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The view from the tent




Big piles of dirt get bigger. Famous people appear in random places. Flash-looking vans with branding all over them arrive in town. It’s Crankworx Rotorua time.

Participants limbered up and got their game faces on.

Enduro. Whip off. Speed & Style. Pump Track. Slopestyle. Downhill. The Expo.

Enduro riders taped food to their frames, and reckoned the courses were too easy. Speed & Style competitors were conflicted. Speed or Style? Pump Track riders were pumped. Slopestylers added air to their rockhard tyres. Downhillers dropped a few psi out of theirs.

Expo entrants loaded up on duct tape, zip ties and printed materials, and practiced erecting a poptent with one hand.

Nzo included two other Rotorua creators in our tent. Zerode brought the Taniwha trail bike, and Dancing Moose brought a complete line of bikepacking bags.

This year's Crankworx was dry and dusty. Downhillers ditched the mud tyres, expo people ditched the gumboots.

Zerode was showing a way forward that doesn’t include derailleurs. The Moose was showing a way to go mountain biking that doesn’t necessarily include coming back on the same day. Or year. Nzo demonstrated the dust-shedding capability of our new fabric, by brushing the examples on display every hour or so.

The Pump Track lasts an intense 15 seconds, Slopestyle half a minute. The Downhill can be won in under three. Enduro goes all day. The Expo runs for a mind-bending 5 days, and that doesn’t count packing in and out.

A few of the expo hours were spent eating, drinking, or brushing the mannequins. The balance was spent talking to people.

With variations, we said yes, these are made right here in New Zealand! No, these don’t have any padding, but they work well with these. Yes! Glad you asked! Scuffers are designed for women, look: they have a stretch panel that extends around the hip area. These are called Dobies. They look very simple, and they are. That is what makes them so comfy. 

Meanwhile, the Moose reckoned there was 58 litres of storage in the assembled baggage, and Zerode said, yeah, about the same weight as the bike you’re riding, for the fifty-fourth time.

During the main events the expo was like a ghost town, the roar of the crowd up the hill echoing through the empty tents. Like a tumbleweed, the occasional child drifted through, on an endless quest for free stickers.

A final roar, some frenzied talk on the loud speakers, and a torrent of people were back in the expo zone. Same questions, similar answers, for five straight days.

And you know what? We can’t wait for next year!




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