Crankworx Whistler 2018 Decoded
Crankworx Whistler. For mountain bikers, the very name conjures up images of gravity-fueled, fat-tire heroes defying logic and laws of nature, all in the name of Crankworx glory. For the less initiated, Crankworx might mean a busy Whistler village, and many strange full face-helmeted, knee pad-wearing bikers zooming about. Crankworx is ten days of non-stop action, and whether you’re an autograph-hunting aficionado or an MTB newbie, it’s easy to miss out on some of the best events of the week if you’re not prepared. No fear, that’s where we come in. We’ve broken down the Crankworx Whistler 2018 schedule, highlighting some of the events that make this festival so memorable.
Crankworx Whistler 2018: August 10-19
Crankworx turns 15 this year, and like all the years past, organizers will be pulling out all the stops to wow the crowds. The marquee event each year is the Red Bull Joyride, the wild slope style event that draws tens of thousands of fans to the base of the bike park to witness a face-melting display of mountain bike aerial wizardry. Watch the best freestyle riders in the world push the sport of freeride mountain biking on a course made up of huge jumps and drops. The best place to watch this jaw-dropping event? From the patio of the Longhorn Saloon of course. Get there early to secure your seat for the mountain bike event of the year and let the Après Lager flow. Joyride takes place on Saturday, August 18th, after a couple years of a Sunday time-slot. The change in date ensures that even more fans will be able to enjoy the live show, not having to worry about getting back to home and work right after the event concludes.
Sometimes seen as a male-dominated sport, Crankworx has taken great strides in the last few years to highlight women in all aspects of the festival. All week long SRAM is hosting women’s clinics, from skills sessions in the bike park to suspension tuning classes. There’s a lot of female action sport stars hanging around the park during Crankworx, and the adoring public can queue up for signatures on Aug 18th for the Women of Crankworx Autograph Signing. Women are also getting an equal cut of the prize purse, unique to the Crankworx series. “There are amazing things happening on two wheels right now and we should be able to recognize women for the feats they accomplish on an equal footing to men,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx General Manager. “Hopefully, this will encourage more women to get involved in competitive mountain biking.”
And at Night…
It’s not an on-mountain event, but Dirt Diaries is not to be missed. Since June, six eclectic teams of riders and filmmakers have been creating their odes to the sport of mountain biking. Some hilarious, some serious, all world class productions in their own right. August 14th the team’s hard work hits the big screen in the Olympic Plaza. Bring snacks and a blanket, and cozy up to some great mountain bike film entertainment. The multimedia extravaganza continues the following night, Aug 15th, with the Deep Summer Photo Challenge, again at the Olympic Plaza. After three intense days of shooting, six photographers and their handpicked rider teams present the fruits of their labor, in the form of beautifully crafted slideshows.
Kids are celebrated all week at Crankworx. They are, after all, the next generation, and most likely already ride better than you. The competition is fierce, and entertaining. Events like Enduro, Village Criterium, Pump Track races, downhill races and more will keep kids of all ages stoked to ride bikes.
In the 15 years Crankworx has run, the festival has gone from a niche, almost underground affair, to the biggest event of the year in Whistler, summer or winter. It’s an action-packed 10 days. For mountain bike lovers, there’s events for everyone, regardless of age or skill level, and for the uninitiated, the festival is an amazing chance to see Whistler at its finest, and witness some incredible bike action.
Feature Image: Clint Trahan, Crankworx