Bike Packing in Finland: Not Far From Home II – Destination North

Metaphorically there may not be a better way to justify the ebbs and flows of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ride the waves in their own, unique way. Erkki Punttila knows that the best way to reset is to embrace the tides and sail away into a different mindset.

The setting is the far north of Finland in the Lapland area. It’s north of the arctic circle. It’s dark and cold; exactly what you think northern Finland would be like in the depths of autumn, except it’s also stunningly beautiful. Erkki’s path has led him to sell most of his possessions and move his life onto a sailboat.
The S/y Sanibonani was built in South Africa in 1978. She has a luxurious history of cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but now she’s finding her home in the cold waters of Finland. “Living aboard a sailboat has been a great experience,” Erkki said. “Extremely limited storage space makes you focus on the stuff you really need. Enjoying a sunset with good coffee really beats having eight pairs of shoes you never wear and a metric ton of random stuff around you.”
Erkki’s preferred method of transportation while in port is his Unit X. “I had the Unit on deck ready for grocery runs and the occasional bike packing trip,” he said. “In the spring, the boat was still bound in the ice so I had to haul 20-litre diesel canisters for the heater with the bike, which was no problem with a sturdy front rack.” Erkki’s need for adventure runs deep and recently, he took his Unit X to explore Finland’s largest national park, Lemmenjoki.
Known for its gold-digging claims, Lemmenjoki spans 2,850 square km and is peppered with huts where travellers can spend the night out of the extreme cold. 

Follow along with Erkki as he traverses Lemmenjoki National park during Finland’s centennial year alongside herds of reindeer and takes in the astonishing views from one of Finland’s greatest treasures. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to get lost in the beauty of nature.



Watch Erkki’s previous video here, another amazing journey.

Out Of The Box With Connor Fearon And The Hei Hei Trail

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Sometimes you’ve got to get out of the box. Live a little. Breathe. And then shred.

Connor Fearon certainly knows how to shred.
Connor Fearon certainly knows how to shred.

The Hei Hei Trail is an out of the box thinker, like many of Kona’s bikes. Everyone who swings a leg over one notes that it outrides its numbers, surpassing their expectations of a trail bike’s capabilities.

Connor Fearon rides the Hei Hei Trail in picturesque British Columbia terrain.
Connor Fearon rides the Hei Hei Trail in picturesque BC terrain.

Light and efficient with its full carbon frame and Fuse suspension design, snappy and playful on the way back down.

The base level Hei Hei Trail 27.5" retails for $6199.
The base level Hei Hei Trail 27.5″ retails for $6199.

While the Fuse suspension design is shared with our race-ready Hei Hei cross-country bike, the Hei Hei Trail, with 140mm of travel and 27.5′′ wheels, is a completely different beast. It’s the kind of bike that challenges preconceptions, and redefines what a bike in this class can do.

The Hei Hei Trail DL retails for $8999.
The Hei Hei Trail DL retails for $8999.

RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX AND UNDER OUR WORLD CUP RACER:

With the Hei Hei Trail’s lineage, it may have been expected of us to produce a video featuring one of our Endurance Team racers. But the reality is, this bike may just get you out of your box, thinking differently about the Hei Hei name from which this bike found its lineage, and pedalling to places you previously considered outside that box.

The box metaphors don't seem to apply so much to Connor.
The box metaphors don’t seem to apply so much to Connor.

So, we sent World Cup downhiller Connor Fearon into British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains with the Hei Hei Trail. And what we came out with was exactly the proof we needed that this bike doesn’t belong in the box, but up in the hills, getting loose. We tend to think you’ll agree.

Up in the hills sounds good to us!
Up in the hills sounds good to us!

HEI HEI TRAIL DETAILS:

All three Hei Hei Trail models feature the same Kona Race Light full carbon frame. From the top-spec Hei Hei Trail Supreme through the Hei Hei Trail DL and the Hei Hei Trail, you can expect to find wide rims, great tires, and high quality suspension components. No matter which model you choose, you can be assured it’ll be ready to shred right out of the box.

The top of the line Hei Hei Trail Supreme.
The top of the line Hei Hei Trail Supreme.

You can find more information on the Hei Hei Trail here.

