Photo Epic: Psychosis - Crankworx Summer Series

Aug 7, 2020
by chris pilling  



Sam Hill, Chris Kovarik, Tyler Morland, Stevie Smith, Nathan Rennie, Troy Brosnan. These are just some of the greatest names in mountain bike racing over the years. They have raced all over the world in hundreds of professional races and if you could you had the chance to ask them about Psychosis, they would remember it vividly. From 1998 to 2008 the Golden Cycling Club hosted "The worlds most demented mountain bike race" and for the time, they weren't kidding. Having personally ridden Dead Dog a couple of times, and once making the decision to lay it down in the softest tree I could find because I was going too fast, I write these words with the upmost respect for the racers, trail builders, and mountain. For the first time in 12 years Psychosis lives again. Through uncertain times, Crankworx has revived one of the most daunting races ever conceived and brought 25 of BC's best athletes to take on the task of leaving the start gate.

Mount 7 Psychosis descends 1137 meters in just 6.2 km. In its heyday, racers would make it down the trail in the 12 to 16 minute mark. The fastest time on record, set by Chris Kovarik in its final year in 2008, is 12min 35.14sec. That was, until this year. Chris' record was smashed not once, but 12 times. This speaks volumes to the level of training the athletes put themselves through and the advances in bike technology available.


bigquotesPsychosis was just an awesome event, it lived up to its name being pretty crazy right out of the start line. I remember probably the first 20 seconds of track was so steep it was just survival and a bit of hope. From there it was fast and fun followed by a bit of an uphill that we would have to run up on downhill bikes. Then you jumped back on and had basically about 12 more minutes of rough and hard downhill track. It was not only hard to ride fast but it was long and a game of limiting mistakes and holding as much speed as possible. It would make an awesome enduro stage. It had everything, technical, fast and you needed good endurance too. It was before enduro was around but it would make a great stage now.Sam Hill


Hill looking calm and collected as he locks down a 3rd place finish on the weekend
Sam chats to young fans Daniel Banks and Chad "The Chad" Perreault

Reg Mullett is deeply tied to Mount 7. He is a well respected mountain bike advocate, donating countless hours to numerous trail associations and almost certainly rides more than you. In 2014 himself and Mark Haimes set the first official world record for most vertical descended on mountain bikes in 24 hours on none other than the Psychosis course (with the exception of dead dog for weather and safety concerns). The duo racked up more than 100,000 vertical feet though darkness and rain.

"It was vivid, I remember the start of the last Psychosis, I would always pedal around the top to warm up a little but once I pulled up under the Redbull arches with the obnoxious swirl of the helicopter overhead and the dead dog entrance literally 2 inches from my front wheel, I was instantly overwhelmed with gut-wrenching nerves and a mind that was also racing a mile a minute. To survive a ride on this psychotically steep trail is one thing; to race it is a whole other story! Where else do you instantly put on your brakes at the very start of a race?"
- Reg Mullett

Reg Mullett makes good use of the 100 year old turns leading down this scree chute once used as an access to a fire lookout.
Reg's passion for riding is just as strong as ever

bigquotesDropping in, you weren't sure if you would crash or not because its that steep and loose, you had to aim for the catch ruts or you would not stop, nerve wrecking. It was always a great atmosphere at that race, some top riders raced over the years Stevie Smith, Nathan Rennie, Troy Brosnan, Sam Hill, you'd always hear riders telling their crash stories or survival stories in the pits and how they made it down, great times.Chris Kovarik

Kovarik set a new record in the race's 10th year

The shale slope from which the race starts requires full commitment

Trevor Gavura. Events Director of the Golden Cycling Club giving the riders a safety run down before practice

bigquotesFor a little trail in Golden to be talked about all over the world was something. But now for the next generation of riders, kids that were 3, 4, 5-years-old the last time this race even ran, to still know about it and be fired up to race it, and that the course is still the same, 22 years later as when it first started, is pretty amazing.Trevor Gavura

Whitetooth Brewing has some memorabilia from the race. The owners used to marshal for the race

The ladies eye up the drop. They will have to deal with this blind drop after roughly 10 minutes of heart pounding racing.

