The Six Finalist Videos From Crankworx 2015 Deep Summer

As spectators from afar and lovers of mountain bike photography, our favourite event of Crankworx Whistler is the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.

Each year, six photographers are selected to undertake the challenge. In 72 hours with a team of riders they must come up with a slideshow of photographs, here are all the six entries for 2015.

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2015 Deep Summer Winner – Sam Needham ‘Life is a Journey’

 


Gary Perkin ‘The Ways Of Man’.


Grant Robinson ‘Ride For Your Life’


Ryan Worcester – The Illusion vs. The Experience


Laurence Crossman-Emms


Tim Koerber


 

Highlights from the night at Crankworx.

Photo Feature Preview: Riding the Australian Alpine Epic Trail, first

December 6 was the day when hoards of frothing mountain bikers joined those who were already in town for the Australian Mountain Bike Summit to ride the Epic first. It was a real unknown, not even the locals had ridden it, anyone who found their way onto it or snuck in a ride before the open date were spotted on the surveillance cameras and busted custard accordingly. We even tried to pay the trail builders a visit earlier in the year when the trail was under construction, but the talk of being blindfolded and walking through the bush scared us off, so we eagerly awaited what was in store of this massive project.

To date, the project has received $125,000 in federal funding through T-QUAL Strategic Tourism Investment Grants, $375,000 in state funding through Regional Development Victoria. Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management has contributed $225,000 and the Mansfield Shire Council a further $25,000.

World Trail began construction in November 2013 a 40km trail that takes riders from the Mt Buller Village all the way down to the valley floor at Mirimbah via some old favourite trails and the recently completed linkages. You begin by riding some of the existing network toward the top of the well-loved Stonefly track, and it heads even further into the wilderness along ridge lines and mountain tops with a mixture of old and new trails. The juiciest bit is the 7km descent that throws you down the mountain in the finest flowing singletrack you will ever ride. Then you cruise a 2.7km undulating trail along the Delatite river to Mirimbah where an uplift shuttle awaits (if you’re organised) to return you back to Buller. It’s a mind bending ride, a real tough undertaking and is not for the faint hearted. A lot of climbing is rewarded with fun descending, so expect some highs and lows, cursing and hotting, it’s a real epic day ride.

Mount Buller threw one hell of a party for the riders to celebrate the Epic opening, whilst the weather didn’t like to party as much, the day was a real blast. This is how it unfolded.

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The drive to Buller is always a real pleasure, a true road trip in all respects. You pass through great country towns, it’s super scenic, and the approach to the big mountains always gets us very excited to ride.
We made it onto a really big billboard! Life is complete.
We made it on to a really big billboard! Life is complete. That Damian Breach photo is a real winner.
The launch of the Australian Alpine Epic Trail coincided with the inaugural Mountain Bike summit. Like the G20 Summit, but more focussed on mountain biking... Trail advocacy, event management, industry, media, land management and networking all went down in a fine gathering of the key playing in the MTB community.
The launch of the Australian Alpine Epic Trail coincided with the inaugural Australian Mountain Bike Summit. Like the G20 Summit, but more focussed on mountain biking… Trail advocacy, event management, industry, media, land management and networking all went down in a fine gathering of the key playing in the MTB community. The future is bright, and we were honoured to be involved and presenting in the Summit.
A visit to Buller can't be complete without a visit to the summit for a sunset beer.
A visit to Buller can’t be complete without a walk up to the summit for a sunset beer.

