Monday, September 12, 2011

Kona Luau Launch

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I returned from Kona-world’s Luau Launch (or Bellingham, Washington as it’s know to most) but I had to throw a few words on the web page about how fantastic it was.
Bluedog was recognized as a top Kona dealer and I was flown out to the “PNW” to spend three days with the gang from Kona. While there I rode some amazing bikes on amazing trails, ate like a king, drank like a very very thirsty person, and checked out the 2012 line-up.
Kona is a bike line that we at the shop have always been excited about, but now we’re ready to take the excitement to the next level. It was great to learn about the Kona philosophies and how tight the crew is. Kona is more like a big bike shop than a company, and if you’ve ever worked at a bike shop before or witnessed some of the antics you’ll appreciate that statement even more.
I learned a lot about product design, manufacturing, and changes we’re about to see. We were encouraged to think of questions for the owners and designers and spent couple of hours getting answers. Some design decisions were made in that very room based on what the dealers wanted. The business part of the trip was great.
The play part of the trip however was better than I had even hoped it would be. Each day after the business part wrapped up, we hit the trails. Day one I rode a Hei Hei 29er, and day two a King Kahuna. Both days we rode for several hours on Galbraith Mountain. The trails on “Galby” are off the hook with super flowy, bermed out corners, doubles everywhere, and wooden features that challenged everyone. From the top of the mountain we had huge views of a snow covered Mt Baker to the east, the San Juans to the west, and Canada to the north, and the downhills took at least an hour each to rip. Fantastic.
At the risk of dispelling the myth that working at a bike shop is always fun and never work, sometimes we can get a little burnt out by the end of a busy season, but this trip got me so fired up again that I can’t wait to finish typing this so I can go for a ride.

Follow the link below to check out the write up and the crazy photos on the Kona page.

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