Jessica Smith/metro Vancouver
Extreme mountain bikers will be one-upping each other with front flips, double backflips and huge tail whips this weekend at the fourth annual Crankworx competition at Whistler, said veteran rider Richie Schley.
Crankworx is the original “slope-style” competition, where bikers are judged on their tricks, like BMXers are in the X Games.
“It was kind of my concept,” Schley said.
Before he was a mountain biker, Schley was a pro BMX racer and a free-skier featured in Warren Miller movies, “jumping off cliffs and stuff like that,” he said.
After he quit BMX racing in 1995, he needed something to do in the summer with his friends. “We ended up getting a mountain bike and simulating what we used to do on our skis,” he said.
Media he knew from pro skiing picked up on what he was doing, “and that’s kind of how this whole thing started,” he said.
Schley designed the Crankworx courses for the competition’s first three years, and they are as terrifying as they look, and dangerous, he said.
“People always get hurt because they want to one-up each other.”
Crankworx begins tomorrow and ends July 29.