It wouldnt be summer in Whistler without a series of adrenaline fueled races in the Bike Park, and a festival to celebrate all things on spokes and knobby tires.
This year the festivities are part of the inaugural CrankWorx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival, which runs from July 22 to 25. The festival includes competitions, demonstrations, an industry expo, live entertainment, and various testaments to mountain bike culture.
The list of events on the schedule includes:
The Air Downhill Thursday, July 22 Now in its third year, the Air Downhill is a race down Whistlers famous A-line trail, with more than 60 jumps, berms and stunts from top to bottom.
The Nissan Boneyard Biker X Friday, July 23 This pro biker-cross event takes place at the base of Whistler Mountain, with groups of four riders battling for the lead on a winding course with berms, table tops and rhythm sections. Previous events have attracted top racers from the World Cup as well as the top riders in the province, not to mention a crowd of thousands.
The Garbanzo Downhill Saturday, July 24 This is the first event to utilize the new trails off the Garbanzo Express chairlift, with a course spanning 3,400 vertical feet. It is one of the longest, if not THE longest, mountain bike downhills in the world.
The Slopestyle Expression Session Saturday, July 24 This invitation-only event features some of the top mountain bikers in the world as they make the most out of a special park that includes two sets of dirt jumps, a massive gap jump, huge stunts and drops, and a variety of other unique features. Some of the riders you might see in the slopestyle include Garth Dyer, Richie Schley, Darren Barrecloth, Thomas Vanderham, Dave Watson, Wade Simmons, John Cowan and others. Get there early as last years event drew a crowd of close to 5,000 fans.
B.C. Downhill Championships Sunday, July 25 The B.C. Cycling Association is sanctioning provincial championships in Whistler with the title on the line. This should bring a lot of riders to Whistler, while giving local riders a better chance of competing for titles.
All of the events but the slopestyle are open to everyone, with more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.
"The worlds best freeride mountain bike athletes are looking forward to showing off at the worlds best mountain bike playground when CrankWorx hits Whistler this summer," said Mark Taylor, vice president of IMG Action Sports. "Mountain biking just continues to grow in popularity and CrankWorx is the sports signature event."
Some of the side events taking place include a concert series featuring bands and DJs, with outdoor shows taking place during the events in the Bike Park.
The CrankWorx EXPO will feature leading manufacturers from the industry as well as demonstrations from some of the top names in the sport.
More details will be available closer to the date.
For more information, the CrankWorx Web site is up and running at www.crankworx.com.