Yukon mountain bikers get cranked at Crankworx

Things did not going according to plan for three Yukon mountain bikers at the Crankworx mountain bike festival last week in Whistler, B.C.

Things did not going according to plan for three Yukon mountain bikers at the Crankworx mountain bike festival last week in Whistler, B.C.

From least to most detrimental setbacks: a flat tire, more stitches than Frankenstein’s monster, a severe concussion.

“Things were interesting, for sure,” said Whitehorse’s Massey Baker. “Interesting is a good way to put it, I think.”

Baker was the only to return stitch-free. The 20-year-old placed 51st out of 69 riders in the Garbanzo downhill event, a race covering more than 1,000 vertical metres over seven kilometres.

“I got a flat tire part way down, so I finished with a slow time – I just rode my flat tire the rest of the way down,” said Baker.

Baker completed the race in 16 minutes and 33 seconds, about 3:02 behind the winner.

“In past years I’ve done it in the high 14-, low 15-minute range,” said Baker. “I did a quarter of the race on a flat tire.”

Watson Lake’s Spencer Skerget crashed the day before the Garbanzo event and received stitches in his arm. That was enough to keep him out of the race.

“Practising for the first downhill race early in the week – it was a bit of a stupid crash and I ended up with a few stitches,” said Skerget. “It did kind of throw off the rest of the week for me, but that’s part of (racing).”

A couple days later, Skerget got back on the horse – er – bike to compete in a Canada Cup cross-country event. But the pain in his arm caused him to scratch during the race.

“(My arm) was giving me problems,” said Skerget. “I thought I had figured it out to get through the race by wrapping it up and having a few painkillers, but it didn’t quite do it for me.”

Whitehorse’s Ben Kinvig, 19, was pretty banged up by the end of Crankworx, which ended Sunday.

The 19-year-old crashed in Garbanzo. Though he would need 11 stitches from the crash, he motored on to the finish and took 53rd.

“Near the finish line I got flipped out on a corner … I just kind of lost it there,” said Kinvig. “But I finished the race.”

Kinvig also placed 98th out of 117 in the pro division of the Fox Air downhill race, one of the main events at Crankworx. The high-speed race is shorter than Garbanzo but features some big jumps and berms on every turn.

“It was fun racing against some of the top guys,” said Kinvig. “I had my arm wrapped up so tight I was losing circulation in my hand.”

Kinvig was all set to close out Crankworx with the “no mercy” single-track madness of the Canadian Open downhill race but took a bad crash during a practice run.

“Then in my Canada Open training, on the last 60-footer jump, I came short and blew my back wheel out. I supermanned behind my bike over the landing and smashed my head into the ground and got a concussion.

“I couldn’t even remember how I got my stitches from the other race.”

“It’s part of the sport. It’s kind of depressing, but I should be riding my bike again, hopefully in a month,” added Kinvig.

Baker and Skerget recently represented the Yukon in mountain biking at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., a couple weeks ago.

Together with teammate Andrew Savard, the three rode to sixth in the relay race at the Games. Skerget placed 16th and Baker 21st in the cross-country race to start the Games in Sherbrooke.

Kinvig was a big winner at the resurrected Sima Slamfest last month at Mount Sima in Whitehorse. He won the men’s enduro event and the advanced downhill race as well.

“Crankworx is always fun,” said Baker. “The festival is always a good time, even if you just go to watch the event and watch what all these other riders put on the table.

“I do admit it was nice watching a cross-country race and helping Spencer, give him water every time he did a lap and not being the one on course the whole time.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read