From Ride Report

Capital Forest CDC Race Report

Last weekend the Kona Supremes (minus Amanda-conda and Steph-dog) headed down to Capitol forest in Olympia for their 3rd race in the CDC series. This race snuck up on us. July has been filled with multiple Squamish/Whistler trips and also a crazy wedding. Somehow the Supremes all managed to pull this one off.

the wildflowers were everywhere around capital forest

 

Stage 1. Capitol Peak Trail.

Stage 1 was the start of the race for Expert and Pro, and the second stage of the day for everyone else. It was the beginning of the never ending pedal that took us to some towers at the top of the capital forest area. The stage started with a fast, loose and gnarly rock garden section. A few tires were sacrificed during this part of the stage, and in the race, Delia took a hard slam. She ended up with bad bruises, deep scrapes, but is tougher than nails and was able to finish out the race with Hannah, and bham friends Forrest, and Harrison.

Getting some quality first aid from the volunteers at cap forest.

 

This stage also had a couple of super punchy climb sections. There was one that was so difficult that I got off my bike. After each punchy climb section I had to convince myself that I was okay and calm down.

Delia rallied through her injuries and finished the day strong!

Stage 2. Lower Twin Peaks.

This stage was a nice continuation of stage 1. This trail was a little faster than stage 1 which was a plus. While waiting in line some little boy told me there was a big rock roll. This was not true and I was deeply disappointed.

All smiles after a gnarly crash on stage 1. Delia is one tough chica!

 

Stage 3. McKenny Trail

Stage 3 was reserved for Expert and Pro racers, although it wasn’t the hardest or most technical trail of the day. It did add quite a bit of extra pedalling to get to the start and the trail itself was quite pedally also. It had one fast steep section at the very end that was one of my favorite parts of the race.

catching some air off a roller in stage 4. Photo: Rob Topol

 

Stage 4. Little larch.

Stage 4 started with a climb up a short road and up a short little climb trail. This stage was fast and flowy, also the steepest trail (which was not very steep 🙁 ) There were a lot of fast corners that I wish I would have known where they were. Next time I’ll actually pre-ride the race course.

The dirt was fast, dry, and loose

There was also a couple of forks that were necessary for getting a fast time on this stage. The fastest combination was left right left, but I forgot this mid run and just choose the path that looked most fun. On the first split, there was a skinny log ride that bypassed some berms and was definitely the faster line, but was super awkward.

Delia keeps it low over the rollers. Photo: Rob Topol

 

Stage 5. Green Line Trail.

After Micks and I finished Stage 2 we made the long traverse over to the other side of the mountain for Stage 5. This trail is one of the longest stages that I have raced so far in the CDC series. It is about 2 miles long and has 3 brutal uphill climbs. The key to this trail was keeping focus. The trail itself wasn’t hard but keeping pace for that length of time is incredibly hard. This trail brings the endurance in enduro.

Delia finished strong with some battle wounds.

Results!

All of the supremes who made it to this event managed to get a podium finish. Brooklyn got 4th and mickey got 5th in sport, while Hannah managed to get a spot in 3rd in pro. Delia despite going to gnar-town during this race, placed 4th for pro. And mean while…. Steph-dog was recovering from a crash and having some safe wholesome fun paddle boarding, while Amanda was also recovering from a crash and getting ready for the annual Kona product launch in Squamish, BC 🙂

Brooklyn took 4th and Mickey snagged 5th but had to leave early before awards

 

Hannah came in 3rd and Delia took 4th despite her gnarly crash and injuries… did I mention she’s tougher than nails?

 

We immediately went down to the creek and spent some time cooling off and cleaning out the battle wounds.

For me this race wasn’t really about the competition because I rode blind. I had a lot of fun spending time with the other sport women. I got a chance to connect with the Bell Joy ride team that weekend. After the race the girls from the other team invited me out to Stevens Pass to ride. It was unbelievably rad to ride casually with girls that are usually my competition.

