Kona Wo

Toni Lund’s Thousand Mile Ride

Recently Toni Lund attempted the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 1000 mile trans-Alaskan race in the harshest of conditions. Toni sent us a little recap and some photos of his experience. We’d like to extend him a HUGE congratulations for becoming the first Finn to cross the finish line in Nome, AK. We hope your Wo proved to be the perfect steed for your journey!
Words by Toni Lund, the ‘Extreme Bike Mechanic’ from Finland who works at Bikeshop.fi / Ajopyora that sells Kona bikes.
So, having done the ‘short’ 350 mile race in 2015, this year I attempted the 1000 mile monster to Nome for the first time, as the first ever from Finland and first with Kona Wo. This year’s race turned out to be extremely and exceptionally demanding as the race saw an awful lot of bad weather with close to ten blizzards, soft trails and lots of pushing. Out of the almost 27 days on the trail, there were only 3-4 sunny and calm days.
– My worst period in the journey was after McGrath (350 mile point) when I got sick with diarrhea. I spent 24 hours in Takotna to overcome it, but it struck me one more time after Ophir. Feeling really weak I still marched on in blizzard conditions and hilly terrain.
– The most dangerous sections were the passage of Rainy Pass with -10 F temps and -40 F windchill and similarly the Bering Sea ice crossing to Koyuk.
– It’s hard to say how much I pushed my bike but I think more than half of the complete 1000 mile distance.
– My 2017 model Kona Wo had zero issues and worked perfectly in the super demanding conditions. There were several soft trails that I was able to ride with Wo and it proved to be a very capable bike for the world’s longest and toughest winter ultra marathon. I had built my Wo myself and the only original component is the headset.
– I bivyed several nights under the sky and I needed to put on my best game with winter survival skills. Overall, Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile is exceptionally demanding and a very dangerous quest. I finished with the time of 26 days 19 hours 18 minutes in 10th place.

Fat Biking on the Wild Atlantic Way with a Murder of Wo’s

Galway, Ireland Kona dealer Garry Davoren loves fat bikes, specifically our Kona Wo and he recently teamed up with the folks behind the Wild Atlantic Way tourism to produce this epic video. It captures the stunning Irish coastline mostly using drone footage and ensures that if Ireland was a place you were thinking about visiting, well you’ll be booking tickets by the end of the week. Read on to for the full blurb or for more info head to the Wild Atlantic way website here.

“One of the most fantastic features of the Wild Atlantic Way is the variety in topography you’ll encounter as you travel along its craggy nooks and crannies. Around each corner, a hugely diverse range of attractions unfurl from the lofty cliffs at Slieve League to the inimitable karst backdrop of The Burren to the sandy beaches and impressive landscapes of the Ring of Kerry. Among spectacular scenery, shining sunsets and glistening surf, the ground beneath you can change from beach to bog to mountain in moments.

WAW_Fatbike_Glasan_-Beach

For these reasons, one of the best and most adventurous ways to traverse the Wild Atlantic Way is astride the top of two fat wheels. A fatbike is an off-road bicycle with over-sized tyres, typically 3.8 inches (97 mm) or larger with rims of 2.6 inches (66 mm) or wider. It is designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. The improved traction when riding through sandy or swampy ground is a result of a set of monster tires that allow a bike to roll where it’s never rolled before.WAW_Fatbike_Slieve_league

All this provides cyclists with a freedom to explore terrains that were never possible on mountain or trail bikes, opening up an array of hamlets, coves and hidden pockets. For example, the beautiful landscapes of Connemara contain a wealth of scenic trails begging to be explored. The Maumturk Mountains and the pewter-tinged peaks of the Twelve Bens are a trove of biking discovery. Further north, among some of the highest maritime crags in Europe, the Slieve League Sea Cliffs will exercise your eyes and legs as you climb towards spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. For a Ring of Kerry cycle with a difference, go off-road to explore some of the glassy lakes, rolling hills and stony trails situated along the route. The video above shows just some of the views you can expect to see from the saddle.

If freedom, adrenaline and unique experiences sound like your thing, iFatbike offers fully maintained and serviced fatbikes for rental. Located in Moycullen, County Galway, the surrounding countryside provides a kaleidoscope of beach, bog and mountain. For a more detailed account of conquering wild Atlantic ways by fat bike, you can read iFatbike owner Garry Davoren and his friend Mark Peterson’s account of their adventures in north Donegal. Of course, for those with less of an ‘over, under, through’ mentality, there are plenty of alternative cycling options available all along the route.”

Wo Wednesday: Robert’s Tactical Wo AKA Combat Kona

A week or so back Todd at Olde Towne Cyclery in Nebraska sent through a snap of this mysterious custom painted 2016 Kona Wo. Our interest was piqued and we quickly replied, wanting to find out more at this very cool paint job. Todd put us in touch with the bikes owner, Robert Altman, and as well as a bunch more photos he came through with the story behind the bike. (more…)