Monthly Archives: August 2012

Canadian Open

What can I say? I am pretty speechless after the Canadian Open DH at Crankworx to be honest. I guess I can start with the wise words of James Crossland, ‘fuck backflips’. I think he is right too, the premier event of Crankworx was undoubtedly the classic DH race of the Canadian Open over the more-watched slopestyle.

The course is one of the best on the mountain here, and that is saying something. Riders start up on Schleyer/Joyride  splitting right onto Joyride and then cutting under the Fitz lift line. This is where the magic happens that separates the race from other events at Crankworx, and even Worldcups-Hecklers rock.

Hecklers rock is something else…..Fuck knows how many people where on the rock today, what I do know is there was a strict rule of ‘NO SHIRTS ON THE ROCK’ and that everyone was going mental. Oh man, riders on the lift were fueling the fury by dropping  horns off into the crowd and also providing someone to heckle in between riders. My fave was ‘RENTAL, RENTAL, RENTAL’ when anyone with a rental bike was cruising up overhead. I like to imagine that these people didn’t know what was going on yet it encouraged them to take up this awesome sport.

Horns were flying everywhere


Rachel Atherton was up there on the rock, she was the but of one of the popular chants, but she didn’t wanna’ play and therefore I have not seen her tits.


Ben Reid


After Heckle rock the rest of the track was the same old Canadian Open, FAST, dusty, holey and  manly. There is a new section down low where the trail crew basically fucked a load of tree’s over and cut a swath about 12feet wide through the forest. They kindly left all the stumps in and let us all smash the hell out of it to make sure it was rutted and blown out come race day. It was truly impressive watching these boys smashing through the brown pow, and coupled with the light filtering through the tree’s it made for some banger light for the POD’s. As ever Raff Dice provided us with the nugg’s.

This section is SICK, and holey as dear Lizer's bucket

At the end of the Day it was Smith that took the win with a convincing 5second lead. 3 out of 3 for the Canadian, successful week at work eh. All said and done though, I think the winner should have been changed to Duncan Riffle…..this dude did more for his sponsors in this run than he could do with a Worldcup podium. Riffle smashed into the Hecklefest area only to stop on the top of the rock, whip his goggles of and chugged two beers before getting back to the task in hand. Legend.

Joyride:the finals.

The Joyride Slopestyle, the penultimate day of the Crankworx festival has been and gone. The less than exciting finals, due to 7 out of 8 riders crashing out, left a relatively unknown rider taking the win from more established names. I know racing is racing, and presumably slopestyle is slopestyle, but a lot of people would have liked to see them running the finals again, although I am well aware that would be unfair in reality. The Slopestyle always surprises me in how quick the whole thing is, you spend ages battling though the crowd, getting ‘pumped’ and seemingly spending ages on the phone to your friends in a vain effort to find everyone (which never works) and then before you know it; done. Thats it, it was all over when some skinny jean clad kid took his Hardtail mountainbike, which I use loosely as I don’t think it would have faird too well on an actual mountain, on a straight airing victory lap down the course much to the confusion of many of the crowd.

After re-reading the paragraph above I believe I have been a bit negative, I am going to try again.

The Slopestyle was SICK! We started off the excitement pretty early in our house with a bit of a sign making party, we made some dreamers, drank some Growers and Wildcats, blew through some horns and drank Beers through said horns. Saturday Lad Crossland also somehow managed to build a wheel while taking part in the excitement. I can’t imagine its gonna last long mind you.

Daniella's choice was a little 'adult'

A little more family friendly?

Sheffield's own used car entrepreneur Davi Birks even turned up for a skype.

Whislter life; Skis, wheel building and Wildcat

And as this is meant to be a write up on the Crankworx Slopestyle I thought I should ass a picture involving a bike.

Teva Best Trick.