We are all very much looking forward the the next race on our home turf in the Chuckanuts on august 27! Hope to see you there!

Huge thanks to Chris, Eric, and Rob for the photos, to Nuun for keeping us well hydrated, and to all our fans, friends, and fam for all your support!

-Brooklyn and the Supremes

 

The Kona Supremes Hood River CDC Race Report

This race took place in Hood River, Oregon in a riding area called Post Canyon. Post Canyon has beautiful views of Adams and Mt. Hood, and trails bump up against vineyards and apple orchards. The trail building style is amazing and has a great variety for beginners and experts.
Hood River offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the PNW

The Kona Supremes Tiger Mountain CDC race report.

In very non-PNW fashion, the sun came out for our first Cascadia Dirt Cup race of the season at Tiger Mountain. It started the season off proper with at least 4000 feet of climbing for sport class, 5000 for expert and pro, and around 25 miles of riding.

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Stage 1 was a pedal to the summit for Off The Grid. It’s one of the longest stages, and had all elements; flowy bermimage3s, rock gardens, root sections, and taxing climbs. Amanda and Hannah’s strategy was to ride smooth, consistently, and to maintain a solid pace throughout the whole run to avoid making mistakes due to tiredness.

“Putting down a smooth run on Off the Grid wasn’t my absolute fastest pace, but I felt playful and had way more fun.” -Amanda

Stage 2 started back at the top and was another long pedal-y stage called Preston. It was full of long, fast switchbacks with some high-speed rock sections. Despite being such a long, burly stage, the stoke level was high. Amanda suffered a flat tire from a torn sidewall about half way down losing some time having to ride her rim to the finish.

Stage 3 took us to Joyride and Fully Rigid for an awkward, rooty, turny stage. Delia is currently on the injured reserve and played time-keeper at the end of this stage and heckled flawlessly.

Stage 4 ran on the new trails, Legend and Megafauna. It was the shortest stage, but wasn’t short on steeps and loose berms.

Final Stage 5 for the expert and pro classes was Predator. Climbing back to the top was brutal after already climbing close timage4o 4000 feet. Dropping near the end of the pack and after a super long day meant a loose, exhausting, but incredibly fun descent to the bottom.

“I was so tired by the time we got to predator, it became more important to just ride clean than it did to ride fast and pinned” –H

Despite a flat on stage 2, Amanda still crushed the other stages for a solid finish. Brooklyn and Mickey raced smooth and landed in top 10 for sport. Stephanie took 3rd place in sport and Hannah took 2nd in pro. Delia took the title for world’s best time-keeper, and we can’t wait to see her back on the bike soon!

Our next race is in Hood River, Oregon on May 20th. Follow us on Instagram, facebook, and the blog for updates on our upcoming plans, events, and adventures!

Hannah Bergemann Crushes the Chuckanut Enduro

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The 2nd to last stop for the CDC Enduro series landed in my backyard Bellingham trails in the Chuckanut Mountains. I was especially excited about this race because I am very familiar with the trails in the course and it’s so close. The Chuckanuts are typically known for being wet, rooty, and loamy but… the weeks prior to the race saw little rain and high temps, which caused the trails to be insanely loose and the dirt to resemble moon dust.

Despite rough conditions and hundreds of racers flying down the trails, they were still a blast to race on! The first climb up Fragrance Lake Trail brought us to the summit for stage 1 on Upper Ridge Trail. Upper Ridge’s name is fitting as it meanders along a ridgeline with exposure on both sides. Lots of rough root sections and rock rolls make it a fairly technical trail, but it lacks the steepness of Lower Ridge Trail. After finishing stage 1, a quick transfer around Middle Ridge Trail brought us to the top of Lower Ridge for stage 2. Lower Ridge displays the same technical rocks and roots that Upper Ridge has, but also exhibits a fair amount of steep sections and tight corners. It also has decent exposure on the rider’s right side that shows awesome views of Baker in spots.