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Some hoppy goodness from the nearby town, Beechworth, Bridge Road Brewers.
The morning began with the old favourite trails that took us up high towards Mt Stirling. Dave from Albany, WA burns his altitude-trainied lungs in anticipation of what lays ahead in the fog.
The morning began with the old favourite trails that took us up towards Mt Stirling. Dave from Albany, WA burns his altitude-trained lungs in anticipation of what lies behind the curtains of fog.
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Patty Young from Specialized Australia begins the famous Stonefly climb.
Don't be fooled, there's a lot of climbing to earn the descent.
Don’t be fooled, there’s a lot of climbing to earn the descent.
Way out in the middle of nowhere, tubes were blasting riders up the climbs. Alpine rave, anyone?
Way out in the middle of nowhere, tunes were blasting riders up the climbs. Alpine rave, anyone?
IMBA's Joey Klein enjoying an alpine pink lady at the Stonefly summit. This is his 9th trip to Australia, and the Epic blew his mind.
IMBA’s Joey Klein enjoying a crisp pink lady at the Stonefly summit. This is his 9th trip to Australia, and the Epic blew his mind.
Telephone Box Junction is not only a place to begin or finish a ride, with public road access closest to the best bits of The Epic, there is also COFFEE!
Telephone Box Junction is not only a place to begin or finish a ride with public road access closest to the best bits of The Epic, there is also COFFEE!
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Coffee in the middle of nowhere should not be that good, right? Wrong. The Epicentre serves up a stellar muddy heart starter as we approached The Epic.
Pop your head into The Epicentre for a realllllly good coffee, organic food, bike repairs, local advice and a bit of goody shopping.
Pop your head into The Epicentre at the Telephone Box Junction for a realllllly good coffee, organic food, bike repairs, local advice and a bit of goody shopping.
The signs we were waiting for.
The signs we were waiting for.
Bike Buller surprised riders again with a remarkably remote juice stall.
Bike Buller surprised riders again with a remarkably remote pedal powered smoothie stall. Free!
Cheers for the juice, but we had to pedal the bike/blender ourselves? Sheeeesh...
Cheers for the smoothies, but we had to pedal the bike/blender ourselves? Sheeeesh…
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Beats water and and warm jelly snakes any day. Fresh fruit smoothies! Free!
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Free Epic smoothies!
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This is where our photos become a bit thin in quantity… The descent began and it became really quite hard to stop and shoot, please accept our apologies, a full report is coming soon though we promise.
Australian Alpine Epic first ride 2 (1)
Feature packed, the Epic takes you through, past, around and over eye-poppingly gorgeous wilderness.
Australian Alpine Epic first ride 1 (1)
In true World Trail style, the flowing descent rewards all your efforts that lay behind you.
Australian Alpine Epic first ride 3 (1)
Imagine descending 7km of trail like this? Hardly any pedalling or braking, just dreamy flow.
When we couldn't yell any more, our bodies were exhausted, heads exploded, we were greeted by another remote surprise.
When we couldn’t yell any more, our bodies were exhausted, heads exploded, we were greeted by another remote surprise.
Free ice cream!
Free ice cream!
Never tasted better.
Never tasted better.
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Specialized’s Nick Van der Linden rolls past another disgustingly scenic and fun piece of trail towards the end.
The Delatite river roared beside the final section of the trail, crystal clear and lined with massive green ferns.
The Delatite river roars along beside the final section of the trail, crystal clear and lined with massive green ferns.
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We were a part of something special, first to ride on the Australian Alpine Epic Trail. Done, but not quite dusted.
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Brett and Aaron from Blue Dirt Mountain Biking were shuttling exhausted and muddy mountain bikers like mad back up to Buller from Mirimbah. Cheers, guys!
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Beats climbing. Well, climbing may well have been impossible by that stage. It’s exhausting to ride the full Epic!
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Ryan De la Rue from World Trail celebrates on his finest work yet, he’s responsible for many happy mountain bikers now.
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The rain pushed the celebrations inside, but one last surprise from the folk at Bike Buller, fireworks to cap off a mega amazing day.

The Australian Alpine Epic is open, get to it people!

Stay tuned for a complete story, and a seriously amazing video of Ryan from World Trail shredding the Epic soon.

http://bike.mtbuller.com.au

Photo Feature: Passportes du Soleil

And what about if one weekend every year, all the trails chairlifts opened up to a big ‘grand fondo’ style event, with no timing or racing, just a wristband that gets you food, drink and chairlift access.

