Paul Kelly

A Supreme Weekend

Amanda and Hannah of The Kona Supremes have been going on regular mini bikepacking trips right in their backyard for the last couple years. Leaving from the Kona Bike Shop, they’ve been linking together all the various greenway trails and single track that webs all throughout Bellingham, WA. From overnights on top of their local mountain to hanging hammocks in secret coves that line Bellingham’s shores, these two have made it a point to squeeze in a micro adventure as often as they can.

These mid-week micro adventures inspired the two to plan a trip and invite other women interested in bikepacking to join them. The idea turned into a collaboration with a local pack maker, Pack Northwest and a non-profit aimed at creating welcoming recreation experiences for all, Shifting Gears. Together the team planned a 20-mile multi-surface route that linked trail systems from downtown Bellingham out to Larrabee State Park, located at the foot of the Chuckanut mountains.

The Friday night before the trip all the participants met at The Kona Bike Shop for a packing party. After safety and gear checks they went over the ideal ways to load up a bike for a trip, and the tips and tricks of keeping the weight low and evenly distributed. Together the group went over the route details to make sure all riders were on the same page.

Amanda talking with participants about the inspiration behind the Trip.

Hilary from Pack NW going over the route.

Once the formalities were out of the way, the riders quickly moved to the most exciting part of the evening – Packing! All the participants wasted no time getting familiar with the different bag systems and quickly started strapping all their gear to the bikes.

Oh the joys of stuffing as much gear as you can into one single bag.

Alex Packing her sleeping bag into a Revelate saddle bag.

April used her panniers and a handlebar bag for the trip.

All the bikes looked super pro and dialed at the end of the packing party. The Kona Bike Shop kindly housed the bikes overnight, so they would be ready for the 10am departure Saturday morning. At 9am on Saturday morning all the sleepy participants slowly started showing up. After a hot cup of coffee you could see the nervous excitement rippling through the group. After some last-minute bag checks the group was ready to start pedaling.

Kelen giving her bag one last check.

The only mechanicals happened within the first 15 minutes, which added extra excitement right out of the gates. One rider had a dropper malfunction which required replacing it with a rigid post and another rider snapped her derailleur with no replacement. With Amanda running sag they were able to quickly troubleshoot all the mechanicals and get the crew pedaling again.

Riders pedaling through Whatcom Falls Park.

From the bike shop the group pedaled the greenway up through Whatcom Falls park and made their first stop at the pump track. From there they pedaled over Galbraith mountain via the pipeline trail and some daring riders went to ride some single track trails along the way.

Lots of stops for snacks because… snacks!

Hannah and Delia playing on the local pump track.

By far the biggest highlight of the weekend for most of the riders was the single track. Many expressed nervousness about riding with all the extra weight but found the joy in “monster trucking” down the trails and the wilderness was lit up with smiles and laughter.

Hilary with Pack NW leading the pack through the Lake Padden trails.

Contagious laughter and grins out in force over the weekend.

The group met up again on the South side of Galbraith with everyone in high spirits and starting to get the hang of riding with all the gear. Everyone got to try their hand at navigating the roots and tight corners on the Padden trails just before lunch. After a lunch break by the lake, the ride continued on through Fairhaven Parkway to Arroyo Park. After tackling some steep uphill switchbacks in Arroyo, the group finished the ride with a few miles of pedaling on the Interurban trail out to Larrabee State Park.

Hannah was the group mechanic and did a great job of making sure all bikes were in working order.

Stoke was high when all the riders pulled into the campsite.

Once everyone arrived at Larrabee and unpacked their gear, chamois were exchanged for bathing suits and everyone headed straight for the table loaded with a bright charcuterie platter.

Huge shout out to Boundary Bay Brewing for the cold ones.

Thanks to Amanda for being the camp Mom – the food was on point!

After all the riders gorged on yummy cheese and fruits, the group made their way down to the beach to cool off and soak in the sun. Once the sun dipped past the horizon everyone came back to camp to enjoy a campfire-cooked curry and storytelling.

