Crankworx Joyride Course Walk Video

Words Seb Kemp
Photos Seb Kemp
Date Aug 9, 2012

It’s crazy to think that we originally published this video almost two months ago. By now the grass is green and all the features are good to go. Who’s heading up to Whistler for the big show?


Joyride Bike Parks has been around since 1997 and they actually built one of the first trails in the Whistler Bike Park, called Joyride. Ever since they have been shaping trails and building features. However, in 2011 they were invited back to build the Crankworx Slopestyle course in the Boneyard at the base of the mountain.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Paddy Kaye has ridden the Joyride course many times over in his mind…

They are close to wrapping up the first stage of the build so I went to visit the crew and chat with Paddy Kaye, the main man behind Joyride, about the construction of he 2012 Crankworx Joyride course. 

“There have been up to three machines and ten guys on site and right now we have the course roughed” says Paddy from the top of the course, where in just two months 40,000 energy drink fueled spectators will be wildly cheering on the world’s best mountain bike slopestylers.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  The new start ramp is bigger in both dimensions, and more traditional in shape.

It is only early June and the course looks close to finished, nearer completion than in previous years at the same period in time. “It has taken a month to get to this stage and we have another two weeks before we are ready for grass” This year Red Bull, Crankworx and Joyride really wanted to wrap up the build as soon as possible to allow time for the course to really settle, but more importantly, allow grass to grow.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  The boner log is the gateway to where the line splits into two.

Last year’s event was a huge success. The slopestyle really is one of the best spectacles in the mountain bike world and has to be experienced first hand to understand it. As the afternoon progresses the riding gets more and more out of hand and the electricity of the crowd really starts to spark. By the end of it everyone feels so wired and exhausted that it is easy to empathize with the athletes who laid everything on the line for the world’s most coveted slopestyle trophy.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Two options, one for big airs and the other for style.

One of the most key ingredients is the course and last year it was widely agreed that the Joyride crew had done an excellent job. Every year there are grumbles about the course design and lay out, however, last year the only complaints were from riders, more specifically the ones who turned up with hardtails and just one brake. The Crankworx course is the gem in the FMB crown, the biggest and baddest, definitely more weighted towards the mountain biker with the biggest balls, the deepest bags of tricks and a complete set of skills. It is nothing like a regular dirt jump competition. 

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  The spine is being shortened in length to accommodate a straight air option, but it means skipping the big quarter. Could this be a popular choice this year?

Paddy reviewed last years course and set about making sure that this years course was even better. “The plan this year is to work on the line from last year and enhance it basically. Just improve on the flow, the distances of the jumps, and we added a few new features to keep the event fresh.”

It isn’t just Paddy who makes the call; he actively sought out the views and input of six of the top riders, the FMB judges, as well as the event sponsors and organizers. What this means is the course is not just perfect for the riders to test their mettle but also the best experience for spectators.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Straight over the spine and into a 60 foot sender. Big balls mandatory.

The course flows across the steep gradient of the Boneyard this year, something that was done to address some of the feedback from riders last year, and is full of options. In the middle of the course there are some giant gaps for riders who may wish to impress the judges with some ballsy moves. One of these is a 60-foot gap which straight lines down the hill and will see the rider soar over much of the other line. This line has less hits in it but it was decided that the bravery required to hit these stunts may equate to a similar score given to riders taking the other line. Getting this right is quite the exercise and time has been well spent in planning to make sure that a line wasn’t built that would be redundant before the event even began.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Another look at the mellow kicker for the 60 footer that will send riders right over the satellite dishes.

The other line is similar to last years hipped middle section and includes the now infamous ‘Messere quarter/hip’. Messere stamped his name into the proceedings last year with all sorts of technical and stylish tricks but the stratospheric air he launched off the hip last year was possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen on mountain bike. That feature returns again, but has had a little more height built on the landing in case anyone wishes to launch any higher. Let’s hope so.

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Two options now for the final feature: a stepdown off the top of the cabin, and a kicker from the side deck.

Also, this year the final drop has returned but has been tweaked a little. The kicker has been taken outside and a larger step down has appeared on the roof, giving options to different riders with different strengths and styles. 

 

Joyride bike parks whistler crankworx slopestyle red bull
  Just over half of the Joyride crew.

It may be two months to go till the big event but one look at the course makes my skin tingle with excitement and anticipation. The Joyride Bike Parks crew look to have done an incredible job, now it is up to the riders.

Note: Apologies for the shaky camera work. The whole video making thing is a new skill to learn and walking around is hard enough on crutches, let alone trying to lug a tripod around. Will try harder next time.


Looking like another killer course! What’s your favourite feature?

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