Daily Archives: 05/01/2018

Upcoming Kona Demo Tour Stops: Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Comstock Park, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Bragg Creek, Lethbridge, Red Cliff!

The Kona Demo Tour has a busy 10 days coming up! Between May 4th-10th we’ll be cruising through Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Comstock Park, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Red Cliff! Be sure to check the details below and contact the host shop if you have any questions about time and locations. You’ll be able to test out the Process 153 AL DL 29, the Process 153 CR 27.5, Satori DL, Hei Hei Trail CR, and Honzo AL DL.

 

Vallelujah Enduro Race Report – Ben Clayton, Get’s Philosophical About Enduro Racing!

UK Grassroots rider Ben Clayton tackled the Vallelujah Enduro recently. He finished a respectable 27 out of 150 riders his first race back after a broken wrist. Check out the full race report below.
First race weekend in 8 months!!!

Snow and a deluge of rain and mud led to the first two races of 2017 getting canceled. Bummer when you’re trying to get some race miles into your legs after breaking your wrist trying to conquer The Lakes. Peebles is like Mecca for us UK mtb folk, but with the beast from the east and other biblical conditions, it’s been a struggle to get good mtb time in. Road miles and the dark temptress of Zwift have been the only forms of training that have been a constant. The Kona Process 153 CR has had few dirty rides out, mainly whiteout insta vid sessions. When I got to Peebles in the sunshine I had a game plan, I’m not going into details, as everyone who knows me, knows why my usual attitude to riding was somewhat tamed down. I went to Peebles with an “enjoy the ride don’t get hurt” attitude. Somewhat different to my usual XXXX it, “let’s have it” approach to racing. Practice was everything I wanted…music, good times, the best UK trails (in my opinion) and a solid set of lads in the starting line up. Practice was fun. Fun and speed don’t always go hand in hand and that was to be true in race runs. I had the proverbial monkey on my back that’s for sure! I really need to establish the whole “race have fun ethos”. But at the end of the day, we all had a blast and results are results. One big crash on stage 3 put me well out of the running but the rest of the stages were clean but very reserved. I ended up 27th out of over 150 riders in a very stacked field with some top boys going well on home turf. It’s now on to some serious training and lots of mountain bike time before we fly out to France for round 3 of the Enduro World Series. Can’t wait to get back with the EWS circus. The fans at these races are really what makes these events so good, so I’m looking forward to putting on a show for them and hopefully getting a solid result.

Kona Dream Builds: Devin’s Rainbow Brite Process 153 CR DL

Devin, like a lot of us, has spent the better part of his MTB life seeking out sweet second-hand deals on bikes. When the Process G2 came out though, he knew it was time; time to step up and build his first brand new dream bike. The result is a real head turner, complete with some seriously solid (and bright) parts. Read on for Devin’s build details and the motivation behind Devin’s rad bike.

All of my mountain bikes have been bought used starting with my first: a 2005 Kona Coiler. Now, eight years, three Konas and a slew of other bikes later I was determined to have a brand-new bike of my own. A rig that could hold its own at the racetrack and pedal to the party afterward. A bike that could suck up the chunk, hold a line and fly like ET and Elliot. The Process 153 CR/DL is that bike. There’s something special about Kona Bikes; as soon as I swing my leg over the top tube I get a “locked in and time to party” feeling. This bike is no different and brings an uncontrollable amount of stoke!

I am so proud of this bike, it is a definitive milestone in my life. This bike is proof that hard work pays off. All of this would not be possible without the hub of knowledge and inspiration that is Blazing Saddle Cycle.

I couldn’t resist turning the color volume ALL THE WAY UP with that beautiful gloss aqua frame. The 27.5 rainbow Industry 9 Enduro 310 Pillarcarbon wheelset was a match so good you won’t find it on Tinder or Bumble. Around these rainbows are a 2.5 Maxxis DHF up front and a 2.5 Aggressor in the rear.

