Crankworx Rotorua 2017 – Keeping Up With The Griffins

Crankworx Rotorua 2017 and mountain biking with kids

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Crankworx is mountain biking’s version of the Olympics, Superbowl, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest… the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the FIFA and/or Quidditch World Cup. The best thing is that it now happens four-times-a-year from locations around the world.

We’re fortunate enough to have a family share their first-hand story from Rotorua, New Zealand – the first stop on the 2017 Crankworx World Tour. Events just a stone’s throw away from the Shire took place from March 24th through April 2nd.

When we reached out to Kidsworx Rotorua to see if there was a family willing to share their story with us, Marcello Ojerio, Kidsworx Activities Manager, replied almost immediately. “I’ve found a family who will help you out… they are all mad keen [mountain] bikers and really embody the Crankworx spirit!”

Meet the Griffins

The Griffin family and furry friend at the Dodzy Skills Park in Rotorua, New Zealand.

The Griffin family with furry friend pose for a photo at the always active Dodzy Skills Park in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Claire and James Griffin are the proud parents of 3 young groms ranging in age from 5-8. They made the 4 hour drive from their home south of Rotorua the day before the event started. I was quick to ask Claire how they keep their 3 kids in check during road trips. She said, “We usually drive in the evening and pack an easy dinner like bacon and egg slices as there are no good places with healthy food options between Palmerston North and Rotorua. We leave at about 5pm and eat around 6. Then, the kids usually fall asleep by 7.” When asked if they have movies in the car for this kids, she replied, “Sometimes we get out talking Roald Dahl stories from library… oh and we don’t have devices or a TV for that fact.”

Can you see how this family rolls? Mountain biking together, eating healthy during road trips, books on tape. Many of us are striving to keep up with the Griffins in more ways than one.

Claire told us the main reasons why they come to Crankworx. “Our family goes every year because of the [mountain bike] riding with friends we make and reconnect with… racing… and being spectators at the center of mountain biking’s big show.”

The Dodzy Skills Park

At the southwest end of Long Mile road on the edge of the Whakarewarewa Forest – you’ll find the Dodzy Skills Park. This area was built in memory of James “Dodzy” Dodds, a mountain bike enthusiast who was a trail builder and pillar of the Rotorua outdoors community.

  • Dodzy Skills Park - sign
  • Video - Dodzy Skills Park - Intermediate line
  • Dodzy Skills Park - see saw

The park features intermediate and advanced jump lines, a see-saw, and other features. The Griffins spent a good deal of time here during the week as it’s a wonderful venue for riders of all abilities to build their skills. The skills park also hosts the widely enjoyed but greatly under-publicized 16″ Dual Slalom World Championships. This event is where professionals and amateurs alike test their talents at the park’s DS track on kid bikes with 16-inch wheels.

The Week’s Photos…

The Griffin kids watching the

On the first Saturday of the festival, the Griffins hiked up a trail to watch the Toa Enduro race.

Claire and Cecile Ravanel

Claire attended a wheelie workshop for women led by the prior day’s EWS winner Cecile Ravanel. Cecile won the race in very wet and muddy conditions by over three minutes. And, Claire proudly admitted she rode a wheelie for three revolutions. Year after year, everyone wins at Crankworx.

The Griffin boys and Cedric Gracia at Crankworx Rotorua

The Rotorua Mountain Bike Club hosted a “low key” Super D race one evening. Over a 100 riders turned up and they had a Santa Cruz 5010 frame to give away. The Santa Cruz Team showed up for the race and Cedric warmed towards the boys.

Watching the RockShox Pump Track Challenge

The Griffin family was rooting for local rider Keegan Wright to do well at the RockShox Pump Track Challenge. They got what they wanted as Keegen beat perennial favorite, Adrien Loron.

Kids racing at Crankworx Rotorua 2017

Race day!

MTB race at Crankworx Rotorua 2017

Kidsworx Rotorua 2017

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