|Yes Louise, that's 3,676 meters!|
Crankworx is a commercially run mountain bike event that has the reputation of attracting some of the sport's most radical athletes to engage in pretty nutty activities. "Slope Style" riding involves multiple sets of man-made dirt ramps and other obstacles, with riders doing aerobatics worthy of motocross riders. "Sick" is a work that you hear a lot when milling around the crowds, meaning "this move was extremely courageous and rather innovative, with a dash of danger thrown in." Sick, indeed.
|Some dude working the Slope Style competition|
My role was that of PCP, or the President of the Commissaires' Panel, for this UCI-sanctioned event. Refer to me as Chief Referee, and you have the nomenclature that USA Cycling uses. Working with (and "under") me were three other commissaires, all of whom have more experience in the sport than probably anybody else. Colorado-based Dean Crandall (who literally wrote the rulebook for mountain biking some 30 years ago), Sheri Barr (one of the best finish judges I have ever met and with whom I had worked at the Sea Otter Classic several years in a row), and Rogene Killen (whose son, Jimmy, was a fixture in US mountain biking for years) were my crew, and we had a grand time.
|Winter Park is the second largest mtn. bike in the world!|
|Winter Park and the Fraser Valley as seen from the Zephyr ski lift|
I'm not going to bore you with race details. Like anywhere, there were (avoidable) problems, and there were aspects that were unexpectedly outstanding. It's always like that. Bob Holme, the race director, proved to be a competent, open, and communicative partner who honestly valued our presence. Crankworx has a huge reputation among the "sick" riders, and other participants (cross-country racers, families, etc.) had enough to do, too. The event's festival atmosphere was aptly condensed into the hilarious Intergalactic Pond Crossing, which saw riders attempting to cross a pond on a narrow board laid out on floating pontoons. It was a crowd pleaser, let me tell you!
|The Intergalactic Pond Crossing in its early stages ...|
|... and the later stages|
There's so much more I could write, but quite frankly, I'm so tired that I'm almost falling off the chair. So that's it for tonight, folks. Next up: a trip to the Seattle area in about 10 days. Lubbock, I'm coming home!
Tomorrow I'll drive my rental car back to Denver International and fly home, to the land of the baking heat.