It gets even better. Imagine doing a 30 minute flat out descent and arriving at a big tent, with cheese fondue, cold meats, beer, wine, chocolate, bread… Oh yes this does exist!

This may be impossible to happen in Australia, but this goes on in France and Switzerland, and is called the Passportes du Soleil and Flow was there again this year, basking in the sunshine of the alps with a myriad of trails at our glove tips.

80 km – 15 ski-lifts – 6000m of total downhill!

9 different resorts to start from :

– In France: Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets, Morzine and Montriond-Les Lindarets.
– In Switzerland: Champéry, Morgins, Torgon and Les Crosets.
  1000 m of total uphill climb

refreshment points. Start at any time between 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. from each resort.

Our start point was Les Gets, France and we made it back there as the last lift closes after hours and hours of descending. A truly life changing experience with the highest speeds, biggest views and cherries Euro dudes ever.

The two main centres; Chatel and Les Gets turn into a mountain biking festival with a huge bike demo system, night racing, expo’s, trials demos and live music. It’s a real buzz!

Flow’s tips for Passportes success:

– Set up your bike with meaty tubeless tyres.

– Take a real camera, it’s eye boggling out there.

– Start early, aim for the complete loop.

– Eat and drink everything within sight.

– Talk to everyone in the lift lines.

www.passportesdusoleil.com

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The Aussie alpine gang; Ged, Ash, Mark, Luke Skywalker, Andrew, Corey and Garry.

 

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  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
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Cheers!

 

Photo Feature: Meet The Moots

Do you remember when you were a child and would walk into your best friends house – the one with the perfect family? Everyone would greet you with open arms, happy faces were everywhere, there was always a dog on the couch, everyone would take the time to ask how you were and what you day was like, and Mum (the traditional model of Mum), would be baking something that smelt like heaven.

That’s how it felt when Flow recently visited the Moots factory in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. No, there wasn’t anything baking in the oven (but there was a box of lovely donuts on offer), but the aroma of titanium being cut and welded wafted through this home. Within minutes we were made to feel like one of the family.

