael: You make great points.....But they are offering the "full PB experience" at what is easily the biggest possible location, and biggest festival, at a time, when most of the industry whos who will be in attendance......So pretty easy to provide a unique and important bit of insight, and cram in as much as possible.
You'll also meet a tonne of insiders from all parts of the industry, make contacts, network, blahblahblah.

Its not to say that there arent opportunities in other places, at other times, etc. Its just that Crankworx Whistler seems like a great place to do just that.

PB is looking for someone who falls in line with what they do, in the area that they do it, who would mesh with the other like minded individuals that they currently employ.
Also seems like its a great way to test the idea with little financial risk, that could be expanded even further if it works out. Seems like it makes sense to me
  • 2 0
 I’m curious, does mountain bike journalism pay better than other forms of journalism? In my experience objective journalism means being poor for more than half of your career.
  • 5 0
 And working in the bike industry means being poor for most of your career. Put em together, what do you get?
  • 3 0
 I'm generalising but all the journos and media squids I know in the UK don't have the same 'financial limitations' as normal people. They follow the circus all summer long, living the dream then go back to their parents mansion for winter. I did it myself for a while but if it didn't pay I couldn't go and I couldn't keep up the the credit card crew so I dropped out.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a great opportunity to get in touch with the industry. Hope they have a good turn out!
  • 13 10
 Pinkbike and journalism in the same sentence?? LOL....
  • 13 1
 We let advertisers write our journalism for us
  • 2 0
 Eliot is such a shredder man, he has a video ripping a local “secret” trail here that scares me lol
  • 2 0
 Sounds like we need to BRING BACK LEVY!
  • 4 6
@sarahmoore theres a tonne of negative feedback on this, which seems unfortunate and unwarranted.
This would be rad to attend, and I'd make the effort if I could, but I'll be out of town, and cant swap those plans.
Let me know if theres a way of submitting stories/articles to you guys/girls for consideration of contract positions. I'd love to try my hand at it in some sort of meaningful way.
  • 2 5
 The 100 word section only allows 100 characters....So here are my answers to the questions in no particular order:

No, Yes, Levy, Please, No, Maybe, Yes. I have no qualifications to write an article or even make a video for that matter. Would be a hard sell to get any of the speakers to agree to an interview with me but my questions would be the same: 1. Great speakers tonight if you could pick one to interview who would it be and what 3 question would you ask them 2. What did you have for lunch and how did you like it. 3. Not a particular question but just get some banter going about the weather or how polite Canadians are...or maybe ask if they are Oilers fans., Yes but would need to sleep on somebodies' couch or at the PB office.

Any further question I am here.
  • 4 2
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