Daily Archives: 07/08/2019

What to Carry on The Longest Day

Hey! My Name is Graham

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG Graham and his Big Honzo CR DL

I’m so proud to call my self a Kona Ambassador! 

How on earth did I wangle that one? Well, it’s petty sweet really, I’m a mountain bike guide and coach from the Lake District UK. I also do lots of other bike related things and after one hell of a journey, it has enabled me to say that my job revolves solely around riding bikes and helping others ride too! 

At this time of year, my diary is packed full of varying trips, Bikeability and days out on the bike which is super exciting! 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

So I wanted to give you a little insight to what I carry while guiding a group in the lakes, the layout shows what I always carry in my rucksack before I have packed clothing, water, and food for the day. 

My rucksack is an Evoc Fr Trail 20L. I have used petty much every bag under the sun and found that this particular vessel is the best suited as it stays put on my back, that’s important when you’re slinging your bike down a mountain with enough tools to fill a small workshop and the kitchen sink inside it!

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Anyway, I thought I’d go through a few key bits that will stop you ruining a nice day out.

1. Spare hanger, Now this one is obviously for a Kona,  I do think everyone should carry one of these bad boys. What is it? It’s a tiny bit of aluminum that holds your rear mech (derailleur) to your frame, and legend says it’s designed to break under load and save your frame or mech from total destruction! Even the less mechanically minded could fit one of these in a situation where it breaks, it can save you one hell of a walk home. Ask my friend Stid! Years ago we were in Wales riding some of the trail centers and his rear mech had a fall out with the frame some 20k from the van, rendering him completely stuck and preparing himself for a long walk. However, by some incredible miracle, I had the exact mech hanger to fit his bike in my bag! We were back riding again in 5 minutes with high 5’s all around!

Wicked Awesome Cool Kona Fact. The G2 Process has a spare hanger hidden in the down tube… go find it! 

2.  Fibre spoke, Yeah, a string spoke… super light and packs up small, adjustable in length and can even stretch through multiple holes. 

My other friend Dan knows about this little guy. He had a falling rock smash 5 or 6 spokes out of his front wheel leaving it unrideable. Luckily for us, the fibre spoke was there to save our ride, pulling the wheel back enough so it passed through the fork and spin freely. We even did extra runs that day!

3.   Group Shelter, or a ‘Bothy’.  if you ever need this things have generally gone bad, but on that occasion, it can save someone’s life, 

It’s just what it says on the tin: a shelter for your group. Mine will comfortably sit 6 people and 8 at a squeeze. It’s a tent-shaped bit of fabric to protect you from the elements, or even carry this thru the summer months and it can be pretty exposed on those hills. Mine weighs 300g which is nothing compared to some of the tools I carry! 

As you can see from the layout (damn that was satisfying) I have so much stuff in my bag but it’s all there for a reason. Here’s my kit list for anyone still interested in reading!

Tubes x3 

Tubeless repair kit 

Normal puncture repair kit 

Pump

C02 inflator 

Shock pump 

Knipex pliers 

Knife 

Cable ties (various)

Multi tools

Gear cable

Fibre spoke 

Dropper post clamp

Hanger

Power links 9,10,11,12 

Brake pads 

Crank bolts 

Crank bolt tool 

Spd cleat bolts 

Various brake mount bolts 

Coach bolt (in case you break a pedal)

Tube of grease 

Bottle of lube 

First aid kit (too vast to photograph or even list)! 

Group shelter 

Back up food

Duck tape

Sniper tape

Dingy repair tape 

Scissors 

Super glue

Fold out saw 

Rear light

Compass

Map

Permanent marker 

Pencil

Waterproof paper

Sun cream 

Bug repellant 

Bike lock 

Money

Credit card 

On top of this ridiculous list of things, I pack clothing/water/food to suit the day and most importantly I always carry my phone!

 I ALWAYS carry this bag while I’m out Guiding.

Although I have got to admit if I’m not working, you will probably find me carrying as little as a water bottle and a Mars bar with whatever tool I can strap to my bike! 

Please feel free to fire me any questions on my social about any of the kit I carry and why IG handle @graham_beaumont 

Miranda Miller Finishes Third at Les Orres EWS

Seb

No one could say that this year’s Enduro World Series hasn’t been exciting so far, its sure had its fair share of drama! After Lucy Schick’s and Leah Maunsell’s 1-2 on the U21 podium last week in Canazei, Italy we weren’t to sure how you could top that. Well, Miranda sure showed us how, after a solid four days on the bike, including two days of full-on racing, she would end the weekend standing in third place on her first every EWS podium. And Lucy and Leah? The would repeat the week’s previous result and finish in first and second again.

Seb

Miranda spent time before the race really working through bike setup, after a post Canazei chat with Kona Gravity Team Manager (and team mechanic) Mathieu Dupelle she opted for a few changes.