Factory
Moots manufactures titanium mountain, road, and cross bikes with options galore to customise a bike to your needs. The factory isn’t just a manufacturing facility though, It’s a local hangout, retail shop (not for bikes) and drop-in centre for customers and fans, with a constant flood of visitors coming in and out each day.
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Moots has grown from a tiny custom frame company in 1981 to one of the largest small/custom bike manufactures in the USA. Each pin on this map shows dealerships which sell Moots and distribution is spreading right across the USA (and into Australia). Moots are kind of in a middle area between a small and big bike company. When Moots are at the huge Interbike trade show they’re a very small fish in a large bowl however when they’re at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show they’re a big fish in a small bowl.
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This is there the magic happens, the Moots workshop floor. In 2001 Moots moved from a much smaller facility near downtown Steamboat Springs into a new large and specially designed state-of-the-art factory just outside of town.
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Moots bikes are handmade and they’re very proud of it. Moots is a titanium only manufacturer and uses US-made seamless cold-worked stressed relieved 3/2.5 titanium tubing. Working with titanium is a speciality and requires skill, experience, and some pretty cool equipment (if you’re the engineering type). As titanium of the Moots quality is in high demand by much larger (and far, far richer) industries Moots has to be very careful with their ordering and planning as shifts in outside industries can have huge impacts to their supplies. It’s one of the pitfalls of keeping their product 100% US made but it’s one of their strengths as well.
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All that titanium adds up to a lot of waste? Not for Moots. Moots captures and recycles most of the excess titanium material through local channels rather than being sent to landfill.
These are all the welding stations. Flow learnt some pretty cool things about welding and also how hard it is to make the process as clean and strong as possible. As most bike frame failures happen at the welds this is also one of the more important parts of the bike manufacture process and Moots is very proud of a low warranty return rate.
This is the primary welding area. Flow learnt some pretty cool things about welding and also how hard it is to make the process as clean and strong as possible. As most bike frame failures happen at the welds this is one of the more important parts of the bike manufacture process. Moots seems to do a great job and is very proud and stated a low warranty return rate.
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This is one of the welding stations with a frame in the jig. Note the caps and tubes coming from the frame. Fabricating with titanium requires an Argon gas welding system, which needs an oxygen-free environment to protect the ultimate integrity of the weld. Moots also uses a double-pass welding process to ensure maximum strength.
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But all that equipment isn’t why Moots makes a great bike, it’s the people. Each and every employee is passionate about building and riding and time on the workshop floor has to be balance with time on the trails “testing” their products. In all seriousness though it’s not very often you find a bike manufacture so close to epic trails that can be used for instant product testing and feedback.
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In fact, the day Flow was in town the workshop was a little emptier than usual. People were out enjoying a ride or other adventure and the relaxed nature of the Moots factory really showed. Definitely not a sweat shop and more like a corner store.
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Headtube badges are unfortunately a dying accessory on many modern bikes. For those who still maintain this bit of nostalgia, each badge design has roots in their story. Mr. Moots (the alligator in the logo) goes all the way back to the founderʼs primary school years. His favorite pencil-top eraser was a loveable, smiling alligator character that accompanied him throughout his school days. Thirty two years ago, when it came time to put a name to the first custom bikes he built, the first choice in names was obvious….Moots, the eraser.
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If you’re ever in the Steamboat Springs area make sure you drop into the factory. They offer tours to the public and you’ll get to see for yourself what it’s all about.
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Every Moots frame carries with it the details of all the hands who have touched it – from the beginning to the end of the process. Each tube miter and each weld, in every single frame build, is done by hand. Checked by hand. Finished by hand. Polished by hand.
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The end of the line and all boxed and ready to go. Moots has been 100% titanium since 1981 and people still ask, “Why Ti”. I will let Moots answer that: “Because no other material allows us the ability to finely tune every single frame to achieve the perfect ride quality in every single bike we make. We custom spec a proprietary blend of tube diameters and wall thicknesses for every single frame style and individual size in our line. This ensures that every single frame that leaves the factory delivers the same distinct ride characteristics, whether in the smallest or largest size in the fleet. Each and every tube is cold-worked, stress relieved seamless tubing that meets exacting specs for durability, stiffness, weight, and ultimately, ride experience. When you consider the lifetime you get out of each frame, it adds up to the perfect, magical frame material. The simple fact is: no other frame material can withstand the day-to-day rigors of the ride quite like ti. A Moots titanium frame will not deaden, loosen, crack, or otherwise degrade in its performance or comfort over time like virtually every other bike material on the planet. And it will outlast several generations of carbon fiber or aluminum frames, and always perform like the day you first rolled it out of your local shop. Down the road, we can even refinish your well-ridden Moots frame to look like new without compromising any of the materials properties though our Refurb Program.”
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And here’s a finished product being displayed by Jon Cariveau, Moots Marketing Manager. And yes, Moots also make their bikes in 27.5″.  As a matter of fact it’s the smaller manufactures like Moots who are able to adapt to changes quicker and easier than the big players. So much so that Jon was able to tell some inside secrets about OEM testing on their products. Secrets are safe with Flow.
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And this is what make Moots, Moots. Family. Moots is proud of being handmade in the Rockies (Colorado), proud of sticking to its roots, proud of being local, and proud of making the bikes they do. They also have some very cool dogs that hangout with the team.
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We thought this was a really cool footnote. The Moots Trail Maintenance Bike. How damn cool is that!!!! All you need for trail building and even refreshments.

If that’s not enough and you’re even more interested in the factory and their manufacturing process, then check out this video.