Adventure Team

Whiskey Dessert: A Kona Adventure Team Project


Do this after you’ve left home a few hundred times, kids: do something you’ve done many times before, and do it with a big twist. Such was our experience at the 15th Annual Whiskey Off Road. We’d done it collectively around thirty times. We’d been on the podium, we’d been around last place, we’d been somewhere in between, and so the race itself was nothing new. The twist was that we traveled to-and-from the event by mountain bike. Instead of the typical racer’s approach of arriving at the airport, renting a car and zipping to a comfy accommodation, we mapped out a route across 130 miles of urban sprawl into desert scrub into pine-forest mountains. We slept in the dirt. Then we did the race. And then we rode back. Instead of six or eight hours of total ride time during a typical race trip we logged over thirty. Indeed, we made the most of it, and it was remarkable. Here are some moments that stuck. Read more over at Pinkbike.





Kona Adventure Team Pedal Packs to Whiskey 50

The Kona Adventure Team congregated in Phoenix on Tuesday night. When the sun came up on Wednesday morning they loaded up their HEI HEI‘s with the bike packing bags and headed north west to Prescott, AZ.

The goal was to get out of the PHX sprawl ASAP and take the Black Canyon Trail north to Prescott. The unrelenting heat took a toll on the boys and they had to alter their plans from mostly single track to mostly gravel roads. With no water out in the desert, the choice was an obvious one, if they wanted to survive.

Kerry Werner will be posting up a 3 Vlog series on this mission. The first is up below…

The next two will be posted as the team navigates the Fat tire crit on Friday night, off day Saturday, racing the Whiskey 50 on Sunday, then riding back to PHX (on more single track) over the course of Monday- Tuesday. Laughs will be had and suffering will be felt, but it’s always more enjoyable amongst friends.

Three Peaks Challenge: A Kona Adventure Team/ Team S+M Project

Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, is a very wet place. This is no secret. The secret is what lies beyond the foggy curtain that covers the deep, dank, moss filled forests of the Oregon Coast Range.

Just west of the sleepy college town of Corvallis, Oregon lays a wealth of single-track, hand sculpted and etched into the earth by a dedicated and diverse group of mountain bike-minded humans.

When I was in my junior year at Oregon State University, a strong, tight-knit crew of rugged bike nerds had banded together and rented a ragged, sprawling house a few blocks from campus.

I occupied the detached cinderblock garage that only had a single roll-up door for access. For $100 a month, I got a roof over my head, a propane heater and access to the main house for the kitchen, bathroom, and most importantly, a large well stocked bike work area.

In the basement bike shop, we had a whiteboard where we would scratch out challenges to one another. Various bicycle related feats of strength were hatched, but the one that seemed to stick, gain traction, and become a tradition among our crew was the Three Peaks Challenge.

The premise was simple. Grab three beers, ride to the top of the three main peaks in the forest and drink a beer. Over the years various additional challenges were included, including doing the ride at night without lights, riding the final decent nude, or completing the challenge on our road bikes.

Ever since I left college and started my racing career, I had mostly forgotten about the TPC. Then my friends Sean and Patrick moved back to Corvallis and started talking about it. A chance trip back home to work on my mother’s house was all the impetus we needed to revive the tradition.

On a fittingly damp and cold day, we set off at the crack of 2:30 pm. First stop, the obligatory beverage procurement at the Country Market and Deli on the corner of 53rd and Oak Creek Drive.

As they do, beer is sold is portions of sixes, so with three riders, we selected a 12 pack. With the conclusion that it would be the appropriate procedure to stash the extra beers, one at each summit for others to enjoy, we filled Sean’s backpack with all 12 while he wasn’t looking and then set off.

The first peak is actually only a small hill, aptly named Bald Hill, but what it lacks in elevation it makes up for in spades on its greased lightning trails. Slipping and sliding our way off the peak, giddy with our quest, we set our sights on the next, much higher summit.

