Bellingham

Remembering Jack DeVries

We received word this week that the longtime Kona friend and owner of Jack’s Bikes in Bellingham passed away this past Monday. Jack DeVries was a Bellingham staple having worked at the Times Bike Shop back in the 60s. He was active in the local road racing scene and even raced penny farthings. During community events, Jack would ride his penny farthing in local parades and events – a true longtime master of bicycle stoke.

In 1969 he opened Jack’s Bicycle Center and worked many late nights to ensure the shop was always in tip-top shape. He retired in 2005 when his two kids took over the shop, where it remains a Bellingham staple today. We want to thank Jack for his lifetime of contributions to the cycling industry and for helping grow the sport in Bellingham. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family.

 

 

Kona’s Lacy Kemp Featured in Freehub Magazine’s Pillars Series

Freehub Magazine has launched a new web series called Pillars, highlighting the people that help define the local mountain bike community. Bellingham is home to several bike companies and this first piece features an employee from both Kona and Transition. Check out what makes Kona’s Communications Manager, Lacy Kemp, a Bellingham Pillar.

 

 

“Every community has its cornerstones, the people making forward progression possible. Bellingham, WA, has a thriving mountain bike scene with so many people contributing in every possible way imaginable. However, there are a few who epitomize the community as a whole, simply through their actions.” – Freehub Magazine

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

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s a normal dreary winter day. The clouds hang low and thick as if they’ve just given up on their job to support the sky. Instead, they rained down pieces of themselves in a manner just heavy enough to completely saturate me. I find myself in this odd purgatory of riding space: my usual trails have fallen prey to some serious logging, leaving slash piles and hints of what used to be hiding under feet and feet of tree debris. It’s been frustrating, but I can’t complain as I still write on paper, always forget my reusable grocery store bags, and still…go to the bathroom. Regardless, it’s been a frustrating winter trying to negotiate new routes when I find so much comfort in the loops that I’d grown to love.

But while I’m struggling with the reality that my mid-day rides aren’t so simple anymore, I’ve found some solace in exploration. The closure of my routine route has forced me to reconsider the vast network of trails that Bellingham has to offer. It’s no secret: this place is an absolute mecca for mountain biking. Galbraith alone has around 60 miles of pristine singletrack. Even with the logging activity, there are still dozens of really fun trails waiting to be ridden. I’ve found myself taking rights when normally I’d take a left. I climb just a little bit further in hopes of having a bit more of a descent, and usually, I’ve been really happy with the end result.

A little hidden gem tucked away deep in the woods.

This particular day I found myself in one of Bellingham’s special semi-secret zones. There were no cars parked at the start of the climb, which I was happy about. It was one of those days where I just felt like riding alone. I cruised up the soft road that had been rendered completely mushy by the inches of rain that had fallen in the prior week. My Process 153 CR DL kept my legs spinning while it slowly became splattered with specs of brown gooey mud from the road. I’ve always thought aqua and brown were nice complements to each other, so I didn’t mind this newfound color scheme.

When I reached the top of the climb I looked beyond the current ridge and onto the now-scarred mountain that we all call our home. In my mind I said a little ode, telling it we’d all be back on her trails soon enough, but for now, this time of discovery was proving useful. After all, variety is the spice of life. With that thought, I took the left instead of the usual right. I found myself navigating punchy rock sections and hanging on for dear life while I somehow managed to keep it upright in steep sections that at this point were really just funnels of mud. When I reached the end of the trail I felt invigorated and happy to accomplish the ride on a trail where I don’t have much experience. Turns out that even logging can provide a silver lining, it’s just a matter of being willing to see it.

 

Support Your Local Trail Association

Mountain bike trail organizations are the bread and butter of trail sustainability and mountain biking advocacy throughout international bike communities. Locally in Bellingham, we’re super fortunate to have the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition leading the charge for more trails, facilities, and access to land that has been previously denied to bikers. It doesn’t go without a ton of work from WMBC members and volunteers. Kona athlete Spencer Paxson was recently featured in a promo video for WMBC’s fundraising drive.

No matter where you live, it’s important to support your local trail association. Singletracks has compiled an extensive list of groups that are hungry for your support. Donate. Volunteer. We are still a young sport that needs to be dedicated in order to grow.

Party with the Kona Supremes!

The Kona Supremes are a new riding and racing team based out of the Kona Bike Shop in Bellingham, WA. The Supremes were born from a local group of female Kona riders that shared a common vision: shred fast, play hard, and get more women into cycling. Each rider hails from a multi-sport background but has planted roots here in the PNW, where the loam is perfect and the two-wheeled adventures keep rolling as easily as the beer flows.

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The goal of the Supremes is to always offer an inclusive adventure on our local trails, chock-full of support and inspiration. These ambassadors are students, environmentalists, industry professionals, artists, and all around outdoor enthusiasts.

This spring in Bellingham look out for rides and clinics hosted by the Supremes along with fundraisers and trail days with Bellingham’s local trail association, The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition. The Supremes will also be racing the local enduro series and the Cascade Dirt Cup.

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Head over to the Kona Supremes team page to read about the riders and connect with them through social media. You can also follow the Supremes team on Instagram and on Facebook, and on the Kona Bike Shop blog. And on Friday, April 14th, 2017, you can join the Kona Supremes at the Kona Bike Shop for some food, drinks, and good times.

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My Kona – Angi Weston

Angi Weston is all about bikes: she’s a sales rep out of our Bellingham office and spends her weekends as a professional mountain bike coach focusing on women’s skills clinics. She’s a shredder, but more than that, an enabler of others to push their own riding and to become more comfortable riding technical terrain.

As a growth-minded teacher and mentor, Angi sees the challenges we face with mountain biking as positive practice for challenging situations elsewhere in life:

“The world needs more people, especially women and girls, who have more faith in their abilities on a bike, and in life.” – Angi Weston

Ah yes, Angi truly is a rider, finding those parallels so she can continue to think about bikes just a little bit longer.

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Freehub Magazine Review the 2016 Process 153DL “The Kona Process 153 DL is an absurdly fun bike”

The Freehub magazine guys ride the same trails as us here in Bellingham, so it only seemed fitting that we get them on a bike designed with those same trails in mind. Their review of the 2016 Process 153 DL is online now and it appears they loved the bike, I mean really LOVED it, if you don’t want to take one for a spin after reading it, well i’m guessing you work for one of our competitors. You can check out the review here (or by clicking on any of the images below).

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