By Bobby McMullen / Photos Courtesy of Mathew Mallory
For the 7th consecutive year I made my annual trek to British Columbia in order to ride and race at Whistler’s Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival. This event is by far the largest celebration of dirt and man powered 2 wheeled machines in North America. While the focus is gravity, The Whistler Bike Park provides an amazing amount of both natural and man made terrain that not only allows athletes to push the limits of their skill set, the place seems to invite such behavior! Heidi and I joined both pro and amateur athletes from around the world ripping trails on the race course as well as enjoying a conglomeration of fans, vendors and activities that Whistler’s Crankworx throws at you for 10 days straight.
Heidi and Bobby plotting out their next move...
WTB was well represented on all fronts. Crankworx offered athletes a chance to race in about every gravity related discipline: DH, Dual Slalom, Super D, Enduro, Slopestyle, Pump Track, WTB was there. In fact Timeless Brian Lopes, riding his signature WTB Silverado could not stay off the podium if he tied with firsts in both the Enduro and Dirt Crit, 2nd in The A Line DH and 6th in the GS.
Young gun Max Houtzager cleaned house in the expert 18 and under class of the Enduro aboard his trusty WTB Stryker Wheels, 2.4 Mutano TCS Tires, Tech Trail grips and Silverado saddle. Max, despite his youth, has top level race experience all over Europe and North America. He was amped on the Whistler course firing off that it was “the best race ever, really combined legit dh with leg testing xc.”
Coming off a number of podium finishes in the Oregon super D Series, WTB’s Nathan Riddle ripped and railed his WTB equipped whip to another strong top 20 finish in the pro ranks.
Bobby Sending it off the GLC Drop
For my part…I HAD A BLAST! I rocked the Stryker All Mountain Wheels strapped with Bronson 2.3’s for a few days then, for fun, did an Indy type pit stop and racked my rig with the 2.3 Dissents and Laser Disc Free Ride wheels to add a bit of “cushin to the pushin” (into the turns that is). Moto X grips were perfect for my mitts wet or day and a Rocket V Saddle kept me well positioned in the cock pit.
I raced the A-Line DH for the 7th straight year and hit, no pardon me, I SENT IT off the GLC Drop near the finish in front of a huge crowd and was promptly interviewed by Freecaster TV. After that, I was escorted to the Pink Bike Tower of “Send It” for yet another interview about my A- Line experience and Crankworx vibe.
Hmmm, what else? Oh, we rode and rode and rode: Went huge on Crank It Up with free ride superstar Matt Hunter: Dabbled, fell, slipped and fell again and again on the wood features of Devils Club. In general, got slapped around for 8 of 9 days by Whistler, but tried to ride as much of the place we could and had more fun and laughs than a guy should have…OK, maybe not? A huge thanks to Heidi for the effort both guiding, riding and driving, Whistler for the support while I was there and WTB…well for being WTB and for just being rad!