Eating Up Miles and Butter Tarts on the BT700

Eastern Canada’s first official bikepacking event, the BT 700, saw a massive number of riders at the grand depart in St. Jacobs, Ontario. Whether participants came out to set records or tour the mixed surface route, everyone more than likely enjoyed some good ol’ southwestern Ontario butter tarts. Kona Ambassador Trevor Browne set off on his Kona Rove NRB DL to travel all the miles in a time of 3.5 days.

The route was challenging, beautiful, diverse, rugged, and required constant attention to navigation with all its twists, turns, ups, downs, and sometimes lack of roads at all. From rolling Mennonite farmland and gravel roads to steep boulder ascents through the Georgian Bluffs, this course proved to be challenging to the faster pacesetters as well as the slower touring-minded riders. The one thing that keeps riders coming back to great events like this one is the chance to make new friends, chat, share baked goods, and get lost with them along the trail.

The Shortest Night

As we enter fall the days are becoming shorter and the temperatures are dropping. It seems like it always happens so fast. While most of us celebrate the longest days of summer, Ambassador Trevor Browne opted to ride through the shortest night on his Dynamo Ride.

“Introducing The Dynamo solstice ride. Basically it was a rad group of 25 folks from Montreal who rode 130km during the shortest night of the year from sunset to well past sunrise. Starting at CL Cycle we partied our way through some gnarly roads north, up into the beautiful Laurentian Mountains. After about 7 hours of night riding, we stopped at Lac Masson for the most beautiful sunrise. Coffee, red bull and cigarettes were on tall order. Watching the sun come up over the water after hours of riding in the darkness with a great group of people was a life-affirming experience. Little did we know we’d have some challenging gravel climbs ahead. We finally arrived at camp tired but smiling. Food, folks, and fun made for an awesome summer solstice road trip.”

Time Travel Through the Olympic Peninsula

Words and Images by ambassador Lita Monaghan.

I recently embarked on a multi-day bike ride with an amazing group of women cyclists, as well as my husband, “The Eric,” who provided luxury SAG during the ride.  The route took us not only on a tour around the Olympic Peninsula but also took us back in time, sharing a bit of history of the various places we encountered along the way.  My customized 2019 Kona Libre turned time machine served as the perfect instrument for this little bit of time travel.

On Day 1, everyone met at my house, loaded up the van with our gear, and then we departed from Fircrest, WA.  Fun fact:  Fircrest, incorporated in 1925, was the last “dry” town in the state, which prohibited the sale of alcohol by the glass.  Fortunately, in the November 2015 election, voters overwhelmingly overturned the law. A lesser-known fun fact: The back of the van may or may not have been equipped with a wine refrigerator!

We stopped for lunch at Manchester State Park, a 111-acre camping park with 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage in Puget Sound.  The Eric provided a white linen vegetarian lunch buffet while we enjoyed beautiful views of the water. Fun fact: The picnic shelter was a former torpedo warehouse, built-in 1901, built to protect the shipyards at Bremerton.

We spent the first night of our ride in Union, WA, a small community that lies along the southern shore of Hood Canal, at an area known as “the Great Bend.”  We stayed at quaint cabins at the Robin Hood Village and Restaurant, built in 1934 by a Hollywood set designer that had worked on the classic Robin Hood film.  Fun fact:  Robin Hood’s star, Errol Flyn, was an early visitor of the Robin Hood Village and Restaurant.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Day 2 of riding was a nice, mostly flat spin, taking in the views as we rode along Hood Canal.  We stopped for lunch at the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon, an outdoor restaurant flanked by old-growth forest and the west shore of Hood Canal at the mouth of Lilliwaup Creek. Fun fact: Hama Hama started out as a logging company in the 1890s and is now a fifth-generation family-run shellfish farm.