After finishing stage 2, we transferred up Salal Trail and Huckleberry Trail to the start of Raptor Ridge for Stage 3. Raptor is a hiking as well as a biking trail, so it’s full of tight switchbacks and long, leg-burning pedal sections. Being the trail I had ridden the least, this was the most challenging trail for me and a very different style than I’m used to. In a tight tree section in the middle of the trail, I clipped a bar and spilled into the bushes. Luckily, I got up unharmed and still managed a decent time for that stage, but I was definitely a little shaken up.

The final transfer brought us along North Lost Lake Trail where we could see Lost Lake between the trees down below us on the left, then we took a sharp right hand turn up Rock Trail. Rock Trail is a steep hiking trail that displays some of the amazing, giant sandstone boulders of the Chuckanuts. Did I mention it’s also ferociously steep and involves carrying your bike up many flights of stairs to get back to the summit. Once back at the top for the final stage, we were all exhausted, with the longest and most demanding stage yet to come. Although the Double Down and Double Black Diamond stage was easily the longest and most technical stage of the day, it was definitely my favorite! It starts off with a fast downhill section that leads into some wide switchbacks. Being so dry and blown out, it was fun to fly around the corners kicking up dust in all directions. The trail is full of fast, root-filled sections that are much more intimidating in the wet. After finishing Double Down and crossing a road, you head into Double Black Diamond, which starts off with a rough entrance to a root drop. Another rock drop follows shortly after with a sizable rut in the landing. Most of the corners on this trail were full of ruts, dust, or both, so it was challenging to ride fast and stay in control at the same time. I reached the bottom with my legs on fire, aching hands, and a huge grin on my face.

After turning in my timing chip, I was stoked to see a first place time in the expert category, and only a few seconds behind the pro ladies! Home-trail knowledge and hard work definitely paid off, and I’m already excited for the final race at Tiger Mountain next month!

Huge, ginormous thanks to Kona Bicycle Co, The Kona Bike Shop, Stoked Roasters, Dakine, 2nd Wind Sports, The Dirty Harlots MTB Race Team, Dirty Fingers Bike Shop, and all my friends and family for all the help and continued support!

-Hannah

chucks enduro podium

HANNAH BERGEMAN AND AMANDA BRYAN RACE THE STURDY DIRTY, PART 2.

Hannah & Amanda went down to Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, WA for the Sturdy Dirty Enduro, and answered some questions for us about the event and their experience. Part one was here, with Amanda’s answers. Below are Amanda’s questions and Hannah’s answers.

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Photo Credit Colin Meagher

 

A: The Sturdy Dirty was your first all women’s enduro, correct? How was the experience compared to the races you participate in like the CDC? 

H: Yeah! It was such a cool experience to race with so many ladies! Racing and riding with other girls really motivates me to try new features and ride harder. The entire event was so rad; the volunteers, the aid stations, the race course… I’m already excited for next year!

A: What was your favorite stage and why? How did the weather conditions change the way you rode the trail? 

H: My favorite stage ended up being the final stage called Predator. It’s considered one of the toughest trails at Tiger because of its consistently steep grade, slick roots, and chunky rock gardens. I managed to have a solid run despite the slick conditions, and the hecklers yelling at the bottom (wearing fairly revealing costumes in the pouring rain) were awesome!

A: How do you handle race day nerves if any at all? 

H: I will often watch some of my favorite biking videos the night before a race to get stoked. Having a teammate to ride the whole race with definitely helped with nerves! Being a female only race helps take away some of the competitive edge that usually comes with racing.

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Photo Credit Chris McFarland

A:  What bike did you race and why? 

H: My Process 111! The 29” wheels help me maintain speed and roll through gnarly sections with confidence. The short travel helps with climbing efficiency, and the Kona Process geometry makes this bike so playful and fun to ride! It’s hard to ride this bike without wanting to hit every little jump and root on the trail that I can find.

