Adventure. Travel. Race.
Crankworx is one of those events you watch on TV as a mountain bike enthusiast -- an event I've been watching for the last five years or so, never imagining I would be a participant, let alone alongside my husband. HA, It's funny how life works sometimes....
Back to the story... For 2016, Whistler was probably THE event that I was not only the most nervous about, but the most excited about. Whistler has steeps, slabs, roots and drops unlike most other race venues, and has been known to be a beast of a race. I wasn't sure what to expect, but felt to have a slight advantage with terrain similar to that of my PNW training grounds, and, well -- it was close to home. Somehow having our own car, spare parts, and food at the event made it feel more like home, despite the 7 hours drive.
After getting the thumbs up at the border, and a little spin at Squamish (Thanks Wolsky!), we headed straight to Whistler. A day of fun in the bike park to remember how to fly, and It was time for practice: two days of bike park brake bumps, and ending up on the Garbanzo DH course (oops!) instead of the EWS Enduro course multiple runs, we were ready to roll, albeit wishing "In Deep" was in our race, as well as in the Garbo. Oh well.....
In comparison to the previous years' races, it felt as though this year's event was right on the money in terms of difficulty, although there was only one (and a half) real climb transfers to speak of (climb to Crazy Train, and Climb to stage 4). Otherwise, everything was lift access with a few traversing transfers between Whistler Base and Creekside. Easier than expected in terms of physical fitness, but challenging for sure in terms of terrain. All in all, I was stoked to stay on my bike, minus a small OTB on a root in Crazy Train, and am excited for next year!
Stage 1: Bike Park (Blue Velvet,
Stage 2: Crazy Train: Steep, loamy, slabs, RAD!
Stage 3: Heavy Flow/Tunnel Vision: Super short, off Creekside. Fresh-cut/loamy, short steep section, flat pedaly!
Stage 4: Pigs w/wings: Steep, lose, slabby. HARD
Stage 5: Top of the World to the base (RAD!)
Twentieth on the weekend, and first American down Stage 5 from Top of the World -- not bad for Whistler.
Off to the next stop of the North American Enduro Tour (NAET) in Bellingham, Washington in a few weeks!
See you on the trails,