The Whistler Kokanee Crankworx Festival always seems to take forever and pass in the blink of an eye at the same time. There's time with friends, both old and new. There's the racing--always full gas. There's the slopestyle that never ceases to leave my jaw fully dropped. And then there's the life blood of trails that lace both Whistler Bike Park and Whistler Valley. Combining all of these elements together is the essence of the Whistler Kokanee Crankworx experience I had this past week.Pics inside
One thing that's so sweet about Whistler is berms. Lots and lots of berms.
Brandon Semenuk with a heel clicker during Kirt Voreis' Jump Jam. So much talent--best wishes to a speedy recovery to Semenuk as well as the other riders injured during this year's Crankworx.
Bernard Kerr of Norco had time on his hands between qualifying and racing in the Giant Dual Slalom race, and spiced it up with a few runs in Kirt Voreis' jump jam. Clipped in.
Not even a hamburgered forearm could take away the pleasure of a 5,000 vertical foot PINNER ride down Khyber Pass from Whistler Peak.
Vouilloz on the Garbanzo DH. It's not often you get to see a genuine legend slaying it on the trails.
Matt Hunter taking a hand at Nailspielen during the SRAM Wiffle Golf party held at Tyler Morland's home.
Pinkbike's lead lensman, Ian Hylands: well prepared for the Crankworx Slopestyle Comp (note the ice cream cone).
Big Brother-I mean Go Pro- was everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE, with Go Pro cameras littering the courses and the hill. Look for the vids at http://www.goprocamera.com/players/channel_bike.php
Amir Kabbani rising above it all.
Martin Soderstrom visualizing his run. Too many spectators fail to realize how hard these riders train to be able to pull off the insane tricks that they do. It's not only God-given talent; but hard work, hours of training, and mental focus.
Crankworx brings out fans in droves.
A lot of slopestyle competitors prefer to keep it simple and run a single speed, and for good reason: there's less chance for a any kind of a drive train error. But sometimes gears are a necessity. Bumping a shifter on a hard landing, though, could be kinda bad, to say the least. Jack Fogelquist opted to set up a custom mount for his Banshee Rampant to get the best of both worlds.
It's good to be the king!
Dry conditions at Whistler saw all the tracks, from the the Air DH on A-Line to the Boneyard, deteriorate to a wicked and unpredictably loose over hard surface that took down more than one rider in more than one event.
Whistler is an insane place to explore. Quality trail time doesn't have to mean the bike park, either. Ross Schnell and Seb Kemp laying tracks in some quality dirt.
5,000 feet of descending off of Khyber Pass means earning your ice cream. Ross Schnell, Emily Johnson, and Seb Kemp fighting the bonk.
There's more to Whistler than the mountain, too. With over 90 miles of quality trails scattered around the valley, it pays to take time to explore.
Andreas Hestler putting some flogging time on his 2011 Slayer
Comfortably Numb is a worthwhile ride if you can climb like a billy goat. But even if you can't, it's a ride everyone should do at least once. Ross Schnell taking a "rest day" after his Enduro DH race to check it out.
If you ever step up to riding "Comfortably Numb", take a moment to appreciate Al Grey at the Al Grey Memorial Bridge; his steady hand at the helm of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association was instrumental at organizing the group that oversees so much of the trail development in Whistler Valley outside of the bike park. Chances are that if you've ridden it, WORCA has worked to maintain it.
Joe Smith, Kona's World Cup rider, is coming into his own this year and finished just a few spots out of the money with a sixth place.
We have here a rare sighting of Jordie Lunn racing his Jamis Dakar instead of hucking it huge somewhere on Vancouver Island.
Claire Buchar kept it pinned for second place behind Emmeline Ragot.
Gee en route to claiming the "king" of Crankworx crown