Seb

“The biggest difference I made this weekend was working more on my set up with the guys at SRAM. Mathieu Dupelle and I talked about it after Italy and decided that I should try “softer” settings. I felt I could push a bit harder with better traction and hang on longer. I tried to just stay relaxed during the racing to minimize mistakes as there was a lot of off camber and soft, tight turns. I ended day one in fifth and was so happy to move forward on the second day. Even better to end on the podium! A lot of work was put in by everyone at Kona and the team to help Rhys and I have the best weekends possible so it’s extra cool when it pays off like this. Thank you!” – Miranda Miller

Seb

Coming off a strong 26th place last week in Canazei, team mate Rhys Verner came into Les Orres on a high. It showed in his solid 33 place finish on stage one, and he was ready to throw it all into stage two but a massive over the bars would put paid to those plans. Rhys would fight back on day two and after 24th and a 33rd Rhys would claw make some valuable time and points, finishing in 44th place.

Seb

“I took a massive crash on stage two and smashed up my fingers… I got back on and tried to finish stage two strong. After the crash, I was pretty banged up and sore and struggled pretty hard on stages three and four. The next day my finger was pretty sore, so I focused on carrying speed through corners instead of hauling down the straits. It ended up paying off pretty well with a 24th place on stage seven and a 33rd on stage eight. Overall I ended up in 44th place. I’m excited to have made the most of a tough weekend and hang in there all things considered. I’m so unbelievably pumped for Miranda! – Rhys Verner

Seb

Leah and Lucy would follow up their one-two finish from Canazei, Italy last week with the same result again in Les Orres. The second place would move Leah into first place overall in the series, 100 points clear of her nearest competitor. That said the weekend didn’t go entirely to plan for Leah.

Seb

“It was a tough week here in Les Orres for me. After two bad crashes in practice, I was left fairly battered headed into the weekends racing. With all my injuries taped up I was still excited to get racing on these longer alpine stages. I got unlucky on stage two, losing a contact lens leaving me with vision out of only one eye which cost me some time. Staying positive I was ready to get after it on day two but I struggled to get time back on such fast-paced tracks. All in all, I still had a good week and learned a lot. Super stoked for the team’s results dominating all around with the U21 podium (Lucy in P1 and myself in P2) and Miranda grabbing her first of many podiums I’m sure. I’m also super happy to now be leading the series.” – Leah Maunsell

Seb

“This weekend was all about surviving the long two days and not crashing. With some technical stages right off the bat, it was difficult to get going on day one but I managed to hold on. Day two was shorter than expected but the stages were running SO good that I forgot we were racing and just focused on having fun! I was stoked to take my second EWS win and I am feeling so much more prepared for the rest of my season!”– Lucy Schick

Alasdair’s Retro Builds: Part 1 – 1997 Kona A’ha

Hello, my name is Alasdair. I grew up in the late 80s and 90s when mountain biking exploded into a global phenomenon. Riding a Raleigh, I spent my early teens pouring over Ordnance Survey maps looking for new singletrack, trying to emulate the stars in Mountain Biking UK magazine. In 1995 I spent my university student loan on the turquoise Cinder Cone and since then Kona’s have been the only bikes in my garage.

It’s my pleasure to present some of my bikes this week, all from the 1997 range. Why 1997? I love the combinations of the colors, jungle decal designs and the amazing selection of bikes that were available to purchase.

Looking at the catalog, every single bike looks superb and the range is diverse with steel, aluminum, titanium, hardtails, full suspension, cruisers, road bikes, for racing experts through to casual first-time shredders.

Alasdair McAlley

The A’ha was first introduced in 1995 to the North American market alongside its twin, the famously named Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. The 1997 A’ha featured a curved top tube as a throwback to the 1950s cruisers that mountain biking’s forefathers rode down Mount Tam on in the late 1970s.

Alasdair McAlley

First used as a color scheme on the custom built Hot, the A’ha features the iconic “stars and bars” livery.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

Building up any bike presents new learning experiences and this build presented many challenges not least the wheels. Finding the right sized hub with the right period-correct rims was a mind-bender. The solution was a brand new Shimano DXR (BMX) hub laced to a pair of new-old-stock Sun rims that my local bike store found tucked away in their basement. The red and blue nipples echo the livery which continues with the classic Chris King patriot headset.

Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley
Alasdair McAlley

The A’ha cruises like a dream and can handle classic single-track with ease. It’s a miniature fat-bike with the wide Slick Rick tires providing maximum comfort for the frame’s geometry. The legendary P2 forks keep the steering agile and direct with a surprising amount of give on the bumps.

Alasdair McAlley

The original Cyclone BMX cranks and bottom bracket configuration mean the crank bolts screw the same peddling clockwise direction, so you need a lot of thread-lock to stop them falling off. No 19” A’ha frames were produced so this 18” creates a much more upright position than the longer, stretched out retro ride. Perhaps this bike was ahead of its time.

Alasdair McAlley

Future changes will include a different saddle and SPD pedals and longer term a conventional bottom bracket conversion. Stay tuned for more Retro Dream Builds tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Alasdair McAlley