I am not 100% on what day it is today, apart from I know slopestyle is today, and I am not sure exactly when the best trick comp was. Crankworx has been a little bit of a wild week, as ever, and now I am sat at home pounding the Growers, being deafened by horns, chugging wildcat through said horns and writing offensive signs. ‘I like 2 in the pink and one in the Zink’ is Daniella’s choice, while Chelsea has opted for ‘McCaul me, maybe?’ , my personal sign will be ‘Fuck BearClaw, I will show you the Barnsley Claw’. There will also be something for Semanuk, revolving around Semen, but I am not 100% on the wording yet.

Anyway, as ever, Raff Dice has provided the bangers as Duncan was denied at border control due to an incident that I cannot talk about due to legal reasons, so have a look at these nugg’s.

Teva have a big presence out here...



Somersault no hands


Due to injury's the cheese rolling is the only Crankworx event the Sheffield Crew entered....

Got no balls but still got a pair?

Got no balls but still got a pair?

Krystle Morley dropped us a line to let us know about No Balls Biking. Its a riding group she’s started up in Sheffield to bring together more lasses interested in riding. We at TiS know many Pinner lasses  and some of them even come along to our races… SOMETIMES! So the idea of encouraging even more women out on the trails together sits very well with us. Nice one Krystle.

No Balls Biking is a new group for women interested in biking. The idea with this group is to involve all types of rider from beginner to gnarly pinner in all types of cycling whether it is long distance XC or family leisure rides but in an all women environment (safety in numbers) with no pressure to keep up, go fast or attempt crazy speeds or tech.

Her idea is to make accessing different disciplines easier whilst making new friends and finding new trails. They are having a social meet on the 9th September at 2pm at Endcliffe Park Cafe.

For anyone who wants to come and meet other women to go out riding with and have a chat before committing to a ride, ideas about what people would like to get out of cycling and ideas about what people would like to see from the group. Partners and kids welcome to come along to bring some ideas and give their opinions.

As well as a group of birds with bikes the group also exists on Facebook and you can email Krystle direct for more info. Hopefully this means we might be able to get the ladies winter dual league up and running!

3/9 /12 – UPDATE: No Balls now have a Blog:

Summer Series 2012: Round 2 – Dual

Jolley letting it all hang out against Billsey (Photo: Steven Mackie)

Summer Series 2012: Round 2 – Dual

Dual racing helps keep us sane during the long winter months. You may have seen my many reports on these very pages about the torch lit antics around Sheffield and the fun that ensues. This stems from some very meagre beginnings when I popped down to B&Q and bought a load of overflow pipe, chopped the ends of at 45° at a foot long then headed down to the park on the Sunday after a Blacka Bashup. The fun and ferocious competition that ensued has continued since due to the fun and ferocious competition. 2 wheels – Most fun (my most overused expression?).

The new improved Dual Gates courtacy of Sheffield City Council (Photo: Steven Mackie)

For the past few years the Cliffhanger outdoor festival has been taking place during the summer in Sheffield. Put on by the city council and organised in part by Matt Heason it trys to bring a flavour of the outdoors to a park in Sheffield giving a taste of many activities to those that might have never even heard of them before. It centres around the British bouldering Championships which draw the biggest crowd around the purpose built competition wall sited a big top tent. This was actually my first introduction to the festival when I was asked to engineer the wall for the first year. It has expanded ever since taking in more sports as the years progress with cycling beginning to feature very heavily (because it’s the best! and Jon Dallow is a legend). This year Matt asked if I would run a Dual race and I agreed in return for a proper set of dual gates like those used in snowboarding dual slalom (the Electric fence posts provided by Jolley are brilliant, but not really for public consumption). The deal was done, the date set and we eventually found a company to make the gates.

Timmy not for the Winny (Photo: Steven Mackie)

You may remember just how wet this summer has been, I’m trying to forget but scars that deep-rooted with take a while to heal. The week leading up to Cliffhanger had been one of those weeks and the inevitable happened and it was cancelled. This was a huge pity because it was our first chance to open up the mates races to the public and get more people involved. By their very nature our races are just that, for mates. It’s not because we want to be exclusive, it’s just that I can’t get insurance or permission for every hair brained race we come up with. So everyone that races is a mate, they know that they can’t sue me should they break themselves because it just us having fun in the woods. Hopefully we inspire others to get off their arses and do the same because it so much fun, and hopefully one day, someone will invite us along to their race.