At the conclusion of the ride on Day 2, we loaded up our bikes and drove to Port Angeles to spend the night.  The next morning, Day 3 of our ride, would come too soon as Hurricane Ridge was our next big challenge, destination: 5,420 feet.  Olympic National Park is nearly a million acres and hosts several distinct ecosystems from glacier-capped mountains to old-growth temperate rain forests to miles of coastline, and is home to Hurricane Ridge.  

Hurricane Ridge is named for its whipping gales and winds, which can exceed 70mph.  Fortunately, when we reached the top, it was calm and almost achingly scenic. Much of the Olympic National Park could be viewed from the Hurricane Ridge viewpoint, which we thoroughly enjoyed in between cheering each other on as folks arrived to the top at their own paces.  Fun fact: Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard opened in 1958 and is one of the few lift service ski areas located inside a U.S. national park.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Continuing the theme of natural diversity in Olympic National Park, we settled into Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort for an evening of relaxation and recuperation after the day’s long climb.  A dip in the hot springs, as well as the bone-chilling Sol Duc river, helped flush the lactic acids out of our tired legs. Lack of cell service and internet made for a perfect evening, reliving the day’s accomplishment under a perfect pitch-black sky dotted with millions of stars. Fun fact:  The name, Sol Duc, is a Native American term meaning “sparkling water” and its namesake, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, was originally built in 1912.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The ride for Day 4 was a “downhill” ride and a much welcome route after a few days of riding.  We rode along several parts of the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 130-mile trail comprised of road and more than half on multi-use path. The ten-mile stretch along Mary Clark Road engulfed us in thick, luscious green forest and nothing but the sounds of our cranks turning and laughter from the stories we shared.  The ODT It is a must-do!

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

We finally reached our destination at Rialto Beach, located on the Olympic Peninsula near the mouth of the Quillayute River.  The skies were blue and we were serenaded by the sounds of crashing waves. This lesser-known beach has breath-taking views of offshore islands known as sea stacks with plenty of seating on giant drift logs all along the rocky shoreline.  Fun fact: The beach was named after, Claude Alexander Conlin, a famous magician of the Rialto theater chain. Conlin had a home at the beach in the 1920s until it burned in the 1930s.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Planning, organizing, executing, and riding in a multi-day ride with a group of diverse women provided memories and bonds that will last a lifetime.  This trip flew by and now we can’t wait to do another multi-day ride again next year! My time machine awaits…

The Honzo Time Machine

Words and photos by Ambassador Ryan Gardner.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

It’s been a long time since I started showing up to my first ever cross-country races on my early-2000’s Kona Stuff. Back then I raced in skate shoes, a bucket helmet, and baggies, and my bike was a conglomerate of borrowed parts. Yet, it was those early local races and barely functioning bikes that hooked me on the buzz of racing and the good fun you can have on two wheels. These days bikes like my Process 153 are made of space plastic, have brakes that work, and suspension that makes all but the rowdiest trails feel like a bike path. Don’t get me wrong, I really like having bikes that make going fast easy. It’s downright awesome and kind of the point of racing. Maybe it’s the pace of life right now, or maybe nostalgia, but coming into the Downieville Classic this year I was suddenly struck with the urge to turn back the clock and kick it old school. I wasn’t quite ready to kick all the way back to skate shoes and flat pedals, but my no-nonsense, all-aluminum Honzo that’s usually relegated to after-work rides seemed like the perfect time machine to bring me back to the early days.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Similarly, Downieville is the perfect destination for heading into the past. The rocky trails of the classic were once cut by industrious gold miners and the town hasn’t changed all that much since. A great bike, a favorite destination, and a classic race, the stoke was at an all-time high.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Now, Downieville isn’t a standard XC race. The “XC” starts with a 40-something minute climb from Sierra City to Packer Saddle. The hardtail shined out of the gate and as the pre-race jitters worked their way out and I worked my way through the crowd I congratulated myself on how awesome an idea it was to race the Honzo! Fast! Responsive! Awesome.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

