Darrin Maxwell from Orange County’s The Path Bike Shop organizes a hard core backcountry ride every year called Push-a-Kona. This is his 8th year doing it. It’s a treacherous route, has a bike weight limit (long travel bikes only) has a great turn out and a lot of involvement. Here’s an explanation of the motivation behind the event from the man himself. This year’s Push-A-Kona goes December 3rd. And oh yeah, you’re allowed to NOT ride a Kona, if you have to.

“The reason I do this ride every year has become very clear to me. It brings out riders of all kinds; friends that I have made over the years, XC guys, single speeders and DH’ers. All of them are just plain ol’ MTB’ers like me. How did this start, you may ask? Well, let me tell ya a little story…

I got my first Kona from The Path Bike Shop, back in 2001, after bending and breaking an assortment of different bikes. It was a Kona Bear. Four inches of sweet pedaling, do anything, travel! I built this bike up sweet, with not-so-light, but very sturdy parts. I think it weighed somewhere in the 34 pound range. Over the next couple of years I participated in local endurance events. Then I completely got hooked on longer back country rides – most with hike-a-bike sections and all with steeper than normal descents. Along with the progression of my riding, came moving up with frame travel. First, a Kona Coiler Deluxe, then, my complete all-mountain dream bike! My 2004 Kona Stinky Deluxe! I pedaled that bike everywhere!

Most of the “organized” endurance events were very XC oriented, with lots of fire road climbs, descents, and also a top dollar entrance fee. I thought, shoot, I’ll just put on my own ride! And Push-A-Kona was born! The spirit of the ride is to show up on a “do anything” bike. A bike that the rider is just as comfortable climbing to the top of the mountain for 2 hours, throwing up on a shoulder and hiking, then descending that mountain with whatever said mountain decides to throw at you! Steep and loose, drops, chunk, it’s all good FUN!”