 

A: What is your favorite piece of gear? 

H: For this race, I was grateful for my Dakine pads because I took quite a few slams and walked away without any injuries. My mountain hardware jacket kept me dry in the mud and rain. I recently got a High Above hip pack that I’m super stoked about, and it was awesome to race in!

 

A: Care to share what your favorite trail side snacks are during race day? Did you get down on any waffles at one of the aid stations during the race?

H: The aid stations at the Sturdy were pro and served everything from waffles, to jello shots, to chicken wings. I think my IMG_7548favorite was the s’mores station and the tacos at the end!

Hannah Bergeman and Amanda Bryan Race the Sturdy Dirty, Part 1.

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Hannah & Amanda went down to Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, WA for the Sturdy Dirty Enduro, and answered some questions for us about the event and their experience. Below are Hannah’s questions and Amanda’s answers. Part two coming soon will be, you guessed it! Amanda’s questions with Hannah’s answers.

H:  You raced the sturdy last year at Tiger Mountain, how was it different? Better or worse than last year’s event?

A: Going into last year’s race I didn’t really know anyone with the exception of the faces I recognized from attending a pre-ride and a trail day. I think that contributed to the massive amount of anxiety I had going into the race. After the race last year, I left with a pocket full of phone numbers of ladies to ride with which turned into a solid crew to shred within the Seattle area. Having friends to catch up with and a teammate to ride with made this year’s event a lot more fun.

H: Last year you also raced Beginner class, and this year switched to Expert. What inspired that decision? How was racing Expert in comparison to the Beginner category?

A: I registered for the beginner category because I’d never raced before and I had no grasp on where I was in terms of riding ability. I ended up winning beginner -which was super exciting, with plans of racing Sport the following year. The move to Bellingham, WA is what inspired the decision to skip Sport and move into Expert. I love the trails on Tiger and I know them quite well and wanted to make sure that if I travelled the two hours South for the race, I would be able to ride all the trails. Sport cuts out riding all of the new trail called Predator and that’s my favorite one!

H: Do you plan to do any more races this season? Enduro? CX? Cross-country? What races?

 A: I do! I’ll be signing up for a couple more XC races to torture myself. I have a few enduros that I would like to check out like the Capitol Forest and Tiger Mountain Enduro, that is a part of the CDC series and I am really looking forward to the CX season this year with plans of racing the entire MFG series in Seattle.

H: Conditions were absolutely nasty this year for the Sturdy, how did you combat/handle the conditions and weather?

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Photo courtesy of Chris McFarland

A: It was such a sloppy day on the mountain. My main goal was to just survive. All the ladies were in such good spirits though and it was fun to see all the women covered in mud, laughing and having a good time. I felt pretty badass just being on the mountain and being surrounded by stoke even with the gnarly weather.

H: You rode the Process 111 at the Sturdy, why did you choose that bike, and how did it perform for you?

A: I picked it because that Process 111 is so fast! It climbs well and just rips on the down. Having the bigger wheel was awesome in the wet when I didn’t want to leave the muddy ground and had to roll over stuff. It was the perfect weapon for the day except the grittiness took its toll on my drive train.

H: Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions to ensure a good race?

A: My pre-race ritual is to talk positively to myself. I have to remind myself that I am capable and as prepared as I can be. Self-love is key to being successful at anything you do but I think when it comes to racing bikes, it’s easy to start doubting yourself and your ability. The night before, when I can’t sleep, I just replay videos of myself accomplishing a new feature or just a really good rip with friends. Leading up to the race I just shower myself with internal thoughts of love and positive mantras. Being calm and sure results in a good and safe time on the course for me.

H: What was your favorite stage of the race and why?

