Kona Fall 2016 Demo Tour heads to Ogden, Utah this weekend

The Fall 2016 Demo Tour heads to Whitefish, Missoula and Bozeman in Montana this weekend. If you are in the area, get your helmet, pedals, ID and head to one of the venues to demo our latest bikes. All the info is on the below flyer, you can also head to Konaworld.com to get the full list
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Realizing A Dream On The Lost Coast – Part Two

Upon reaching the coast, I reveled in the ability to pedal once again

Editor's Note: We continue with Part Two in this series. To read Part One, click here.​

Crux No. 2:  Controller Bay

Upon reaching the coast, I reveled in the ability to pedal once again. My dream of riding a fatbike along a coast was now a reality. It was exhilarating to be leaving my tracks in the sand. And oh how easy it was to ride. Our weather was holding with the deep fog lifting ever so slightly to reveal the high peaks which make up the rugged coast of southeast Alaska. Out ahead of us was a wild land of endless adventure. In 2008, Eric Parsons and Dylan Kentch pioneered the route we were currently following. They had traversed the 290 miles in reverse, beginning in the small town of Yakutat and ending 20 days later at our starting point in Cordova. They were subjected to torturous weather and a brutal landscape of impenetrable thickets of vegetation, rocky headlands, endless miles of ever changing sand, precarious crossings of glacial rivers, and tumultuous open bays. We were aiming to duplicate their journey in a mere 11 days. 

Beach riding at its finest...

It was exhilarating to finally be leaving my tracks in beach sand...

Awaking warm and dry on day three in a Forest Service hut, we packed quickly and were on our way by 6:30 a.m. Seeking the advantage provided by a low tide, we made our way uneventfully around Cape Martin. Bouncing our bikes through the slick kelp covered boulders of the cape we made good time. Our sand continued to be supportable allowing us to cover ground quickly. Additionally, our weather was still hospitable with the precipitation-free gray skies.

Though we had no firewood, cooking on our small stoves helped heat the little forest service cabin...

One of the many creatures that call the coastal waters home...

The success of our route depended upon our ability to negotiate bays that were five to eight miles across. These crossings were formidable, especially in small packrafts loaded with fatbikes strapped to their bows. Our exposure to a disaster taking place on the trip was perhaps the greatest during these challenges. If we encountered high winds or large swells, it would take every bit of our skill and experience to survive such a situation. Hoping to somewhat mitigate the risk of a sudden cold water immersion, we each brought light-weight drysuits and homemade blow-up PFDs. None of us wanted to test these pieces of gear, but we hoped they would buy us some time in case of an emergency. 

It wasn’t all beach riding...

Some of our hike-a-bike sections were burly...

Our first big crossing was Controller Bay. Eric and Dylan had found it to be a rowdy endeavor. We came upon the mouth of the bay at low tide. The horizon was dotted with sandbars separating channels of deep water. As I contemplated what lied ahead, I watched Roman, Mike, and Doom inflate their packrafts and plop their bikes across the bows of their rafts. In the blink of an eye, they were paddling across the short stretches of water with their unsecured bikes balanced precariously. A slight shift of weight from an unexpected gust of wind or body movement could result in a sudden capsize with both person and bike floating in the sea water. Following suit, I tried my hand at this “disaster” style technique as was coined by my fellow crew members. 

Trying my hand at the “disaster” style technique... —Photo courtesy of Steve “Doom” Fassbinder

Having strapped his pack to the bow of his raft, once on the other side of a channel Roman would put his pack on with his packraft sticking straight up in the air and remount his bike to ride to the next crossing. Adapting to his style, we quickly made our way into Controller Bay, paddling from one sand bar to the next. After several disaster style crossings, we came to a channel that was too expansive to safely cross without a little bit more security. Removing the front wheels of our bikes to allow for more extension in our paddle strokes, we strapped the bikes to the rafts and commenced the half-mile paddle to what was indicated on our map as Kanak Island. We were nearly half way across Controller Bay, and the going had been easy thus far.

Roman demonstrates his unique style of riding with a packraft...

Once landing on the island, we stood up from our low perches in the rafts to look at the bay beyond. To our surprise, the bay was a vast plain of sand flats dotted with pools of water. Our tide was still out, but coming in quickly. Deflating and stowing our rafts, we began the race against the clock to pedal the final miles to the mainland before the rising waters caught us in the middle of the bay. Absorbed in our thoughts of what would happen if the tide caught us short of the coast, we cranked on our pedals with a tenacity brought on by purpose. As I stared across the glimmering pools of water and sand to the thin veil of green on the horizon, I willed the bike forward hoping the far off landmark would quickly grow in size. 

With the tide out, Controller Bay was a vast plain of wet sand...

After what seemed like an eternity, I pedaled to the edge of a deep channel of water which was the final obstacle separating us from reaching the high ground of the mainland. We would have to inflate our rafts to overcome this final challenge. Laying my bike on its side, I quickly removed my packraft from its place on my Salsa Anything Cradle and began inflating it. Within 30 seconds, my bike, which had been dry, was now beginning to float from the incoming waters. With a renewed sense of urgency, I captured and squeezed air into my raft. Looking behind me, I saw the others stopping to inflate their rafts as well. Roman was just a silhouette on the horizon, still pedaling. He was going to have a bit of a paddle. With my raft mostly inflated, I recovered my bike and balanced it across the raft for my final disaster style crossing of the day. Wahoo! Controller Bay was crossed. The reward for our efforts was a stunning coastline of vibrant lupine, fireweed, and raspberries. The smell of the flowers was as intoxicating as the myriad of colors dancing across the horizon. What a day!

