Cross country racers are sometimes known for doing things the hard way. After all, they don’t blink at pedaling uphill. They do “warm-up” and “cool-down” rides before and after a hard race. They ride up and down in the hot, the cold, the wet, the dry, it doesn’t matter. Kona Endurance Team riders Barry Wicks and Spencer Paxson are no strangers to doing things the hard way, but this week Barry (along with fellow racer and longtime friend, Carl Decker) took that concept to a whole other universe. While Spencer covered the roughly 1,200 miles between Bellingham and San Dimas in a Boeing 737, Barry and Carl completed the roughly 600 miles and 40,000 feet of climbing from San Francisco to the start line at Bonelli Park. Spencer’s trip took about 3 hours and about 2,000 gallons of jet fuel. Barry’s trip took 8 days and 7 nights and way more than 2,000 calories per day.


In any case, it’s a testament to the zany style Kona has always brought to all spectrums of the mountain bike scene, always showing up for a good ride. Barry’s ‘warm-up’ should be sufficient, and Spencer’s combo of fitness and freshness should be just right for going really fast. Barry and Spencer line up Saturday afternoon. Spencer will be hunting for a top-finish at the sharp end of the race as the US Olympic qualification period ramps into high gear. Barry will be unleashing all the fitness he has generated from the Redwoods to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Stay tuned for results and content from the race on the Kona COG.