Rich Norgate getting Schooled in Dual by Timmy in the first round (Photo: Steven Mackie)

Chris getting Giggly (Photo: Steven Mackie)

Initially the race was off, completely. However, friends were coming from far and wide to race and staying in Sheff especially. This became abundantly clear after a few jars in the pub on the Friday night. A few hurried text messages later and the race was back on, only this time back in our normal coliseum of Endcliffe park. Having not actually tested out the fancy new dual gates I arrived early  to get set up, not early enough, the hoards were already waiting. These races usually happen in the dark and cold of a Wednesday night so it was quite a change to be able to see where to go. It also meant that the crowd was somewhat different, actually a family affair, as Cy Turner turned up with his wife and two kids whom were very helpful in setting out the course and even better cheer leaders (only for Daddy though). Once setup and  tested, practise on the course got underway with the conditions being a very familiar damp and drifty. One of the traverses was nearly impossible with many a back end stepping out too far. The new gates really look the part but I’m quite glad the public didn’t get the first use as there was a few teething problems to iron out. However, I’m sure the regular racers just smash in to the gates as hard as they can just to piss me off.

Jolley letting it all hang out against Billsey (Photo: Steven Mackie)

The Pearsons Locked in Battle (Photo: Steven Mackie)

I was faced with Cy Turner in the opening round. He was atop of a new prototype steed, a 29er version of the rocket. He had been flying in practise and reckoned that the larger wheels and there increased contact patch resulted in much more grip through flat corners. I can only assume this to be true as he kicked my arse and it cant be that he’s a better rider than me. Jolley had a characteristic off in the first round letting Billsey through to the second round where he also dispatched Chris Davey in his last ever Dual appearance. This round also saw the usual brilliant needle match of Pearson on Pearson which Chris edging out Timmy after picking up a bye through the first round. The small final ended with Cy using his big wheel advantage to show Bilsey who was boss. The top dog of the day was contested between Gordan and Chrisy P, with Chris having to put together a faultless second run to nudge out Jould. To finish of the afternoons festivities we came up with a new dual team relay format. With teams picked at random we lined up at the start gates. Each person in turn rode the course, dumped the bike at the finish line, then legged it back up the hill and slapped the next team member on the arse to set them off. Great fun, totally knackering and I cant actually remember who was on the winning team but I know it wasn’t mine! We finished off the afternoon with the traditional prize giving ceremony where everyone had given generously, particularly the person donating the child’s toilet seat.

A Massive thanks to Steven Mackie for all the great photos, its not often this gets to be seen in the light.

Cy Turner using all of his big wheeled advantage (Photo: Steven Mackie)

'Prizes' galore (Photo: Steven Mackie)

And so endeth the second round, series points dished out, and Chris Pearson taking an early lead. Billsey snuggled up close to him in second place with Timmy and me hugging it out in joint 3rd. Henry Norman rounds out the top 5. Next on the agenda, a return to the race that launched a thousand (well two that we know off) races. MegaDeath!

Mines Bigger than Yours

Mines Bigger than Yours

Richard Baybutt is a photographical genius in so many ways. Not only does he know where to set the dials before he presses the Go Button but he also knows just where to point the camera and when. However, what I really like about his shots are that his tongue is often lodged firmly in his cheek, where it belongs. If you’re a follower of his work you’ll know what I mean and if you are honoured enough to know him personally, you’ll have experienced it first hand.

This shot then exemplifies all of these traits.  Charged with shooting Yorkshire’s new Road Race Olympic Silver Medallist, Lizzie Armitstead, for Cyclesport mag he cracked out this cheeky little shot in his trademark style.

