whistler

Whistler Opening Weekend

This past weekend was the big kickoff of bike park season with the opening of the Whistler Bike Park! Those of us at Kona USA and our Canadian offices are fortunate enough to live within just a short drive of the park, so it was a no-brainer for the dedicated downhillers to make their way through the throngs of traffic and people to sample a bit of some of the best trails on earth. However this year, the crowds and traffic were absent. Whistler’s new policy is to run the chairs until 8pm every single day. This helped keep the crowds at a manageable pace since people were able to space out their riding.

I arrived at 2pm on Friday and was still able to easily crack off double-digit laps on my favorite trails: Joyride, Schleyer, Clown Shoes, Detroit Rock City, and Lower Whistler Downhill (I have a thing for rock slabs.) The dirt throughout the weekend ran the gauntlet of conditions: dusty and dry on Friday, a river after the monsoon of Saturday, and perfectly tacky hero megarad (insert buzzword) dirt on Sunday.

If there’s one thing I took away from the weekend it’s that downhill is not dead! Dual crown forks were everywhere and Operators were happily flying over the A Line Tombstone jump and ripping around freshly sculpted Canadian Open berms. The park has undergone a few changes from last season including a revamped Longhorn trail, which is chock full of super flowy berms. More changes can be expected, including an additional jump line sure to get the Dirt Merchant/A Line crowd hyped up.

Did you make it to the park this weekend?

Sophie’s New Bike Day and First Trip to Whistler Bike Park!

At Kona, employees don’t have company cars, but they gave me a staff bike, which is more expensive than my car in France. Not too bad.

Photos and words by Sophie Bossier.

I’ve been an intern at Kona, in B.C., for two weeks now. In last week’s article I told you about the advantages of working in the bike industry. At Kona, in particular, I have the privilege to take any bike I want, when I want, for my weekend rides or as a commuter bike. But the bikes I really love are the downhill bikes.

As the opening weekend at the lift-accessed bike park in Whistler approached, Kona suggested I take a staff bike, which was thrilling for me. I could choose any one, and – of course – I chose an Operator, in my favorite color, which I will be able to bring back to France. After a few weeks’ riding I’ll do a brief review of my feelings and experiences with my Operator. Don’t hesitate to follow my futures articles if you have interest in this bike!


Whistler Mountain Bike Park is like Disneyland for riding enthusiasts. Everything is bigger, higher – more trails, more jumps, more thrills. The trails are considerably more maintained than our French ones, and it feels good to ride on smooth and well-shaped trails.

There are trails for every taste. For big jumps, speed, and big thrill enthusiasts, go ride and whip the A-Line. For girls like me, who are afraid of these crazy riders who do backflips and ride the A-Line without braking at all, Crank-It-Up is for you! Anyways, if you like rock gardens, roots, berms… you’ll find your paradise here.

And I’m not talking about the village, the center of Whistler. It’s so huge. Shops, everywhere. You have both stereotypes: the first one is the girl who loves shopping, and the second is the girl rider who always wants new bike gear. Now, imagine me in Whistler’s streets – for once, my boyfriend is not reluctant to accompany me on my shopping.

After a season in Whistler, I will have tried so many different kinds of trails that I will be able to ride everywhere – or at least, I hope. I have a real desire to improve my skills. And from my weekends in Whistler, my daily rides during the weekdays, and my work at Kona, I live bike, I think bike, I work bike, I dream bike. It’s crazy – and it’s a change compared to my weekly ride when I was in France. One thing is certain: when I return to France, nothing will ever be as it was.

My Work at Kona Bikes

In last week’s article I told you about my colleagues. I work closely with the marketing team. But what’s marketing, you may say? The marketing team here at Kona works on a wide variety of different projects. On the surface level, you would be able to see that they manage the Cog blog, where I am publishing my articles, as well as Kona’s global social media channels. They write and photograph and make videos throughout the year, and also do communication for employees, dealers, and customers. They answer all of your requests too. And many other things I will discover in the next few months.


On a daily basis, I help them on the social media and the blog. With my fran-glish, it’s a little bit complicated, but some of my posts are liked by more than 3,000 followers, it’s not too bad. I have fun playing with Kona’s Instagram: I can test and learn with an account followed by more than 80k followers. I enjoy that lot!

My Most Important Work

Then, the most important part of my work for these first weeks is to translate in its entirety the writing for the 2018 website into French. It’s super cool and one of the perks here is that I can have a look at all the new models for 2018, which makes me dream, sweet!

But don’t get me wrong, translation is not an easy job! Even if I’ve done a lot of translation in my studies at school, it’s always more difficult when it’s the reality, for a real website, and it’s complicated. For example, how do you translate singletrack, or shred, or flat mount into French? If you have an answer, I would be pleased to receive it, haha.

In English, one word can mean a lot of things. In French, we like to describe things precisely. For one word in English, you’ll have sometimes six or seven words in French. As a result, to maintain the same number of words in accord with the room dedicated for it on the website, you have to make some choice, or sometimes change the sentence completely to keep the main idea in a different sentence.

In a nutshell, you will understand the website, so enjoy it – maybe even be a bit indulgent. It will be nice that your 2018 Kona website will be translated into French and German and Spanish. You’ll be able to spend even more time on it to read the description of your favorites bikes, in your language.