Volunteering at Crankworx

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last summer I went on vacation, and the reason was to be a volunteer during Crankworx Whistler. That's right, my vacation was based around working for free! Now now, it was my first time in British Columbia, and my first major solo trip, I didn't spend all that time in beautiful B.C volunteering, but it did take a good chunk of my time. If you were wondering what the process was like to become a volunteer at the greatest bike festival in the world, keep reading.

Applying to be a volunteer was super easy, but the registration process didn't become available until June, which is kind of short noticed for an event in August. The application was pretty straight forward... name, email, address, phone, etc, but then you also need an idea of your availability.

At this point of the game, I already had my flights booked at the low cost of $513, after 2 weeks of straight searching through every travel site I could think of, but it was actually Flight Hub that came through with the best price. I was fortunate enough to have accommodation covered by my awesome friends Trish Bromley and Paul Berger, or else my travel costs would have been a lot higher. So in case you're wondering, no, it doesn't matter if you're flying from Ontario like me, there are no flight or accommodation perks for volunteers.

Tip: Flight Hub is like Google, all the prices and options you need pulled into one website. Sign up for their promotions and deals, it's where I took advantage of their 24 hour flash sale for the cheapest flights possible from Toronto to Vancouver.

Once your application is done, and you hit submit, there is a waiting period until you're actually approved. Once you are approved, you're sent a welcome email and a special link that sends you to an online scheduler, where (you guessed it), you schedule yourself in to volunteer!

Tip: While you're waiting to get approved, do your research! Figure out what you want to do... like, do you want to register riders, set up the event, or be a marshal? There are a lot of volunteers and only so many spots per event, so do your research and pick your events as soon as the scheduler is available.

If you're looking for a recommendation based on what I did, being a marshal during dual slalom and Red Bull Joyride was pretty cool. It involved being outdoors and in direct sunlight sometimes, but you also had the best seat in the house.

On your first day as a volunteer you need to register in person at the Aava Hotel - I suggest doing this the day before so that you're not rushed.

Every volunteer is given a badass t-shirt and lanyard, and depending on the duration of your shift, you're also covered for snacks and lunch. The most thing for me was doing enough hours for a free lift pass, which I ended up using on my trip to ride bikes!

Tip: Depending on your shift, washrooms may not be easily accessible. Stay hydrated but be mindful that you will have to hike a little bit to find the nearest man-made toilet.

The more hours you put in, the more you get out of it in prizes during the staff party. I personally clocked in 17 hours, and I won a pair of $200 Oakley sunglasses. Those who had put in 70+ hours won $800 bike frames. Again, these items were won, so it's not guaranteed, but in addition to this raffle, there were other prizes given away during the afterparty at Garbonzo Bike & Bean.

So that's your basic overview of the registration process, and things I received during volunteering, but there were so many more intangible experiences that came from it, like meeting and shaking hands with the best riders in the world, being super up close to the course, making new friends, seeing new landscapes, and being in nature... to name a few. Oh, and to also be at the best bike festival in the world!

Would you like a chance to win a $50 travel credit from FlightHub? Just log in by Facebook or with your email below to enter! Check back on January 18th 2017 to see if you won! I hope I answered most of your questions, if you're wondering about anything else, leave your questions in comment box below.

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The credit will be valid for 1 year from the date that the winner is announced, and will be valid for all destinations.

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