Kona Bikes has been a busy bunch. Its line of Process bikes have been a huge hit—see our double review in the current issue—but it isn’t exactly coasting.
The brand has recently opened a flagship bike shop in its home town of Bellingham, Washington. It will carry, naturally, Kona bikes, but it will also serve as the public face of a company that takes pride in being down to earth. Very few, if any of its dealerships carry all the brand’s dizzying array of models, so it wanted somewhere that it could show off everything from a $5,000 mountain bike to a $500 hybrid.
Though the brand based in the US, Kona has deep roots in Canada, especially in British Columbia. Known as the premiere backcountry ski and snowboard destination in the area, Retalack Lodge has been making big moves into the bike market in the last few years, and if you’re a fan of web series like Life Behind Bars you’ve seen it featured prominently. Kona has signed an exclusive deal with the resort with free demos for guests aboard carbon Supreme Operator downhill bikes.
About an hour north of Nelson, B.C., the resort features a growing network of gravity and enduro trails in a tenure that is spread over more than 2,278 square miles. With descents that drop 6,000 feet off of remote mountain peaks straight to the lodge, it’s an other-worldly riding experience. It amounts to the largest commercial backcountry mountain-bike destination in the world. It’s also one of the greenest, operating entirely on a hydroelectric generator powered by a nearby creek, which along with other initiatives, has earned it a 4 Green Key eco rating.