Catching Up With The Kona Adventure Team


For 2018 Blackburn has teamed up with the folks at Kona to sponsor the Kona Adventure team. The team is a collection of elite athletes for whom racing XC just isn’t enough riding. They also rides TO and FROM select races, camping along the way. Recently we caught up with rider Barry Wicks to find out a little more about what makes these guys tick.

How did the Kona Adventure Team get started?

The inspiration for the Adventure Team started 3 years ago. My friend Carl wanted to get into shape after a long snowy winter, so we decided to ride our MTB’s to the first big race of the season. It was a 700 mile journey, and ended up being super awesome. We got lost, rode some questionable routes, and had an awesome time. I decided after that trip I was more interested in the adventure portion of the journey than the race, so the adventure team was born. We travel so much as racers, but never get to really see the locations we travel to completely because we are so wrapped up in the racing aspect of the process. Doing adventure trips surrounding the race events allows us to truly see what is on offer in all the amazing locations we travel to, and also allows us to be relatable to a broader spectrum of people. Racing is awesome and we still take it very seriously, but it is not everything. The Adventure Team project allows us to explore and showcase our athletes in more ways and see the world in new, more complete ways. Those are all good things in our minds.

When did the partnership with Blackburn get rolling?

Blackburn was one of our very first sponsors. The ethos and ideal that Blackburn creates of getting out there is very in line with the way we go about our adventures. We want to explore, see the world, and share our experiences with others. Partners like Blackburn help us out with the equipment that makes these trip possible, and help us spread the stoke through the world.

What is your favorite (mis)Adventure story?

Every Adventure Trip we go on seems to be labeled as “The Best Trip!” Creating the memories with close friends is the real bonus of these journeys. Each trip has a unique flavor, and so far we have been blessed with incredible fortune when ever we venture out into the world. A recent example is finding an intact bottle of water laying a road bed in the middle of the desert right when we were in desperate need of it. Its amazing how the universe provides things in unexpected ways. We feel fortunate to be there to observe and appreciate them.

Who is on the team? What interesting characteristics does each rider bring to the table?

The team is made up of Six Athletes, all from an endurance background. We have 2 Canadians, Kris the Tug Boat Captain and Cory the former Juniour Hockey Player, We have Kerry the southern Gentleman, Spencer the Nerdy scientist, Patrick the photographer and Myself. The athletes that make up the team truly are the special sauce that enable us to get these trips together and make them happen. I come up with the most trips, but we would not be able to execute any of them without the team drawing together all our experience and abilities.

What are some of the team goals for 2018?

The team goals is to do rad shit! We are always searching and scheming new ideas and projects, and with each successful completion we are spurred on to even loftier journeys.

Favorite bit of Blackburn Kit?

My favorite bit of Blackburn Kit is the Tire Plugger tool and the Outpost Handlebar Bag. With these two items, we can basically do anything.

How can folks keep up with your adventures?

You can follow along on our journeys here:

Instagram: @konabikes
Facebook: The Kona Bicycle Co

Athlete Instagram:
Kerry Werner: @kerryw24
Spencer Paxson: @slaxsonmtb
Cory Wallace: @wallacesworld
Kris Sneddon: @krissneddon
Patrik Means: @patrick_means
Barry Wicks: @wicknasty

Photo by: Patrik Means