Ashes to Agassiz – Official Trailer

It’s a real barnburner. A man at the top of his professional prowess, his mountain bike a natural extension of him, one of the best riders the sport has ever seen.

But like all great heroes, adversity comes a knocking. For Graham Agassiz, a relatively benign descent—one he’s done a hundred times before—decided to reach out with its wicked limb and smack him down. Shove a fat slice of humble pie in his face.

With his neck broken and a career in jeopardy, the road back to the top comes with dangers and demons along the way.

A film by Sherpas Cinema Presented by: Monster Energy In Association with: Kona, SRAM, Giro, Pinkbike

Available on digital download August 25th.

Tegan Molloy, Junior Downhill World Champ!

Tegan Molloy (NSW) has won the World Champion crown in the Junior Women’s category of the Downhill UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Hafjell, Norway.

After qualifying 3rd fastest on Friday, the reigning Australian Champion today was untouchable on her way to the title.

Molloy leapt onto the world stage in 2013 with a Bronze Medal at the Pietermaritzburg World Championships.

Day6_DH--Tegan_Molloy_Smile--credit_Jason_Stevens
Congratulations, Tegan!

She carried this form into 2014 and has been the standout junior female on the UCI World Cup Series, with five World Cup wins from seven races on the way to being crowned the overall 2014 World Cup Series winner.

On race day, Molloy was the first rider down the tough Hafjell course.

The course terrain throws the perfect mix of challenges at riders including untamed rock gardens, flowing berms, high speed runs and large jumps.

Compared to seeding, Molloy was the fastest junior woman of the week at every time-check, and her time of 4:16.816 would put her in the hot seat.

Day6_DH--Tegan_Molloy_Air--credit_Jason_Stevens
Tegan Molloy on fire, winning the World Champs!

A nervous wait would then take place as she watched the remaining riders in the field descend out of the forest and through the finish arch.

Her time would hold up today and she took the win by a significant 6.225s, earning the World Championship title and the right to wear the prestigious UCI rainbow stripes.

The 18 year old hails from the hills of Jindabyne and trains at Thredbo, an iconic destination in the sport in Australia for over 20 years.

The french pair of Viktoria Gimenez and Marine Caribou would ultimately win Silver and Bronze respectively.

Day6_DH--Tegan_Molloy_Podium2--credit_Jason_Stevens


Junior Men

The day for our Junior Men would belong to Max Warshawsky (QLD) who raced strongly to spend time in the hotseat and finish just one step off the podium in 4th place.

Six Australian junior riders started today’s finals with Matthew McCorkell (ACT) withdrawn due to an injury in seeding.

Warshawsky, 18 years of age from Mooloolah in Queensland will never forget his maiden World Championships.

Max Warshawsky, top Aussie junior in 7th place.
Max Warshawsky, top Aussie junior in 4th place.

He had a solid, clean run today that was the fastest at the time (3:37.721) and earned a long stint in the World Championships hotseat.

He would ultimately be replaced by Jacob Dickson of Ireland who would go on to finish third in 3:36.384.

Aiden Varley (VIC) also had a great day following up on a strong seeding time to finish his Championship race inside the top ten in 7th place (3:41.341).

Day6_DH--Aiden_Varley--credit_Jason_Stevens
Aiden Varley, 7th place.

Andrew Crimmins (NSW) is the reigning National Junior Champion and was Australia’s highest-ranked junior male leading into finals day.

Andrew Crimmins
Andrew Crimmins into 17th after a disappointing crash.

Today wasn’t to be his day with a crash during his race run seeing one of the pre-race favourites finish 17th.

Also representing Australia were Benjamin Dengate (ACT) who finished 19th, Jackson Davis (WA) finishing 21st and Ben Hill (TAS) 41st.

Ben Dengate
Ben Dengate

The Junior Mens’ World Championship title would be won by Loris Vergier of France (3:29.090), with Great British rider Laurie Greenland (3:34.080) in second.