Topping out on McCullough Peak for summit number two, the wind had picked up considerably. Our soggy frozen fingers struggled to rack the beers, but we got it done, downed the nectar, stashed the extra and then sent it down one of the gnarliest trails in the forest.

Exciting the bottom of South Side Slip coated in mud and laughing, we steeled ourselves for the final push to summit three.

Good natured shit talking became joking half attacks became full throttle race mode as the summit approached and we raced our way to the large tree marking the top of Dimple Hill.

As we downed our final beverages and looked out over the soggy city, the wave of nostalgia was almost enough to convince Sean to disrobe and shred the final descent au natural, but fading light and a worry of shrinkage (and common sense) took over and we headed down into town to gorge on the best Thai Food in the universe.

A final round of high fives was exchanged as we saddled up for the final cold solo miles back home. Tired, cold, covered in mud and with a perma-grin plastered all over my ugly mug, I said a silent what’s up to all those who have completed the Three Peaks Challenge before, and to all those who would follow in our sketchy footsteps. Get it!

Cory Wallace Report: Annapurna 24

Recently, Kona Adventure Team rider Cory Wallace attempted a monster challenge: complete the Annapurna Circuit in under 24 hours and raise $1,000 USD to help build a training center for Nepalese cyclists. This is no minor feat. The Annapurna Circuit is a grueling 215km ride at super high altitude with zero amenities en route. Riding fully self-supported on his Hei Hei DL, Wallace knew the ride would be a challenge, but what he endured was far beyond his imagination. The good news? He made it… in 23:57, just under the wire and managed to double his fundraising goal. It wasn’t without tribulations, though, and Wallace has an intense report up on his website to share with the world. Grab a coffee and give it a good read. It’s an incredible story. Congrats, Cory! We can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

 

Velonews Highlights Kerry Werner’s Rising Star

 

Velonews has released a profile on Kona cyclocross rider Kerry Werner that tells of Werner’s big goal: to dominate the CX field. Werner has had strong results this season and continues to improve each year. Check out the full story on Velonews.

And, just in case you’re looking for a little motivation today, check out Kerry in our video, Cross/Roads.

Introducing the 2017 Kona Bikes Pro Teams

For 2017 the Kona pro team roster has expanded. As with years past we have two distinct teams in the Kona family, and in 2017 both of these teams have had their scope expanded to include a wider range of athletes and events. Our 2017 Team pages feature an interview with each rider with some serious and some not-so-serious questions, a gallery of images, and links to their media on the Cog blog.

Kona Endurance / Adventure Team

endurance adventure team portraits

The Kona Endurance and Adventure Team returns for 2017 ready to continue its global reputation for two-wheeled excellence. From gravel grinders to cyclocross, marathon adventures to pure, hard-core cross-country, and the ever-popular enduro, it’s all good, all of the time.

The 2017 Kona Endurance and Adventure Team brings incredible young talent to the races with Rhys Verner, Amira Mellor and Kerry Werner. Combined with the veteran squad of Spencer Paxson, Kris Sneddon, Cory Wallace, Barry Wicks, and Helen Wyman, the team is set to turn heads and nail down podiums around the world.

Meet the 2017 Kona Endurance / Adventure Team.

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Kona Gravity / Enduro Team

gravity enduro team portraits

For 2017 Kona is supporting athletes in both gravity and enduro disciplines. From the Enduro World Series to the Downhill World Cup to freeride, our riders are pushing the limits of the sport. Take three of Australia’s fastest downhillers, a quick junior downhiller, a big mountain specialist hailing from Canada, and four fast enduro riders stepping up from our Super Grassroots program, and you’ve got the makings of one of the world’s most exciting mountain bike teams.

With the podium contending skills of Connor Fearon, Josh Button, Tegan Molloy, and Anthony Poulson on the World Cup DH circuit, Graham Agassiz at Rampage and on the big screen, and Ryan Gardner, Scott Countryman and siblings Jonathan and Leah Maunsell holding down all things enduro, big things are happening with Kona’s Gravity and Enduro team in 2017.

Meet the 2017 Kona Gravity / Enduro Team.

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