A: PREDATOR! Coming off of all the other stages, I had to laugh about the conditions and loose riding. I was having a hard day on the trails just trying to holIMG_7541d on and keep the bike upright; along with everyone else, of course. Predator was the last and most technical stage and I was starting to dread it a bit. When I was at the top preparing to drop in, I told myself to be aggressive and breathe. They said go and I put down my most solid run down Predator ever. Near the bottom, Predator has a rock exit that shoots you across the road to the lower half and that’s where everyone watches and cheers. Coming over the top and down that rock and hearing all the “fans” going wild made me emotional! It was so awesome to see how many people came out to support such a great event for the ladies. I still get excited thinking about it.

H: Are you going to let me beat you next year or what??

A: Haha, oh man! I think the weather and knowledge of the trails played out in my favor on this one. We should set up a bet for the next one!

Breakthrough at Burlington!

Dirt Jumping can be intimidating. Navigating the line choices and trying not to get in the way of other riders can be stressful but when you start to get the hang of it, it’s so exciting!

If I’d have made thIMG_7725e solo adventure to Burlington Bike Park, I would have been so lost but I’ve successfully created a regular crew of women always ready to throw down and show me how it’s done. I’ll admit, the last few sessions became a little frustrating as I wasn’t “making a rainbow” or “scooping dog shit” and casing every single jump.

This last session however, was the breakthrough I was looking for. My good friend Angi  Weston and Val Thompson invited me to join them for them for a few hours at Burlington and of course I tagged along (I’ll take just about any opportunity to join in on a lady shred). We strolled into a full house last Thursday. It’s a popular spot to escape the rain and get rad. The Burlington Bike Park has a great progression of different lines for the beginner all the way up to the flip throwing pro. With the foam pit and awesome pumptrack, this is the best place to really focus on specific skills.

 

Anyway, I started to warm up on the pump track before moving to the outside line. This beginner line has a nice roller to pump for speed at the beginning with three easy table tops to clear before rolling into two berms to the end. After rolling and pumping through a few times, I was ready to get airborne. Frustration started creeping in due to not clearing my back wheel. Even with Angi’s tips I just couldn’t bring it all together! I made it up in my mind that I was going to hit that line over and over and over until I cleared it. Try after try I was still hitting mFullSizeRendery back wheel.

On the next go I I pumped into the first tabletop hard and came into the second one hot and then, Click! I sailed off the jump scooped my toes and drove the front end right into the landing. I was so shocked I totally messed up the rest of the line! After coming out of that run I couldn’t even talk about it. My crew was cheering me on and I had a full on buzz. That feeling may rival the way I felt when I got my first trail bike. Maybe.

I hit that line for the rest of the night feeling like such a queen and a badass. Look out big jumps, I’m coming for you.

-Amanda

 

Pay Attention!

Oftentimes I use my time riding alone to think of ideas. Being alone on a mountain bike trail, especially one I’ve ridden a bunch is a great time to take a mental step back from mountain biking and think of other things, so it’s a great time to go over things that have happened, or plan things I want or need to do. Things to write about, like this column, are a perfect example. Sure, maybe I’m phoning in this idea, as I’m literally writing about thinking about things to write about. But hey, this is my space  and I think I have a bit of a point here, kinda sorta.

I mentioned in this post about how music is great to take a step back and let your body do a bit of the riding. This is true and good and valuable information… except when it’s not. I was out riding one day, thinking of ideas of things to write, and was having a day with what i felt were some really cool ideas. Not this one, but some good stuff. I think i started to pay a little more attention to the ideas and not enough to the trail, and I clipped a root with my front tire, with sent me flying. On The Cabin Trail, of all places. Cabin is certainly not the most challenging trail, and one I’ve ridden many times.

After I dusted myself off, I appreciated the lesson that even a more basic mountain bike trail will kick your ass if you aren’t paying attention. Biking keeps you honest, and occasionally you have to pay for trying to multitask, even for an ADD dork like myself. Mountain biking honestly isn’t usually the extreme sport that inhumanly talented and fearless riders like Graham Aggasiz show, at least not for me, but it’s still a bigger risk than a walk in the park. Except for the time I tore a tendon in my ankle walking with my kids, but that’s another matter.