Junior Downhill Results – 2014 World Mountain Bike Championships
Junior Women
1. Tegan Molloy (AUS) 4:16.816
2.  Viktoria  Gimenez (FRA) + 6.225
3.  Marine Cabirou  (FRA) +28.314

Junior Men
1. Loris Vergier (FRA) 3:29.090
2. Laurie Greenland (GBR) 3:34.080, +4.990
3. Jacob Dickson (IRL) 3:36.384, +7.294

4. Max Warshawsky (QLD) +8.631
7. Aiden Varley (VIC) +12.251
17. Andrew Crimmins (NSW) +16.385
19. Benjamin Dengate (ACT) +18.705
21. Jackson Davis (WA) +20.660
41. Ben Hill (TAS) +29.864

Video: Kona In the Wilds of Maui

Cross-country mountain biking is all about going fast. It’s about racing and winning and beating your buddies and throwing the hammer down.

It’s also about having a blast riding singletrack. We took the racing gear off, and the heart rate monitors, and took our featherlight carbon Kona XC Race Light bikes–the Hei Hei Supreme, Hei Hei Deluxe, and King Kahuna on a little spin through the wilds of Maui. Because at Kona, we can’t make it super fast without having it be really fun.

Super Fast, Really Fun – Kona XC Race Light from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

Video: Kona Factory Team – Shepparton Round 1 VDHS 2013

Callum Morrison takes you on a practice run down the rocky course at Mount Major Shepparton for round 1 of the Kona Victorian Downhill Series.

Tegan Molloy and Cal qualified fastest and Cal who is only sixteen posted a time that would have seen him qualify 13th in Elite men “the boy is quick”. Chris Whitelock took it a little in easy in qualies managing 20th.

In the finals Tegan continued her dominance taking the win by over 15 seconds, and Chris managed to better his position taking 16th. Prior to the U19’s race run the heavens opened seeing the track become quite slick, unfortunately for Cal there was a small mix up with the start list which saw him take off first instead of last. Cal tamed the wet track as best he could however it just wasn’t enough seeing him finish 5th.

All in all it was a great weekend had by all, round 2 will be held in beautiful Granton through the black spur. See you all there.

Kona Factory Team – Australia / Callum Morrison / GoPro Hero 3 / Shepparton Round 1 VDHS 2013 from Ty.Mclean on Vimeo.

Video: Love at First Sight – The New Kona Precept

Sooner or later, love is going to get you. You don’t know when, or how, but when it finds you, nothing on this great green earth is sweeter.

That’s the philosophy we’ve taken to design the new Kona Precept and Precept DL dual suspension trail bikes. This is the entry-level version of our new Process Platform, with great standover, 27.5-inch wheels, plush rear suspension and capable geometry that makes both models, the Precept and Precept DL, very easy to fall in love with. All at a price that will leave you wide-eyed and rosy-cheeked.

Love at First Sight – The New Kona Precept from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

Video: Van Life 2

Ryan Gardner is a Kona Supergrass rider who travels around the United States in his van to race his mountain bike professionally. This video features Knapps Castle trail in the backcountry of Santa Barbara, California.

To make this video we used Magic Lantern software installed on Canon 5D iii cameras to shoot RAW video. This allowed us to gain more dynamic range and make each shot incredibility sharp. We also used a Red EPIC for the slow motion shots and a GoPro 3 for the octocopter and POV shots.

Van Life 2 from Maxwell Frank on Vimeo.

Video: Connor Fearon on the 2014 Carbon Supreme Operator

Coming off of an impressive 10th place finish at the World Cup Finals in Leogang, Austria, Kona Team rider Connor Fearon’s best ever World Cup result coincides with Kona’s best DH result since we launched our Operator platform four years ago.

All season Fearon raced on our brand new carbon fiber Supreme Operator. Featuring a completely redesigned Kona Carbon DH unidirectional monocoque front triangle, the bike represents an insanely light, laterally stiff, wildly plush, race-ready, modern downhill bike. To weather the brunt of crash and shuttle damage, the frame features a 6061 rear triangle and alloy rockers with a lightweight hollow carbon bridge that’s three times stiffer than our previous Operator.

We also changed the kinematics of the Operator’s Beamer Independent Suspension, making it more progressive off the top, helping the bike to stay higher in the travel and recover from hits more quickly. With the industry’s best components, including the new Fox Float 40 fork, this is, quite simply, the most radical ride we’ve ever made. Watch Fearon as he shreds his Team Issue bike through a breakout year on the World Cup circuit. Two new contenders are on the scene.

Connor Fearon on the 2014 Carbon Supreme Operator from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.