These feelings continued even as the sun beat down and the arduous climb sapped the power from my legs. This was all to be expected. It’s Downieville after all. But as the trail left fire road and entered singletrack, I realized that the areas where I usually rest now took a lot of energy. Rocks and braking bumps continued to wear me down until I found myself thinking that it was an absolutely terrible idea to race Downieville on a hardtail. I pushed on, and after hitting some of the smoother faster sections of the course, my morale improved, but the beating continued. Turns out, there is a reason most people don’t race hardtails anymore, especially at Downieville. By the end, I started thinking about an old friend who wore a kidney belt when he was riding and that I sort of wished I had one. Crossing the finish line and collapsing into a folding chair was a thing of beauty. I may not have put down my fastest time, but I held my own and even passed some fancy space-plasticky-fully-suspended bikes in the process.

After the race ends, everyone convenes at the confluence of those once gold-filled streams, cracks open a beer and settles in for some much-needed leg icing and river jump spectating.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

That leg icing is absolutely key because that’s just day 1! The next day was the downhill and another 50 minutes of kidney rattling. Making it through the weekend with no mechanicals, no cramping, solid finishes, and heaps of type 2 fun was exactly the result I was hoping for. I even had some extra time for a few meditative casts and hooking up with a few small Yuba trout, about the only shiny thing I’ve yet to see in these rivers. My trip on the Honzo time machine was, in all honesty, a little rougher than expected, but the destination was exactly what I hoped for—a trip back to simpler time amidst a seeming ever more complex world. It’s nice to know that type of escape still exists and its always just a few pedal strokes away. 

Time Travel with Markus Zieher

Let´s think back to the days when you started with mountain biking. Why did you start? What was your inspiration? What bikes have you ridden?

The first real mountain bike of our German ambassador, Markus Zieher was a 2006 Kona Stinky Primo. Why? Because the great riders in the New World Disorder Movies rode a Kona! Luckily, his grandpa bought him this dream bike, which he used to ride a lot. This bike stayed in the garage for a while.

Nico Le Carré | KONA COG

With the latest ambassador theme of “Time Travel,” it was time to bring the old Stinky back to life. After pumping up the tires the “good old bike” was ready to go and Markus got this idea of the “Time Travel” video, filmed and edited by Nick Bechtle. He was surprised by how good everything still worked!

Time to Travel: A Rad Bike Adventure

Kona Ambassador Ryan Lindsay Bartz has been on an around-the-world adventure aboard her Sutra. she put together this cool little video of some of her favorite places she’s been so far.

“The first 6 months of a trip around the world consolidated into 3 minutes. Just a little ride through time with my two best friends (my partner and my bike!).”

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

A Step into the Finnish Archives

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Bikepacker guru and Kona Ambassador Erkki Punttila has created this beautiful blog post exploring some old relics of his home country of Finland for our Time Travel theme. Erkki is known for his big rides and great photography so he put together this gorgeous piece over on his blog, Packgofind.com.

He talks about the history of bridges, antiques, and the old country that his ride travels through. Be sure to check out the full feature here.

Below are a few sample photos from his journey.

Torn Between Two Hemispheres

Words by ambassador Graham Beaumont

Roll back 10 years or so, I was in my early 20’s with a life focused towards the bike industry and intention to make my mark on it. 

At the time I was working my way up the ladder in bike shops soaking up all of the information I could. With no real goal other than knowing I wanted to ride bikes for a living, I had set out to do just that. 

My life was the Lake District. After a very short move to the ‘big city’, I knew in my heart living within the mountains was where I needed to be. 

During this short stint in Manchester My Mum spoke to me about the potential of her moving to New Zealand for a couple of years, and did I want to go with her? Looking back at this question, in many ways this could not have been timed any better. Having just had my wings clipped from moving to the city I was 100% certain that I wanted to stay here in the UK, in the Lake District. 

So a few months passed my Mum moved to the other side of the world, along with my stepdad. This was huge for us all as we are not big family, shortly after I packed my job in the city and made moves towards moving back home to the Lakes.