Casey Brown making short work of it in her race run

Georgia Astle leads Trevor Burke in

Cousinie pushing hard to keep pace in the bottom half

Seth Sherlock, unfortunately unable to complete his race run, was looking great in practice

It takes a small army to move all riders and gear up to the start

Nash dropped in to Dead Dog with Trevor Burke and Georgia Astle. This good boy is probably feeling more alive than dead

Georgia, ALN, Lucy, and Miranda. The tension could be felt in the air as they waited for their start times

Every rider on this day got to experience what those who have raced before them went through

Lucy waits as the first racer to drop. Setting the pace for the rest of the field

Miranda fully trusting the first corner of Dead Dog

She finishes the day in 5th place

Vaea charges in for a 4th place finish

Mckay Vezina pinned off the gate

Seth Sherlock kicks the back end out

Melamed through the 3/4 mark

Vaea Verbeeck

Kasper Woolley, one to watch in this series, had a crash during practice and would choose to sit out his race run.

Also dealing with healing ankles, this was a wise move by the young racer.

Kirk Mcdowall shows his experience on the course and lands him self in 4th place

Lucas Cruz heading in to the lower half of the course

Georgia puts down an impressive time of 14:37.38 for second place

ALN looking pinned as she drops in for her winning run on her Rocky Mountain enduro bike. Beating out Georgia by 4.68 seconds. Congrats!!

Henry Fitzgerald on Norco Factory Racing puts down a blistering time of 11:19.19. A new course record and a place in history.

“My body was ok after the Enduro, so I was cool today. We did two laps of practice, then the race run was super hot. Mega overheat. Definitely some mega fatigue in the race run. I just tried to keep it consistent so I wouldn’t go too much in the red zone.”

“It feels pretty good now. It was very hard going down. I was pretty much a shell. I was getting so loose, but didn’t really have the energy to do anything about it. But, it worked out.”

Andréane Lanthier Nadeau (1) Georgia Astle (2) Casey Brown (3)

Henry Fitzgerald (1) Finn Iles (2) Rhys Verner (3)



24 Comments

  • 25 0
 The safety run down: "It's not safe."
  • 2 0
 Even the pre runner blew two spoke on his run.
  • 14 0
 Fuggen amazing they managed to bring this back. It should be a yearly thing. Open this race up to the best in the world in 2021.
  • 3 0
 I agree! I really hope they re-start the yearly tradition
  • 14 0
 Hell yeah Henry! Norco team on the come up. Congrats all, that is some gnarly terrain
  • 2 0
 Definitely builds in the hype of the new frame design they are trying so hard to “hide”. The original spy shot post of that bike one person put in the comments “full review coming tomorrow” and got downvoted So hard. Instead a few days later they helped launch CWX summer series and boom they have 3 weeks to build the hype. I’d wager that the new frame “officially” gets revealed at the end of the series.
  • 15 0
 Another stop in a “hardline” World Series?
  • 2 0
 This one, Garbo, and the original Hardline course.
  • 2 0
 It’s the original hardline
  • 5 0
 Reg with the pilsner hat!!!! That is so cool
  • 1 0
 It was great to see the race back. My favourite part was the level of stoke Reeder had to be riding the big bike and even more so for the track itself.
  • 2 1
 It may well be Reg riding in that scree slope image, but it’s at Blackrock Mountain, Alberta, not Mount 7.
  • 1 1
 Please stop blowing up the spot.
  • 4 0
 You are correct. I have photos of Reg riding at mt 7 that I shot for another publication. The point was more of a then and now thing. But good detective work.
  • 3 0
 @spaceofades: My bad. Just like to see Alberta riding get more of the respect that it deserves. But I'm guessing that the tiny percentage of local riders who might read this- already know.
  • 2 0
 The shot of Vaea, wow...love it when it shows how steep shit is.
  • 1 0
 Just went from 6 to midnight

youtu.be/lPFiZysoSow
  • 1 0
 Power difference. I'm glad a DH bike was truly the best option.
  • 1 0
 Not sure that Norco is a DH bike. Look at the seat angle. Maybe a long travel enduro rocking Boxxers?
  • 1 1
 Would love to see EWS here or just Sam Hill, Chris Kovarik etc have another run on this track.
  • 1 0
 Watch the pics with "Peaceful day" by Pennywise playing in the back......
  • 1 0
 #longlivechainsaw
  • 1 0
 gnarly!
  • 1 0
 Finn is killing it.

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