In the morning the group repacked bags a little more efficiently than the first time. Everyone met around the campfire one last time to reflect on the trip. Many ladies expressed new-found passions for bikes and camping and felt inspired to plan their own trips, now more confident in their own abilities having some bikepacking experience.

Thanks to all the participants and ride leaders for making this trip a smashing success!

This trip would not have been possible without the support of Kona Bicycle company. Huge thanks to Paul Kelly for the photos.

Thanks,

The Kona Supremes

Pinkbike Reviews The Satori DL

“The Satori is a bombproof bike to get you in and out of just about anything you find. It has the composure to charge confidently into the “somewhat unknown” without worry.”

Daniel Sapp, Pinkbike.com

Daniel Sapp reviewed the Satori on his home trails of Brevard, NC. Sapp says he put the Satori through it’s paces riding in conditions varying from dry and loose to pouring rain, roots, rocks, and multi-use trails with ruts and wear to more XC style trails and everything in between. For the full review click the link below.

Pinkbike Satori Review

 

 

Long Distance Races and Kona Red/R Tour

Last weekend, there were some great races on the calendar for the KONA LTD team. The enduro boys had the weekend off, but Laura, Dave and Lotte gave it their all in their races. Taking place in Spaarnwoude, Holland and Rursee, Germany, there were challenging tracks ahead.  Laura took on the big distance, racing 100km on the MTB. Lotte had to deal with technical segments such as a long flat rock garden and a strong field of competitors. 

 

Rursee

After a heavy week of biking and a successful KONA Red/R tour (story below), Dave and Laura were present on the start line of the marathon in Rursee. They could choose between 70km or 100km. Laura choose the 100km, with a bit of friendly pressure from Roy! Dave settled on the 70km race.

 

With the aim of mostly riding her own pace, fast and steady, Laura had a lonely race, which made it more challenging! The flats and the strong wind, together with the 2500 meters of climbing made it extra difficult. Nevertheless, Laura held her own pace and even ended up overtaking many male riders. Many riders suffered with cramps! Tired but satisfied she crossed the finish line as second woman after a race of more than five hours! 

Dave’s motto was chill uphill, hard downhill. Together with his training friend he enjoyed every minute. 

 

  

3Nation Cup, Spaarnwoude (C2)

The organizers of the 3Nation cup once again created a beautiful track and Lotte were looking forward to racing on Sunday. Her first race in Holland this season, nerves mixed with excitement! After a long and flat start, Lotte managed to overtake a lot of riders on the first climb and so she went third into the forest. The entire race needed full focus with a lot of tricky corners and hard efforts up the climbs. Despite the strong field of competitors, in the end Lotte finished second – an unexpected result, she finished the weekend super happy! 

 

KONA Red/R tour

Below in the report, but at least as important: the KONA “ride, eat, drink, repeat”. Last year, there were 15 riders at the Dutch Bicycle Centre to ride this KONA Red/R tour. This year more than 30 people with all different Kona bikes were present on this beautiful Wednesday evening. Old Kona bikes (some really old Kona bikes) and brand new ones were all there. The riders were all looking forward to ride together and to have a good barbecue afterwards. Dave worked the BBQ like a real chef. He grilled with all of his heart. After a nice ride, the bikers ate and had a lot of fun. See you next year Kona bikers! 

Jonathan Maunsell Wins Round 4 of Grass Roots

One half of our Irish Enduro racing family was back in action yesterday at Round 4 of the Grassroots Enduro Series. Jonathan Maunsell has had a stellar year so far with several big victories aboard his Process 153CR. This weekend was no exception, capturing yet another victory at the Grassroots.

He said,  “After taking the win at the first 3 rounds, I was feeling the target on my back this weekend but the DH style stages suited me and I’m happy to make it 4/4! Looking forward to heading out to Europe for the next EWS round!”

Action shots: @home_of_the_mind

Podium pic: @cahirmedia