At the time my sister was at university studying back in the Lakes so I stayed on her sofa for a while.

Sven Martin photo Photo by Sven Martin

All of a sudden I realised that ‘home‘ wasn’t necessarily what it used to be, and I needed to create a home for myself.  I got myself a job with a good friend of mine in a suspension service centre, and rented a house with some other folk and started to rebuild my life back home in the Lake District.

With all the modern communication platforms we have, dialect should have been easy to New Zealand. My mindset towards the whole situation put a stop on any real dialogue for the first few years. I occupied my life with partying, riding bikes and generally just pretending to be okay with it all.

After a couple of years in the suspension centre I decided to leave full-time employment and take the plunge into being self-employed down a road towards Mountain Bike Coaching and Guiding, which has lead me to where I am today.

When my sister graduated she also headed off round the world ultimately finishing in New Zealand, at this point I knew it was time for me to pull my socks up and head out to New Zealand for a trip! 

Travelling to the opposite side of the world was a daunting necessity, and I had been putting it off for too long, flying to the other side of the world opened my eyes to so many amazing possibilities and showed me that the world is full of amazing riding! 

Since that first trip I have got Flying with a bike down, I have met some of the best people and ridden some of the greatest trails, and I even get to ride in the forest with my Mum! It’s awesome to have a family who shares my passion for bikes, even if they are 11,310 miles away.

It can be so easy to look at my family situation as a negative thing, and I have definitely flicked between it being positive and that over the years. But sitting here and thinking about the trips I have had to New Zealand and other places on the way, the experiences shared, but even more specifically the trails I have been lucky enough to of ridden along the way, it’s pretty fantastic having my folks out there. 

Ben Gerrish Photo Photo by Ben Gerrish

The Brief for this project was Time Travel, and that got me thinking about certain points in my life. if I had a Time Travelling machine would I have done things differently the second time round? 

It took me back to the moment I decided to stay back here in the UK, and would I change it? I have pondered over this question for years, but I think 21-Year-old Graham had his head screwed on to a point. It was a pretty bold move to stay here as my family emigrated but it seemed less scary than packing my bags and moving. 

To think at the time I was worried the mountain biking might be rubbish in NZ! Any of you who have been will know that it’s definitely NOT the case, My mum lives a 5-minute pedal out of the redwood Forest In Rotorua. If you haven’t been to Rotorua and ridden your bike I strongly recommend it.

Staying in the UK has had so many positives for me. I love the people around me, the riding and the friendships that has created, my work and lifestyle I am able to live and accessibility to the rest of Europe in a heartbeat.  Riding bikes can take you anywhere!

Reliving the Future

A fictional story inspired by the theft of my dear friend’s Kona Humu, and the joy of klunking. –Shae James, Kona Ambassador

I am supposed to be holding one endless circle of hardened chain, a symbol of trust. It is supposed to be looped through my favorite front triangle, into my rear triangle, and around a solid piece of metal. As I stand outside of a busy restaurant, on a busy street, I am holding pieces of the bike lock that I had woven through my beloved mountain bike. I look through the window of the restaurant. How can people be eating? I look out to the street. How can cars be moving? I stand there for a few minutes. Blank. If I’d have known, I would have skipped the post-ride beer in a heartbeat.

Well, I guess it’s time to start walking home.

Two blocks down. I stare at the red crosswalk light. I wonder if I would have dabbed on that track stand. Two more blocks. I’ve never noticed that gap. I wonder if I would have cased it. Downtown turns into neighborhood, and I can’t believe how long walking takes. Just as I let out an aggravated sigh, I see a quaint yellow house. Its yard is covered in junk and treasure. 

Well, this is taking forever. Might as well stop and take a look. I think to myself.

Toys. Blankets. Lamps. Vintage alarm clocks. 

Wow. How old is this stuff?

“Hey, there,” I say as I notice an older man sitting in a camp chair, smiling at me. “Any RC cars, or something?”

“No, I’m afraid not.”, he replies with a little chuckle. “Those things sure are fun, and you look like you could use some kind of pick me up.”

