Trophies, Tornadoes, Beer and Biking

Crankworx, one of the biggest mountain bike festivals in the world, came to Colorado last week for the third consecutive year and we were asked to design and create the trophies.

We’ve been designing and building the trophies for Crankworx since the festival came to Colorado. The past two years we had incorporated laser cut, laser etched Plexiglas but this year we wanted to do it as eco-friendly as we possibly could.

The rockies have a huge issue with the pine beetle decimating the forests and leaving enormous swaths of red trees. There has been a push to figure out the best way to deal with these trees but as of now there doesn’t seem to be a huge demand. We decided to do our small part and utilize a few trees from our local forest.

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We also decided to design the trophies around the concept of mountain bike features. In feature building there is an ethos around building out of natural materials from the forest and we decided to stick as closely to that as possible. We cut beetle kill from nearby woods, trailered it to the shop, and cut and milled it ourselves.

We came up with 3 different processes to mark the wood with the necessary branding and event/place call outs: silkscreen, laser etch, and hand burning.

We had never silkscreened on wood before and had never done anything with wood this fresh. Our first concern was that since the wood didn’t have time to cure that it would crack while it dried. After a little research we found Pentacryl an environmentally friendly wood stabilizer. It turns out the company had just relocated down the road from us several weeks prior and was more than happy to work with us.

Next we spent a day with Joe, a silk screening master living in Wheatridge. We spent the day learning the art of screening in Joe’s cramped tagged up garage dodging band equipment, art supplies, and a random mishmash of the usual garage/storage obstacles. It felt like the right place to be learning an art form popularized by Andy Warhol and used for band t-shirts and posters since the 60’s.

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After a few hours of playing with the screens signs of a storm started to move in and within two minutes the barrage of wind and hail escalated to a deafening roar. Frank had forgotten his computer outsides and when he opened the door to save it a shotgun pattern of water and hail burst into the garage. We were all laughing hysterically until Frank tossed himself back into the garage with bloody legs from the hail and we all realized that we also had to brave the storm to make it back into the house. The storm past in less than 15 minutes and Joe was left with a broken bedroom window and a neighborhood that looked like an apocalyptic scene out of a Spielberg movie… other’s were left with worse:

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Once we back in the mountains and sheltered from natural disasters we began the build process.

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Then added some hand burned Trestles logos, lacquered everything, and packed up for delivery.

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Then we filled up the truck with homemade waste oil biodiesel and headed out.

There was no question that we were bringing our bikes up to get some laps in after the delivery but we didn’t know until the night before that we would also be loaded down with PBR thanks to our good friend Stix.

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Winter Park was fired up on the trophies and their share of the beers and we got to meet up with our good friend Kevin Kruse from Scott USA. Kevin was kind enough to let us borrow a few of the new whips and get some laps in the sickest bike park in Colorado!

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Local eco materials, local vendors, a happy client, and some fun shredding… mission accomplished!


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4 comments

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