A few weeks ago in honour of the London Olympics I had organised a mates race ‘Special Olympics’ as part of the Summer series. Baybutt explained to Lady Armitstead that this consisted of 10 events ranging in requirements of  stupidity and skill. Somewhat bemused but “a tiny bit impressed that I won the silver out of all of it (girls love guys who can do a wheelie)” she agreed to pose for this photo. Now which one of these silvers do you think Baybutt would rather have won? Lizzie must have made quite the impression on the Baybutts as Rich’s wife, Fera, was so inspired by meeting her that she went out for her first ever road ride (naturally she has ridden both MTB and BMX before).

Lizzie we salute you! Thank you for all your dedication and bringing a medal back to Yorkshire.

Baybutt we Salute you! Thank you for valuing your TiS Medal so much you would take it with you when meeting an Olympian.

You can see many more fine examples of Baybutts work in this montage of his Pro Cyclists Portraits.

POD 8 2012

POD 8 2012

PhilPOD has once again earned his nick name and come up trumps on PinkBike. This shot of Bernie Kerr sending a suicide at the Windam world cup has just earned him his 8th POD of the year. Thats right folks, thats one per month in 2012. And with the set of bangers he’s got stored up on his hard drive that short sighted editors have yet to pick up… we should be seeing more Nugs PODed tout suite.

Crankworx-Whip off Champs.

I am running a day late I know on this, but if anyone has ever been in Whistler will realize it gets pretty wild here. I am using this brief sober period to update you guys that have the honor of being stuck in Yorkshire (do we have any followers from outside Yorkshire?) but I am not gonna’ start typing  away on a tangent, I am going to let Raff Dice’s pictures do the talking.

Kerr's Whips are as big as his ego


Craig and his girlfriend

Crankworx day 1 (actually day 2)

So the biggest  bike festival of the year is upon us, Bud light, Growers, Red Rooster, Whistler Crankworx is a go!

The first event of the Festival was called ‘Fat tire Shit’ or ‘Fat twat Clit’ or something slimier.  It involved a load of Homo’s (plus Dylan Wolsky) racing mountain bikes round some tarmac and a bit of gravel. I didn’t watch it, but google brought up this image of some Hipster riding his bike on some tarmac with a ironic mustache, probably a fixie. 

Saturday saw the first proper event, a new event called Speed and Style where riders and racer battle head to head on a dual course with 2 trick jumps. You get scored for each jump, and timed over  the track with .6sec’s up for grabs on each jump. If my calculations are correct a rider that is aiming to take the win by pining it and winning on time, with no tricks,  needs to be 1.2 seconds ahead of the trickster to head on.

Fairclough won. Nuff said on that, but I think Nick should get on this for our summer series….how about 2 big wooden booters in peaty’s dual track to separate the big dogs from the pussies. Can anyone in Sheffield actually do a trick? I imagine a lot of lame one footers taking the win……….Nick, make it happen.

Today was the Garbo DH….my favorite race in the world, and one I wish I was racing, had I not broken my collar bone AGAIN. The Garbo DH takes riders from the top of the Garbonzo zone of Whistler all the to the village in 13-20ish minutes of pure, hole filled, root infested Gnarbar (as they say out here). The winning time is looking to be sub 13mins, but as of typing the winner is still at the top of the track. I bailed early on the spectating as I am taking the last Gondola up the hill to Bivi on the Peak and watch the Meteor shower.

Needless to say the fans were out in force cheering the riders on as they send the GLC drop to flat and wobble , deoxygenated (cool word, but potentially not a word) over the finish line after one of the toughest DH races about. I saw Jack Reading being interviewed up on the big screen, someone needs to give him a lesson in not winking at the camera, but hats off to him, he is confident in the win and I hope he gets it.

Si Paton has taken a weekend off, making the trip out here to stand in for Brad ‘SHUT THE FRONT DOOR’ Ewan….I am not sure who I prefer, but here is another rad shot from Raff Dice of some Stoked (or amped) fans. HashtagCrankworxGNAR.

Back to top