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The month of September brings to a close the road racing season Team H&R BLOCK-KONA has achieved amazing success throughout 2009 with many highlights. Our young athletes have shown the passion, dedication and drive to succeed throughout the long road racing season. We have seen our riders grow and develop as athletes and as ambassadors for the sport of cycling.
Vancouver, August 28: Some of you may have seen the 1st prototype of the E-Ute last year. Although it was fairly crude, it worked and we tested it over the winter to test the battery system and refine the design.
On Friday we finally got the G2 Electric Ute built and ran it through some test rides before packing it up in the show crates for Expocycle Montreal (September 7-10). We’ll send it along to Interbike in Vegas (September 23-25). This is actually G2 E-Ute #2, the first is at Eurobike in Germany (September 2-5) on Kona Europe’s stand. There’s also a couple of more conventional Kona E-Bikes showing in Europe – the Token and the Ticket, the first in Kona’s SimpliCity range. The one you see here will retail somewhere in the $2500 range with a single battery. You can see from the test bike in the photo that the bike is two battery-ready for long distance haulers. Come and check it out – the future of cycling has a power-assist!
It’s been a summer to remember in the Pacific NorthWest. Most summers, my dry weather (non fender) road bike gets out an average of 30 days. Last year being one of the coldest and wettest (remember Junuary?) on record, it was even less.
This year was special. From May until now (late August) the days have been glorious and warm and dry. Until this year, I’ve been riding a 2004 KonaKona that we built in a limited production run at Kinesis USA using Easton Scandium main frame and Easton Carbon stays. It’s been a joy to ride but after listening to our product manager Paddy White rave on about the new lightweight Haole steel road frame, it seemed like the right time to test his statement this was the best road bike he’s ever ridden.
I have recently landed in the beautiful town of Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m here to do a story with Sterling Lorence for Bike Magazine which will have us adventuring deep into one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth. Straddling the intersection of the North American and European continental plates, Iceland is a land of, well, every possible geologic formation available: geysers to glaciers, lush mossy waterfalls to arid planes of dust and desert.
The Bicycle Cellar in Tempe has a great new concept to support and encourage cycle commuting. Check out the video below and learn more by visiting their website.
Here is a shot of Kona Product Manager Chris Mandell somewhere in the Pacific Northwest product testing his 2010 prototype Stab. Photo by Brad Walton.
I commute by bike the 13 miles from Bellingham to Ferndale and on the way home one evening I spotted a guy pulled off on a side street with an unfolded map and a confused look on his face. I almost didn’t stop but then I noticed he was touring with a loaded bike and was obviously not from around here. Not even close.
I’ve ridden across the U.S., Indonesia, and Australia with countless people in all three countries doing ridiculously nice things for me along the way (like that one time, in Indonesia, when the volcano erupted…) so I figured this may be my chance to pay back a small portion of all those kind deeds.
Masayuki Ikeo (goes by Masa), is a Japanese college student from Kobe who had just finished a 6 month English speaking course in Vancouver. He was on day 2 of a west coast bike tour that would eventually take him to San Diego, CA.
Last Sunday, Bertrand Gilles (Team Barracuda-Kona) managed to get his 4th in a row Belgian national title after an epic run on the fast and tight Malmedy course. He isn’t only junior belgian champion but also scored a 3rd overal right behind elite riders Nico Vink and Dave Goris.
Here is what Bertrand had to say after the race, “I’m pretty pleased with the result. The titel was one of my main goal for the 2009 season and i did it! The qualify run went smooth, keeping some on the pedaling section for the final. During the final I had a close call having a big front wheel drift mid course but I managed to stay up and kept enough speed to get my 4th national jersey. I’m stoked as it’s my 3rd titel on a Kona and next year I’ll definitively try to bring the Stab on the elite podium!”
Photo courtesy www.christophebortels.net
After putting my CoilAir through its paces last year in the Alps, riding 300,000 vertical feet in 33 days, I came to the conclusion that Switzerland is a great place to test bikes. The combination of epic downhills, all day adventure rides, and generally unforgiving alpine terrain demands everything from a bicycle, and really allows the rider to see and feel the strengths or weaknesses within the bike.
I picked up a brand new Abra Cadabra from the Kona Europe offices in Geneva a couple weeks ago, and was really excited to check out this sweet addition to the Kona lineup, on some of my favorite trails in the Swiss Alps. First off I was pretty blown away by the look of the bike. The linkage is tight and compact, with clean lines and a swanky polished frame to match. I almost hesitated at getting the bike dirty, it looked so good. That thought quickly passed as the urge to dice up some Swiss singletrack overtook me.
In this installment, a DH frame travels the world in the name of kid
Memphis has always meant Smokey and the Bandit to me; for some reason the movie stuck it in my head. Besides BBQ and a music scene it also has a FedEx superhub, and when you get a message like, “inclement weather in Memphis” on the FedEx tracking site you know it can mean ripples around the world.
There’s a line from the song that says “We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there” and that was never truer for a young racer who’d crushed his bike and needed a new frame. Some things like DH bikes are only made once a year, and when they’re all sold they are all gone. To get a new one the factory needs to set their current work aside and run a special one off. To top it off, a clock is ticking down to a once in a year, maybe once in a
lifetime race that, without this new bike, young guy will be relegated to spectator status.
Portland, Oregon is known for two things. It’s one of the most cycling friendly cities in the US and it has the largest amount of adult dance clubs per capita in North America. Everyone on the RV could relate to both. When it came to the cycling side of the equation, the one day we spent in Portland was dominated by super urban shredder, Wayne Goss. The kid from Smithers, BC sure can ride the street.