Kona 2016 Launch – 6th Annual Kona Ride – Photo Epic

For the last six years running we’ve invited Kona dealers from all over North America to come ride bikes with us in Bellingham, Washington. Sure, there is work to be done as we present to them, in vivid detail, our entire collection of new 2016 bicycles. But of course, there’s some serious fun to be had as well. With our Lake Padden test tracks just minutes away from the Lakeway Inn, featuring the legendary trails of Galbraith Mountain, and great road and gravel loops through picturesque old-growth forest, the riding’s a real treat. And then, when all the “work” is done, well, its time to refuel on great food and good times.

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Kona Product Manager Ian Schmitt walks Kona dealers through the 2016 range.

On night one of each launch (we host two two-day launches over five days), we take the gang out to our Kona USA headquarters, where there’s a pump track, neglin and a blind Humu pinyata competition. On day two we start off with our first ever Big Kahuna Crew awards, where each of our reps recognizes one of their dealers for outstanding commitment to Kona. Then, after meetings and a big afternoon ride on Galbraith, we head down to the Pacific Ocean, for beersbee, corn hole (you need to see it to believe it) and the award ceremony for our annual photo contest (check all the entries out on Instagram #konaride2016), featuring great prizes from Rock Shox, Sram, Fox and Giro.

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The 20 minute mountain bike lap at Lake Padden is the ultimate test loop. Sweet singletrack from door to door.

Over the course of the two launches we played host to nearly 200 dealers and some 260 participants. Some shops are brand new Kona dealers, while others have been selling Kona’s as long as we’ve been in business. From Halifax, Nova Scotia to Knoxville Tennessee, Texas all the way up the Yukon territory in the far Canadian north. What we enjoy the most over the course of the week is the camaraderie, knowledge sharing, and experience that happens when you put people who share deep passion for cycling in the same room. It’s special. There’s something about two wheels and a human motor that brings out the best in people, and every single person in attendance was an absolute joy to have.

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For whatever reason, every year the Kona Ride Launch sees glorious West Coast sunshine. Is it Karma perhaps?

For the first time we invited nine members of the press to join us in the first session. World class publications like Bike Magazine, Peloton, MBR, NSMB, and Dirt Rag were on hand to test out our new fleet of 2016 bikes. Highlights of which are the new Hei Hei Trail, Honzo AL DL, the Roadhouse, and the Private Jake. Look for reviews of these bikes to be hitting news stands and websites in the coming weeks.

From all of us here at Kona, thanks to everyone who helped make this incredible event possible, and all of dealers who took time out of their busy schedules to ride Kona. Photos by Caleb Smith.

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Kona’s Director of Integration, Eddy Marcelet showing off his 2016 Ti Honzo, what he calls, “a natural extension of him.”

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We also had members of Kona’s Endurance Team attend the event. Here Kris Sneddon shows off his new Kahuna DDL.

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Kona Endurance athlete holding off an attack from Sellwood Cycle’s Erik Tonkin. Racing? Of course!

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Kona USA’s Angi Weston leading the way for more and more female shredders working their way into the Kona family.

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Kona legends Dr. Dew (left) and Dan Gerhard put their foosball skills to test.

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Custom Kona trucker hats.

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Sunny days, great food and bikes. Life is good.

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Kona’s Maurey Olsten and Eddy Marcelet place bets on who will be first to split open the Kona piñata.

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Lots of swings and few hits equals tons of laughs.

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A glancing toilet plunger blow to the K, but not enough.

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The Kona USA crew built an all new pump track at our Ferndale headquarters. Serious flow factor.

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Kona Canada shredder, Scott McKay tweaks it out for some nighttime bike park glory.

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Wicknasty draining the big shot.

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Charles Arnold of Gericks Cycle & Sport in Nelson, BC.

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Joe MacKay of MBR cruising on his brand new 2016 Hei Hei DL Trail bike, one that surprised him with its capability on technical trail.

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Kona Product Manager Ian Schmitt getting after it on his Process 111.

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The Kona Ride press camp crew. You know the cycling industry is in good hands when you get to ride with professionals who absolutely love riding bikes.

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The Kona demo tent at Lake Padden, the ultimate testing facility, with gravel, road and mtb tracks at your doorstep. Thanks to Shimano, Fox and Sram for all of the tech support.

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We’ve gone way deep into road for 2016, and judging from the interest in our dealers to demo the new range, we’re pretty excited about Kona Road.

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Out for a spin on the new Esattos, one of our more popular platforms of road endurance models.

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Jonny from Whistler Bike Co leads out the pack on a quick road lap.

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Launch 2 Big Kahuna Crew award recipients.

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Beers? Shotgun? No, not us.

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As the sun set on another incredibly successful launch, we already can’t wait for next year.