JB prepping for the final crossing to the mainland. Notice his tracks being overtaken by the rising waters...

An unbelievably beautiful reward for our pedal across the bay...

Lupine...

Fireweed...

JB getting lost in the beauty...

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TO BE CONTINUED...

Click here to read Part One...

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EWS Valberg, France by Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team

It seems like a while ago since the last race in the Enduro world series so it is fair to say that everyone was excited to get back between the tape and go racing again. Valberg, the venue for round 7 is situated in the southern alps just an hour and a half drive up the valley from Nice, France.

EWS amp 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

After the first day of practice, all of the riders came back with big smiles on their faces after realizing what amazing trails they were going to be racing on. Even after the big liaison up to stage three, where everyone was greeted with amazing views at the top and a great 15-minute trail to the bottom of the valley, everyone quickly forgot about the climb up.

EWS amp 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

For the last day of practice, the clouds came rolling in with some heavy rain making the trails very tricky, much to Gary and Robin's delight. But due to the bad weather, the race organizers decided to cancel the prolog and removed stage two from the race. This was a really good move as riders would have quickly gotten cold and struggled to even finish the race if the conditions would have remained as it was on Friday.

EWS amp 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

With practice all wrapped up and a night with no sleep for our mechanics everything was in place for two days of racing.

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

First one on the course was our Chilean U21 rider Pedro Burns ”AKA” Batman who was maybe not feeling completely at home in the slippery European conditions but he managed to pull off an amazing ride to finish 9th overall against all the fast french riders.

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

"I felt great racing in France, the bike was working great and the atmosphere on race day was amazing with all of the people. I hope I can improve a bit for Finale Ligure and end my season well". - Pedro Burns

The result also moved him up a spot in the overall series to 4th overall so he should be happy with his weekend.

Next on course for the team was the flying Scotsman Gary Forrest who had been looking really comfortable in the wet conditions during practice. The stages of day one were very long which was maybe more than what Gary's back could handle at race pace but with a good day two, he managed to pull a lot of time back and finished up in a respectable 46th overall.

"The trails were so much fun this weekend. Just a bit gutted it was not still raining on the race days as I put mud tires on for day one which was a bad move as the trails had dried out loads and ended up overcooking a few turns. Overall I was happy with my riding and really felt up to pace in practice and simply enjoyed it." - Gary Forrest

Gary is also the rider featured in this weekend's race video getting a bit of insight into his approach and what he has been through the last year:

Race weekend in Valberg with Gary Forrest by NiklasWallnerphotography

Carolin Gehrig was riding really well with the positive smile she always keeps on her face and was even more pleased with the trails drying out on race day. Struggling a bit to find her rhythm in the race she still pulled off a great 7th place finish and sent the final jumps to please the crowds.

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

The race in Valberg was one I looked forward to the most. The trails in the area are familiar to me since we rode through it with Trans-Provence earlier this year and I absolutely love the technical and fast alpine trails. My race didn't really go to plan, I had a hard time to find my race speed and made a lot of mistakes. The wet roots caught me out more than once and I lost a bit of self-confidence on them which is not what makes you go fast. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the amazing trails and the great atmosphere in France. Upwards and onwards to Finale now! I'm excited for the season finale in two weeks, before that I'll be charging batteries with some beach time and gelato and I'll be ready to rumble come race day.” - Caro

Anita was looking set for another podium after day one of racing but with a costly detour into the bushes early on stage seven she slipped back to fourth only 2 seconds back from the podium but scoring valuable points and keeping her third in the overall series.

EWS amp 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

Long physical descents are what I love most and where I can perform my best. So I knew that I had all that was needed for this race and I set my goals high. I had a great first day of racing with 3rd place finishes in every single stage. Whereas the infamous "grey earth" stage was my favorite of the weekend, the fast ravines are just from another world and the crowds were amazing. A big unplanned encounter with some bushes made me lose a lot of time which I couldn't make up for on the last stage, although I put everything I had on the line. 3 seconds off of the podium is painful but makes me even hungrier to attack again in Finale Ligure." - Anita

Robin Wallner was riding really good in practice and on a bit of a high after his performance in Whistler. After day one he stormed into 13th with some top ten stages and was looking good until he had a mechanical on stage 6 which was costly and crashed on the last stage trying to make up time but pulled off a spectacular 17th in the overall in the end and held onto 12th in the series.

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

"I had such a good time racing in Valberg so I was quite bummed not being able to keep it together on race days. I feel like I've got the formula one mechanic skills required for enduro racing now sorting my bike out after stage 6 where I had to cut my chain down, straighten my front disc up in order to have some front brake and just made it up to stage 7 on time so that was probably my best performance of the weekend, haha. I feel like my riding is good, my bike is good and i am looking forward to the last round of the year in Italy, now to bring it home." - Robin Wallner

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

With another solid weekend where everyone finished in one piece, we also found out that we got another team podium with a 3rd on the weekend which strengthened our 2nd place in the overall team standings.

We would like to send a huge thank you to our trusty mechanic for the last two years Jake Law since this was his last round with the team. Good luck in your future ventures and whatever is next Jake we have all appreciated your hard work.

EWS 7 2016. Valberg France. Photo by Matt Wragg.

Now we are really looking forward to the last round of the year in Finale and ending the season on a high.


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A Jaunt Through The Park With The 2017 Private Jake

It’s a gravel racer, a bike packer, a commuter as well as a good old-fashioned race bike. Developed to meet the needs of the modern privateer CX racer, the Private Jake is a versatile bike that possesses a very purpose built cyclocross racing design philosophy.  The geometry is designed around CX racing and fast days
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