Crankworx: Whistler 2018

August 22 — 2018 | Whistler, CA

So you signed up to race Enduro World Series: Whistler…

 

Crankworx Whistler. A 10 day-long event in the Disneyland of mountain biking that brings together every kind of cyclist under the sun. An already busy mountain town tucked in the Coast Mountains of western British Columbia—Whistler transforms into a zoo; where the public can come to watch the world’s best mountain bikers race down some of the most technical trails B.C. has to offer, or huck themselves off of massive jumps, doing tricks with funny names.

I come to Crankworx every year for one event, the Enduro World Series: one day of racing, 5 stages. Doesn’t sound so bad, right (especially after racing Trans BC Enduro—6 days, 4-6 stages a day)? Wrong. This one day is utterly hellacious, they don’t call it “Crankzilla” for nothing. This was my fourth Enduro World Series at Whistler, and these are the 6 most important things I’ve learned through them all:

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Juliana Bicycles Image
Sven Martin
 

Eyes on the prize, Alex Pavon, pushed through her 4th "Crankzilla".

 

1) Manage the chaos. Crankworx is exactly that: chaos. There is always something going on—a ride, training, a dinner, a party—and it is super easy to get sucked into it all and come out the other end half the human you started as due to mental and physical exhaustion. Have fun, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Besides, it’s hard to do a good job at anything when you’re legs are shot and you’re sleep deprived. Luckily, the enduro is always at the very beginning of Crankworx, so it’s easier to be fresh and well rested.

 

2) It’s hard. Sure, I’m in Whistler to ride and race my bike, which is a dreamy situation, but make no mistake: racing is hard work. Especially when it’s an Enduro World Series race and you want to do well. It’s not just a ride in the woods with your 40 closest friends—it might as well be a race to the top of the stage as well as to the bottom—on some of the most technical single track you’ll ever ride. Oh, and not to mention you’re already tired from the two days of practice prior. But if it were easy, everyone would do it.

The top of the world is as good of a time as any to start believing in yourself. 

 

3) If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. This race is hard work. Whistler is notorious for having tight transfer times and very technical tracks. It’s easy to get stressed out that you won’t clean a section of trail or that you will miss your start time. But as soon as you start doubting yourself, you make mistakes, and chances are you will crash and won’t make your start. Even though you are never really alone when you race, how well you perform is completely up to you. So believe you can do it, and you will.

 

4) It’s okay to not be the best. Because chances are… you aren’t. So don’t stress out about what you look like to everyone else. No one is paying attention to the fact that you rode that weird left-handed rock roll in the middle of Crazy Train unclipped and totally terrified you were going to crash. We’ve all been there, right? No one is magically born being the best—everyone had to learn through crashes and stupid mistakes. Focus on being your best, ride the way you know you can, and maybe learn a little from the other riders out there with you.

Seeing double?

5) Success is what you make of it. On a scale of one to super-impressive, my finish at the EWS was average. I was 20th out of 40-something women. On paper, that is far from super impressive. But to me, that was a success. Whistler is a hard race, it pushes me out of my comfort zone and every time I go to this race my one goal is just to finish. So finishing in the top-half of the field without any injuries or mechanicals is amazing. Of course, I would like to finish better, but that will come with time and experience.

Jaime Hill brings big air and bolder whips to Whistler, landing herself on the Whip-Off Podium.

 

6) Have fun! Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind—after all, it is just a bike race.

 

 

 

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