“Oh. Yeah… “ I look down at my shoes. “My bike was stolen and it’s still pretty fresh.”

“Jeez. I’m sorry to hear that. That’s like having a piece of yer soul ripped out.” 

I nod. 

He looks at me hard for a moment.

“Tell ya what.”, he starts, as he reaches for the cane parked next to him. With much effort, he stands up and shuffles towards his garage. “I know it can’t replace your old one, but I’ve got a bike that you can have if you want it.”

“Really?! Wha… Why would you do that?”

“Look at me! I can’t ride it anymore, and I’ve been waiting for the right person to need it. You just gotta promise me you’ll take her to the top of a mountain, where she belongs.”

“You’ve got a mountain bike? For free??” I say in disbelief.

“Yep. Here she is, in all her glory!” He pulls a cloth cover off of a cruiser bike from the 70’s. It’s yellow and heavy. He stands there, beaming at it. Like it’s a trophy.

“Uh…Will it make it to the top of a mountain?” 

“Hah! This thing has been to the top of more peaks than you! I guarantee it!” 

“…Do you know what mountain biking is?” I ask with a raised brow.

“Kid, do YOU know what mountain biking is?” 

We both stand our ground.

He breaks, “Just go ride it once. If you don’t have fun, you can bring it back. No harm, no foul. Whadda ya say?”

“Blehhh. Okay. Fine. Fine.” 

Why am I agreeing to this?

“Great! I’ll be here all day tomorrow, too. Maybe you could ride it tomorrow, and come by after? I’d love to hear about it,” he says excitedly. 

“Sure. Sure. Um. Thank you. I’ll let you know how it goes.” I try to sound optimistic, but don’t do a great job.

I wheel the bike to the end of the garage and swing a leg around it. 

“Uh… where are the brakes?!” I say as I look around the bike.

“It’s a coaster brake.” He replies.

What the heck is a coaster brake?

“You know. Pedal-back. You pedal backwards, and it engages the brake,” he explains like I’m new to this planet.

“Uh sure. Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, if I survive,” I say, as I test the brakes down the driveway. “Thank you. Mister….?” I look back to ask the old man’s name and the garage door is already halfway closed.

Okay then.

I start pedaling home.

Wow. Even for a tank, this is so much faster than walking. 

I am home in minutes, put the bike away, and head to bed. 

The next morning, I wake up and start getting ready like I’m going to shred all day. As I’m pulling my riding clothes together, my heart sinks.

Oh yeah. I forgot. My bike is gone…

I sit down on my bed and wallow in my misery until I remember the old man’s bike.

Might as well, I guess.

I finish getting ready, pull the bike out of my garage, and set out for the first loop that comes to mind. After about five miles, the sound of my tires changed tune. The smooth buzzing turns into a crunchy, grinding noise. A gravel road. 

Okay. Let’s really hammer this thing.

I stand up and start really pedaling. My eyes focus on nothing, and my legs become two pistons as I sink heavy into the grind. The scenery around me begins to blur. I dig deeper. The sound of my tires, the birds, the wind, it all starts to blur as well. Eventually, it sounds like someone has put their hands over my ears and I feel a hard jolt that almost knocks me off my bike.

I snap out of my self-made hypnosis and look around. 

Wha…? Where am I?

Everything looks different. The same… but different. The trees are… smaller? 

What the hell am I wearing?!

As I look around, I catch my clothing in my peripheral. My bike shorts are short. Really short. And tight. Really tight. My comfortable, and breathable mountain bike shoes are now stiff, hiking boots. I reach my hand up to my helmet. My visor is gone.

What is happening?!

I continue pedaling up the hill, frantically looking for any kind of familiar landmark or trail. Nothing. I feel around my clothing for the bulk of my smartphone. It isn’t on me.

Great. No GPS. How am I supposed to find my way around now?

