Adventure Catalyst: Crankworx Rotorua

Words: Dylan Stucki
Photos: Dylan Stucki | Sarah Sturm | Dave Trumpore | Paris Gore

I’ve always been drawn to racing. Fueling my competitive nature and acting as a catalyst for many unforgettable adventures, racing has been very much a lifestyle as it is a hobby. When the opportunity arose to be a part of the inaugural Crankworx Rotorua and race in the opening round of the Enduro World Series, I strategically made decisions that would prevent me from backing out. All the pieces seemed to come together and the timing was perfect. Three months flew by, and before I knew it, I was running down the international terminal at LAX in my socks, carrying my belongings, as they called my name over the speaker.

Racing in Rotorua was as unforgettable as it gets. Put your money on red, and hope for the best, the game of root roulette was enough to empty your pockets and leave you face down in the mud. Unique trail conditions in the Whakarewarewa forest made it seem as though someone snuck into the hotel, buttered up your tires and set your skills back ten years. No choice but to roll the dice and hope your tires hook up. Pin-balling off of trees and occasionally picking myself up off the ground, I managed to escape the 7.5hr, 7 stage race in one piece.

Once the racing was over and the events of Crankworx settled down, the next page of the adventure began. Sarah, my girlfriend, scored a sweet gig volunteering for three months with Diamonds in the Rough, a series of women’s mountain bike skills camps held all over New Zealand. I was lucky enough to have her as my guide for a week as we traveled around the north island riding bikes. The photo gallery below highlights the rad singletrack and incredible views from our adventure.