The drivetrain is my second favorite part of this bike. The XTR shifter and derailleur are seamless on a 11-46T XT cassette and really bring out this bikes climbing ability. 175mm Raceface SixC cranks with a 32T Wolftooth chainring and Deity T-Mac pedals are where the hammer is laid.

The remarkable stopping power and easy maintenance of XT brakes were a no-brainer and Hope 203mm rotors bring this rig to stop on a dime!

There’s no better feeling than a solid and comfortable cockpit. Starting with the Deity DC31 Mowhawk 787 handlebars, 35mm Deity Copperhead Stem, Deity Knuckleduster grips and Cane Creek 40 headset.

The Super Deluxe shock on the 153 is a perfect pair with the Fox 160mm 36 Float RC2. Makes climbing just as smooth and fast as descending. The 175mm KS Lev dropper fits this frame with room to spare. Held in by a Deity Circuit seat clamp. Actuating the dropper is a Wolftooth lever and on top is a Ergon SMA3 saddle.

Cory Wallace’s High Altitude Training Plan

Kona Endurance and Adventure team rider Cory Wallace is no stranger to super intense training plans. Last year he dabbled with high altitude training as a part of his quest to secure the 24 Hour solo world championship. The hard work paid off and now Wallace is reflecting on lessons learned from training, overtraining, and how altitude plays a big role in his success. Recently, he posted a super in-depth piece on his blog outlining his plans to race over 20 events ranging in duration from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Find out how the world champion builds up enough strength and stamina to withstand the most challenging of races.

Read the full report here.

THE DIRTY SANCHEZ (TDS) RACE REPORT

Ali stopping for a mid-run beer with encouragement from Mark and Heather.

The Dirty Sanchez: the gnarliest enduro out there. Broken & bruised limbs, mid-run whiskey shots, hundreds of hecklers, the rowdiest bike trails… sums up to my idea of an epic weekend. The Kona crew made an appearance in full force with Ali Osgood, Becky Gardner, Hannah Bergemann, Ryan Gardner, and Scott Countryman, and put together a race report from the weekend.

Becky, Ali, and Hannah on day 1

Hannah B. – Through an Instagram contest submission I was granted a “golden ticket” to race in the 2018 TDS enduro. A month later I was flying with my bike down from Bellingham to Northern California, not quite sure what I was getting myself into.

 

Perry, Chelsea, & Hannah; the 3 Golden Ticket contest winners

Friday was practice day which involved riding as many of the trails as possible, with shuttles to the top after every lap. This meant riding until my arms felt like they might not work anymore.

Dropping into the steep rock garden section of stage 3

Saturday was race day 1, and started off with 3 of the gnarliest trails. My goal for the weekend was to keep it upright and I was (barely) able to make that goal! Stage 6 brought us through the infamous and gnarliest stage, Vigilante, which runs through a steep, dried up creek bed of loose rocks. Hundreds of Hecklers lined the gully, hollering as all the racers wobbled and tumbled their way down the trail.

Trying to stay high on the wall rides among the hecklers

Sunday was day 2, and we endured another 6 stages of gap jumps, loose rocks, and off camber steeps. I finished each stage completely gassed but with a huge, cheesy grin on my face.

The whole weekend was amazing. I landed in 7th in a large field of ladies and was happy to have relatively clean race runs. The Sanchez family and friends are one incredible crew of people, and I’m so grateful they let me come experience all the glory of the TDS.

Until next time!

Hannah B.

 

Ali Osgood:

When I rolled up to the Sanchez Compound for my second TDS I had 2 goals. The first was to not repeat my first year at the event by getting injured in practice, and my second goal was to be the first woman to win the Spirit Leader Award.

Ali getting steezy on a step-up

(side note: The Spirit Award goes to the racer who meets the spirit criteria of TDS legends like Mark Weir and Ariel Lindsley. That racer must improve the experience of all TDS goers, be it on the race course, during pastimes, or, especially, round the campfire into the late hours of the night. Every year in contention for the coveted award voices are lost, beers are chugged, trails are slayed, and many laughs are shared.)