I get off my bike, take a few steps, and just stand there with my hands on my hips. I look left. I look right.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Hmmm. I don’t see any chance of me finding a trail without my app. I’m just going to head back down. 

I get back on my bike and start down the gravel logging road I had just come from. As I gain speed down the hill, I momentarily forget about the whole coaster brake thing. I squeeze my pointed index fingers and just get air. 

Oh shit.

I begin to panic as I realize that just because I ride with my fingers habitually pointed towards a brake lever, doesn’t mean there is always a brake lever there to be pulled! 

Uh. PEDAL BACK! I remember.

I drive my back leg down into the pedal as hard as I can in an attempt to shut down the massive amount of speed I have acquired; the rear tire locks up and begins skidding. My eyes grow wide as my rear end is fishtailing back and forth. I lift my foot up and release the hub.  I re-engage, but this time with some tact. I am able to slow down enough to step off the bike and come to a stop. I breathe relief.

Woah. Am I crazy? Or was that actually insanely fun?

I place my bulky shoes back on to the pedals and start rolling down the road. This time with a mischievous smile on my face. 



Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

As I come around a long right-hand corner, I’m spraying gravel and laughing. I look like a maniac. There is a group of four cyclists pedaling up the road, and I’m headed straight towards them. They look up, eyes wide, and all dart to each side of the road. I narrowly squeeze between them, before I slam on my brake, plant a foot on the ground, and spin my bike in a 180 to face them.

“Jump back, man!”

“You almost reamed us!”

“Jeez, hot pants!” 

“Take a chill pill, dude!”

They all exclaim differently.

“Sorry, guys. Just had a little too much fun looking for the trail, ” I explain.

“Well, you’re going the wrong way, first off,” the tallest one points out.

“Yeah. I was just giving up, actually,” I admit.

“Look, we were just headed up. If you can keep up, you can stick with us, ya dig? “Oh. Yeah. I can dig. Do you have tools somewhere or something?” I ask.

“What? No! ‘Ya dig?’ Like, do you dig it? Do you understand? You cool?” he demands.

“Oh! Yeah. Uh… totally, man.” I respond as I realize what he meant.

They all continue pedaling up the hill, this time with me in tow. I don’t say much during the climb but instead, listen to their conversation. After a while, I piece together an impossible theory. 

“Hey guys, uhh, weird question. What day is it, exactly?” I ask, afraid of the answer.

“Man, did you hit your head or something? We haven’t even started the real ridin’ yet!” Laughs the one with the thickest mustache. “It’s Wednesday. June 20th.”

“Right. Right. Just for fun, what year?”

“Man! You DID hit your head, didn’t ya! 1979!” he responds, shaking his head. Half in amusement, half in concern. He laughs again and goes back to talking to his friends about some girl named Mary Ann.

Okay. Don’t panic. You somehow traveled to 1979. You broke some kind of time barrier while pedaling your face off, and traveled back to 1979. It’s fine. You’ll be fine. At least there’s still biking. Just ride. And figure it out later. Yeah. Groovy.

As I talk myself into living in the moment, whenever that moment happens to be, the fellas stop at what looks like an overgrown trailhead. 

“ Okay! Here we are! Is everyone ready? New girl! You’ll go second to last, so we don’t lose you. Better ride fast, so you don’t spoil his good time, ya dig?”

With barely a moment to get into formation, we drop in and it’s absolute chaos. The fully rigid frame of my bike feels bombproof yet somehow rattles me to my very bones. The first corner I come across, I brake a little late and end up skidding into it. The tires hook up at the last possible second, and I shoot out of it. I can hear dirt flying behind me. The rider behind me gives a delighted holler in approval. I pedal through the next flat section and graze the bottom of my right pedal on the top of a rock. 

Woah! No freewheel. I really gotta pay attention to where my feet are with this thing!

