Photos by Chris Pilling | Words by Eric Behn
It’s not for the light hearted, the weak or the squeamish. You should probably keep your children close and an eye over your shoulder at all times. Have someone to watch your back and but never take your eyes off of the action.
As the dust blows and the herd gathers, those who are dominant show their true colours. War cries are heard as an uneasy tension built from adrenaline and anticipation washes over. The tick of freehubs whizzes in and out through the crowd between screams and horns.
One by one, the strongest, most prized make their way down in a parade of risk and fury as the chosen ones with the longest, largest lenses point and shoot, sensors chattering, poachers of the best moment and angle of the wildest manoeuvres.
Beyond the fences, the herd screams and cries at the most extravagant manoeuvres. Noise making devices provide ambient sound and the raspy voices of hecklers fill the air with nothing nice to say.
Loud music builds more tension and the energy drink ridden mountain bike fans feel their hearts begin to beat. As the riders drop in each with a new combination of tricks, the crowd voices their approval, their concern for fallen riders, and their excitement for successful runs.
A few hours and blood, sweat and beers later, the day’s champion is chosen. ‘The Don’.
The local boy who only braves breaking from the shadows a few days of the year, but with great expectation. The boy with great finesse and prestige. The great one. Putting down a run that only one could beat, if he dare try.
And try he did. Tripling the doubled. Baring the wall. And spinning up to the cabin. It was the winning run. But coming into the final jump, a little too much pepper and flare ended his day, his season, and his year.
No one expected it. Leaving on a stretcher instead of on the shoulders of others. But the winner took a deserved win with a near perfect run. The crowd satisfied, the bike community fulfilled for another year. Crankworx Joyride finally came to an end.
Working his magic in his home town. He put down a near perfect run scoring a 96.4. Chris Pilling Photo
Thank you for following us through our coverage at Crankworx for 2013. A huge thank you to Chris Pilling for providing amazing photo coverage.
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