I picked up Hannah Bergemann from the airport thursday night, we settled into our camp, and woke up to a chilly Friday morning of practice. As always, the trails didn’t disappoint. Imagine a trail system that somehow manages to feature unparalleled flow with gap jumps, massive wall rides, and deep berms, steep rocky gnar, spongy fragrant loam, rooty chutes, and high speed tech. That’s what makes up the 13 stages of TDS. But the mtb wonderland got the better of me and by my fifth run in practice I managed to scorpion over my bars and punch a rock, rendering my pinky both broken and dislocated (I would discover days later after finally getting an x-ray).

The result of Ali’s crash during practice.

So I managed to fail my first goal, but the trail side doctors seemed confident I could still ride with the proper ratio of booze to ibuprofen and a firm buddy tape system. With my grip and general bike control being more compromised than I anticipated, I found myself crashing in the first few stages on Saturday. So I reorganized my goals and decided I didn’t care how slow I had to go, that I would still finish the race smiling.

Yep.. a pantsless run was in the cards on day 2. There’s a reason Ali earned the spirit award

After that, my weekend took a hard left turn from a bike race to a beer chugging, bar humping, break dance fighting shit show that I somehow survived with minimal bodily harm (besides an array of bruises and a pissed of left pinky). I made a lot of new friends, improved my beer bong skills, rode with some of the raddest pro women on the West Coast, and learned how to stay positive when things don’t go my way.

Getting the spirit award takes commitment…

While I failed to walk away from TDS uninjured, I somehow found myself accepting an impressive spread of prizes after winning the spirit award. I’v had some good wins in my race career, but this one takes the cake. After navigating the wild waters of TDS weekend, I finally understand what it’s all about and I am grateful to be apart of it.

So what’s it all about anyway? Come out next year, and you’ll find out…

Ryan Gardner:

Becky and I have attended the TDS enduro for several years now and have had the pleasure of watching it evolve from a couple guys in the woods to an elite enduro with hundreds of racers. Every year we head to Grass Valley eager to race on some of Northern California’s best terrain. I made the trip over the mountain from Oakland and was stoked to see what my new Kona Process 153 could do.

 

Ryan keeping it pinned through the hecklers

After ripping practice laps and remembering just how awesome the tracks are, I was ready to send it into day one of racing. Unfortunately, the first day of racing was not in my favor. After a crash in the rock garden, a flat tire, and a few more less-than-ideal runs, I didn’t find myself where I’d have liked after day 1.

Vigilante took more than a few people down, unknown rider.

Thankfully, the best part of racing TDS is not just the riding, but the festivities and like-minded people that make the Dirty Sanchez. After some bike repairs, having a few Hey Buddy beers, I was ready for more races, and day two brought a way better day. With clean runs and no mechanicals, I was able to put some top ten runs together against a stacked class of riders.

Becky Gardner:

After finishing up another winter in Telluride, Co, I made the trek over to TDS. After a winter of skiing, and recently recovering from a broken rib, my game plan was to ride consistent, smooth, and in control, especially after a history of injuries at the race. The first day of practice at TDS is always interesting coming from southern Colorado where the only trails available to ride all winter are more fitness-oriented and the rocky, gnarly trails lay beneath the snow.

 

Becky looking stoked after a day of practice.

By the end of the practice day and practicing all the features, I was feeling good going into race day. The weekends sunshine brought perfect dirt and tacky berms. Feeling super confident on more pedally stages, it took a bit to warm up to the more technical stages, but by the end of day 1, I was feeling strong on my Process 134.

Becky tackling the nasty rocks of Vigilante

All 12 stages went well, except for a few mishaps on some of the earlier stages, but the whole race was mechanical free and I was stoked to sit inside the top 10 against some very strong riders.

-Becky