A minute into the trail and I really start to warm up. Once I connect all the dots, I realize this is true mountain biking. It is controlled chaos. Endless creativity in slashing the earth behind you. I’ve never had so much fun on a bike. You let it out, get scared, and reel it back in. Over and over. Thankfully there is more laughing than crashing, but the numbers are close. There is so much fun to be had, but we all know the trail will end soon. The fast pace, the non-stop riding, is refreshing. No apps. No photos. No line discussion. Just riding. 

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

The trail finishes with a bang! Three consecutive corners, and final ping pong through some rocks and we explode out of the trail and back onto the road we started on. Everyone is laughing and exclaiming at what they had just witnessed. 

“Did you see me almost hit that rock?”

“Did you see me definitely hit that rock!”

“I cleared that gap!”

“I saw! That was so sick, dude!”

“Far out, New Girl! You survived! And kept up!”

“Heh. Yeah, I did. Didn’t I?” I say, thinking of what I had said to the old man in the garage. “That was insanely fun, you guys. Thanks for letting me tag along.”

“Oh yeah! We didn’t know anyone else liked to do this kind of stupid stuff! Or even knew what it was! Happy to ride with you!” he chuckles.

“You’d be surprised who could get into a sport like this.”, I grin. “Thanks again! I’ll catch ya on the flip side!”

I wave my good-bye and head down the last bit of the road I had originally started on. I throw one last skid, before my tires touch where gravel meets pavement. Time shifts and my surroundings change again. I’m home. I head straight for the quaint yellow house. As it comes into view, I see the garage door begin to slowly slide open. I put the power down, and pedal up the driveway, and skid into the garage. I stop just before the old man who gave me this fantastic yellow bike.

“So? How are my friends doing?” he says with a big grin. 

Wales by 35mm

Kona Ambassador Tudor Gillham wanted to switch it up and take a step back in time for his latest project. He ditched the fancy camera gear and simply used his trusty old film camera to create this project.

“I had a weekend away planned and thought it would be the perfect subject for the film. So for this one, I traveled back in time and used my thrift store film camera to cover my tour of West Wales on 35mm. Not getting caught up on quality, focus etc or worrying about charging a camera / how many memory cards I had was a breath of fresh air! I’ve popped the snaps into a little film which I think is pretty fun and looks really cool.” -Tudor

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG
Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

Time to Travel!

Words by Ambassador Clara Cendoya Ibanez. Photos by Fernando Calle Prieto.  

And it happens!! Summer holidays are here and with them, time to travel!! It’s the moment to start thinking and planning the different travels we want to do to bike parks around Europe, the bicycle paradises.

For this year we taught in order to visit again, but this time with more days and time to enjoy it. The bike park of Serfaus Fiss Ladis in the Tirol, Austria.

The Tirol is a beautiful and wonderful place, with dreamy views and happy people.But it is even better if you decide to visit it with your bicycle.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG Ponferrada, Spain

It is going to be a great adventure because we are going to travel by car this time. A little Volkswagen Polo from the 90’s will bring us there, with no air conditioner, with all the luggage and bicycle equipment in there, and also our two Kona Process in there. From Spain to Austria, almost 24h… Are we crazy??

It will be worth it for sure because once we get there, this amazing place will be waiting for us. The bike park is so much fun with super long and natural trails.

Days start at 2400 meters high on the top of the mountain and ends with several downhills to the bottom of the mountain at 1300 meters where the bike park is. It’s perfect for achieving goals and encouraging and practicing jumps.

By the end of the day, those icy Austrian beers will be waiting for us. Bar, terraces with magical views. It is a perfect plan!!

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

After this beautiful travel and experience, we will be back home. We will go to the north of Spain to a no less desirable place called Ponferrada. It’s a city surrounded by a lot of mountains and another paradise to keep enjoying our Processes! It’s pure enduro biking, lots of uphills and peddling.

It’s wonderful to visit this place while practicing your favorite sport. I’m learning the downhills from everywhere I ‘ve visited.

Lacy Kemp | KONA COG

But Ponferrada has something special. The food and eating are the best.

These are magical places and for sure for our Kona Process. Can you imagine a better plan?