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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:23 am 
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PeteC wrote:
I need to get out of North America more often!

How's the Z2 holding up after the rebuild? Still plush, I hope?


Hey man - holding up really well - still super plush and doing the job.

Summer finally turned up this weekend. I managed to get a quick ride in on Friday around the local haunts. Not technically demanding in any way but she's still a ton of fun to ride. As ever, the XCs are excellent.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:49 am 
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Adam_S wrote:
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This slipped under my radar - an excellent recent interview with Mr Green.

https://cyclingtips.com/2016/11/whateve ... -champion/

It's a great overview of the man, the era and challenges across the sport. Sadly there are no Kona pictures but there's a wicked one with Ryder, still sporting the bleach blonde look :D

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I had no idea he had such a serious accident so thank goodness he's still with us. And who knew Seamus organises Ryder's Tour de Victoria? And who knows, maybe we'll see a Green MTB one day... http://www.ironspawn.com/about


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:34 am 
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It's been far too long, 6 years in fact, since I last biked around Bedgebury forest. So much has changed since autumn 2011 personally and in biking; all for the better I might add.

It's the closest trail centre to me but still takes close to 2 hours via public transport and my legs. That's the disadvantage of living in the greater London suburbs and a being mountain biker. That said, it's an easy journey. In this case, a little warm up on my local trails to Orpington station, about an hour direct to Etchingham then a 6 mile road ride including a very nice hill out of the station, onto the A21 and to the centre.

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If you've not been, it's a well equipped location. You can hire bikes, it has a good bike shop, bike wash and most importantly, a very good cafe with excellent sandwiches, hot food and oodles of cake. It's all set-up for biking, but also walking and running.

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The trails are split into 2; blue and red. Blue is a very basic loop, wide and open. Perfect for families and kids. Red is singletrack all the way. There are 2 black elements: bomb-hole / jump parks. I stuck to red.

The flip-side of being well catered is that it's popular and with that, the trails have to be durable. It means at least half, if not more, of the red loop is hard-core paved. I kept saying to myself (and out loud), not enough dirt. Of course it means you can ride it in all seasons and never have any issues.

It's also very easy. It's not technical at all. Sure there are some twisty, narrow sections. There are some good berms and a few short rooty sections but if you're looking to test yourself and really get the adrenaline going then this isn't for you. In addition, I didn't use the granny ring all day. There are 4 or 5 short steep sections but nothing to worry about although there were a few fleeting Voeckler moments :)

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That all said, the result is that you can really give it some beans. You can practice your skills: in this case I improved my jumping, standing / balancing on the rock garden area and lean-in positioning around corners. You can get into the flow of the place and really immerse yourself with the forest.

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I ended up doing 3 laps and l thoroughly enjoyed myself. Once again, me and the bike clicked. We were eating up each section and I didn't have any issues keeping up with and passing many people. I only had one dicey moment, on the last cake run (the very last section) when I over-cooked a corner and whacked a tree with my hip. It was pretty cool to have a few folks comment about the bike :)

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I'm always on the hunt for decent trail centres in the south-east of the UK so if you know of any please let me know! Swinley and Bedgebury are the only 2 I've done.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Location: peak district
8) good to see this out and about


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:49 am 
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Well that was grim on Saturday :lol:

Still, a quick to the LBS to have a steerer cut down and the rear hub on my beast given a once over.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:47 am 
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First proper ride on this at the weekend. Back at it at Swinley. There's something magical riding this bike; me and she just click. Perhaps it's the 19" frame fitting me better than 20". Or perhaps it's the overall light-weight package. Whatever it is, I had more fun on it with less travel, than I did on the Manomano, and I had a lot of fun on that a few weeks back.

It's still a handful and my body would appreciate a smoother ride, but for now, she's perfect in every way.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 6:42 pm
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Location: Essex
Bike looking good,love the colour scheme .Been taking my kona out quite a bit as I have joined a local club.Loving riding a kona,not 100% on my forks and will probably go back to project 2's ..Keep it up ,nice to see another kona lover..


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:00 am 
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Easily my favourite bike in my stable. It really is the nuts. It's such a beast - we had a brilliant time riding around some of the Dales last week. Blessed with epic weather and perfect trails, she killed the chunky decents and was a mountain goat up the climbs.

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One slight change I need to make are the skewers. Much as I love them, they are a fiddle to screw and take on/off when I'm travelling so I'm in the market for some proper nice period correct Ti ones.

Next stop - Forest of Dean - August :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:57 am 
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FOD didn't disappoint. Easily the most I've pushed the bike so far, and probably myself. The blue/red loops at Cannop are brilliant; the right mixture of climbing, technical and down-hill to keep me super-stoked. Over the two days the weather varied from dry to wet and yet - unsurprisingly - the bike*, and for once, me, held up strong. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the quicker you go, the better the bike behaves. It's super-planted, even with the apparently, stiff rear-end. Perhaps it's the 2.1 tyres but I don't have any problems with that at all. It's reassuringly firm, no flex and makes climbing efficient.

*I had fun on the last loop of the weekend. First I twisted a chain link, a solitary link. I have no idea how it happened but some mid-trail bending using the magic link tool did the trick (too much faffle to remove the chain pieces and add new ones). Then, on the very final section of downhill, after giving it some extra beans, I landed a little off camber and dented the rear rim resulting in an instant flat. Good job I've got a spair pair of crossmaxes, although I'll see if I can smooth it out as the walls have a lot of life left in them.

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It still surprises me the state of some of the riders at these centres. I know riding has moved on and that's all good, but surely some folks would enjoy the experience more if they shifted some timber. The amount of complaining on the climbs - none of which were mega-steep - was hilarious :lol: And don't get me started on the Eagle gear :lol:

So what's planned for the rest of the season? I'd like to get back to Bedgebury and give it some proper beans now I've got a lot more riding under my belt, but the South Downs aren't far either.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:10 pm 
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al-onestare wrote:
enc wrote:
Lovely build so far ! What will you do about the long scratch on the down tube ?


Cheers :) Absolutely nothing, it's a proper battle scar along with the paint loss on the rear triangle. Touching it up would make it look like a botch job in my opinion.

Here's another shot of Roland (and Chris Sheppard behind on a Haro). If you're wondering what race this was, I think this was the 1997 nationals at Harwood Hills where he came 2nd. I think Andreas Hestler won (on a Rocky Mountain also sporting slime green Z2's).

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That was most certainly the 1997 Canadian National Championships. I know because I raced in it with Roland, Seamus, Sheppard and Hestler, amongst many others! They were in the Pro/Elite division and I competed one group below in Expert. They were lightning fast, especially in the technical stuff.

Back then I rode for a local bike shop who carried Rocky Mountain so I was all about the Vertex's, but it was the Kona boys and their flashy kit (including bikes like yours) who had everyone talking.

It's also the sick flame paint job that personally started me down the path of choosing to ride mostly Kona bikes throughout the past few decades.


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