Crankworx 2015 Recap

That’s a wrap!! Crankworx this year was unbelievable. It was my first year coming into the Festival not really knowing what to expect.  I have had a pretty relaxed summer camping, surfing, visiting Sweden, tons of coaching, and riding my bikes for fun.  Without a training program or bike sponsor for 2015, I’ve really just been doing whatever I want!

I started the week off right with a last minute call asking if I’d like to participate in the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.  I’ve watched the slideshows every year, and have so much respect for the photographers and what they can accomplish in 3 days, I just had to experience it for myself.  I was on Grant’s team, and, although it was a few early mornings and copious amounts of hiking, it was all worth it.  After that came a GoPro shoot in the park with Remy Metailler wearing all sorts of POV contraptions! It was tons of fun, and really a walk in the park (no pun intended) after our gruelling Deep Summer shooting.

Live Paint show!!! I was invited as one of 8 artists to participate in a live paint-off at Garfinkels! We were given 30 minutes to complete a 24X30″ piece, with no references, in front of an audience.  This was by far the most nerve-racking art I have ever done!! I started off rigid, however, when voted to get into the finals, I loosened up a bit and utilized the canvas a lot better. I ended up winning, and my paintings were auctioned off at the end of the night! Such a cool experience and I’d totally do it again.

super focused during the 30minute time limit. No references, no practice. Just you and your tools!

super focused during the 30minute time limit. No references, no practice. Just you and your tools!

Rode Air DH and Garbanzo tracks with Tracey Hannah and Emilie Seigenthaler. I was thinking about racing Air DH but felt pretty gassed from shooting for 4 days and staying out late for the Paint-off. I was starting to get sick and wanted to try and stay healthy and rest. Sometimes your body knows better than you do.

Pumptrack would have been my first race since the Sea Otter DH and Enduro in the Spring, so I really had zero expectations.  I wasn’t nervous practicing, or even during the first couple of heats.  I was loving the track and just being able to see all my friends again made my night. Trish Bromely and I were having fun earlier in the day filming each-other and goofing off on the track; trying to gap little sections and nose-bonk the first table. Between time trials Tracey Hannah and I went on a coffee date with our moms and Mik. Everything was pretty relaxed. I only really got nervous when it was down to me and Dani Beercroft for the small final to see who would take 3rd.  It’s funny how, when faced with a result placing, I get more nervous and more focused on the result and less on riding.  I was ecstatic when I ended up taking the win over Dani to get 3rd; woo another podium!!!! It always feels good :)

Dual Slalom was a bit of a different beast than Pumptrack. Way more technical, a lot faster, and gate starts forces you to step up your game.  Already having a good result, I went into the Dual with some mixed emotions: I had proved I still could perform and race with the best so I was relieved, however, since I did get a podium, I put pressure on myself to achieve nothing less than 3rd.  Going into a race so focused on a result is -for me- never a good thing.  I get so wrapped up in my placement that I forget to enjoy the ride!! A bit of a hectic morning didn’t help, but practice still went well.  First heat I was up against Trish.  She’s always so happy and relaxed that it calmed me down quite a bit.  I flatted and blew out my sidewall walking back to the Shuttle (so strange), but the Sram guys were nice enough to do an extra-quick tire-swap for me! (thanks guys!!)

As I got closer to the small finals I could feel my nerves heightening.  I would get to the bottom of my run and not even remember what happened! I was trying my hardest to relax, smile, and enjoy the ride, but the pressure to come at least 3rd kept creeping back. I beat Anneke 1 out of 2 runs but it wasn’t enough to move to the finals. Tracey got me in the Small Finals and I ended up 4th.  She was on fire, and so were Jill and Anneke, coming 1st and 2nd respectively.  I was a bit annoyed at myself for losing focus and getting wrapped up in ranking myself, but at the end of the day I had a lot of fun. I tried my best, and was quite satisfied with my 4th place.  All the girls were riding so well, and I would rather come 4th against a stacked field than 1st all alone. 

Coming away from a race like that makes me realize the importance of having healthy competition, and focusing not on the result but on the moment.  Tracey Hannah and I have been very good friends for years now, and, even though we raced head to head, we still ended the day with big hugs and appreciation for being able to push eachother to try our hardest. 

After the race there was some definite celebrating, and I spent the rest of my weekend enjoying all of the great people that make up this industry, including shredding bikepark laps on a GT demo Sanction with Andrew Cho, Matt Jones, and friends.  I also stuck around for the Slopestyle on Sunday morning, and had non-alcoholic Caesars with my bff Geoff Gulevich and his Fiance in the Oakley/Pinkbike tent.  Brandon Semenuk’s first run was nothing but completely immaculate, and I felt bad for all the guys who crashed.  Seemed like a bit of an odd comp this year, but some amazing riding nonetheless. 

That’s about it for my Crankworx, and I hope to see you all there again next year!