 

 

Easy way to improve a bummer ride.

Do you ever just have a really crappy ride? Don’t lie, you do. With my currently diminished riding schedule, many of my days riding aren’t what I feel they should be. Climbing hurts more than i feel it should, and descending doesn’t have the same flow that I’m used to. This time of year, trails are luckily pretty empty, so I can pedal up the hill nice and slow, with headphones in to keep me motivated, suffering on my own.

A couple weeks back, I was heading up Galbraith and just wallowing in my anguish. It was cold, my asthma was bugging me, and most of all I was just out of shape. I had headphones on, but nothing was clicking. As I got a bit higher, things started feeling a bit better, but still just not quite right. I wandered around in the middle trails that are relatively flat, trying to get my human legs again. I finally felt a bit better, or at least good enough to continue climbing.

 

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Then, something happened. As I started to descend, my ipod kicked in with Revolve by the Melvins, and all was right in the world. Now, I don’t always ride with music, but sometimes it’s the best thing going. The great thing about listening to music while riding is that it can do two totally separate things: One, it can help set some tempo or rhythm for you to focus on, which can keep the pedals moving at a decent clip. Two, it can distract you from your riding. I realize that sounds negative, but sometimes that’s what you need. More often than not, your body and brain know well enough what to do, and your conscious thought can screw things up. A good song can help with that.

If you’re ever looking for an opportunity to have a different sort of ride, put in some headphones and ride when and/or where you won’t run in to too many people, (or just use one ear) and and see how it works for you. It’s not always the solution, but can be a hell of a lot of fun!

 

The Inaugural Squamish Shop Ride.

One day we watched Squamish riding videos in the shop, and that was the day I found out the boys had never experienced Squamish and just about passed out.

Granite slabs were on our radar and we set out the following weekend. How do you feel about road sodas?

First off, we were hosted by Trevor Porter (click the vid!)  at his amazing cabin at the top of the Mamquam trails. Here’s the best part — he’s completely off the grid with hydropower keeping the lights on. We all caught up around a bonfire, spinning big tales in our heads about the rock that awaited us.

 

In the Morning we happily shoveled breakfast into our bellies and pedaled off. Trevor wasted no time playing tour guide and dropped us right into a trail called Cake Walk. What a great introduction to the steep, loose terrain with some wood features and a small (kind of?) jump line. From the bottom of Cake walk, we traversed across the mountain to the Alice Lakes side and directed the fellas towards some classics such as Fred’s and Rupert’s. I failed to mention the rubber chickens on Rupert’s signaling the line option which resulted in watching Kona Bike Shop Manager Matt Hoffmeyer  go off a rock roll blind. He was shitting bricks to say the least. After collecting my sore abs from laughter, I filled him in and we continued on to bigger and better slabs.

Matt Lareau, who is now in the product development group at Kona USA, had his sights on the monster slab (which is described below inthe video) dubbed In N’ Out burger. As we rolled up to the top and looked out over Howe sound, we stood atop the biggest piece of granite our trail bikes would ever skid down. Trevor casually nose manualed down the rock face, so we crossed our hearts and rolled into what I had convinced myself I wasn’t going to do. I made it up in my mind that I just had to do it. Otherwise, my spirit would feel defeated and my brain would never shut up about it.

The Front brakes were being tested as the levers were being pulled to the max. Nearing the bottom of the left line, you are required to make a not so wonderful right turn through loose dirt and polished roots. Standing at the bottom, we all looked up the face of In N’ Out and allowed ourselves to enjoy our own personal buzz.

Over the course of 24 hours we conquered some massive slabs, put back a few cold ones and rolled with a rad crew. During the haul back home to Bellingham, WA, I honestly could not stop grinning from how genuinely stoked I was to be apart of the inaugural Squamish shred for the boys in the bike shop.

-Amanda Bryan

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