Whistler: Steep (Pic: Craig Butler)
For the seventh year, Kona will be the official supplier of bikes to the legendary Whistler Mountain Bike Park. The deal means that Whistler gets 210 special-edition Garbanzo bikes – unique Stab/Stinky derived DH bikes specced specially for the Bike Park – for its rental fleet and guides’ use. Kona also helps in trail development (the Kona Jump Farm will be enhanced for this season) and sponsors all Whistler events including Crankworx, Huckfest, Mudfest and the Loonie Race series.
“Kona has been more than a sponsor for the past six years,” said Whistler Blackcomb’s Vice President of Business Development, Rob McSkimming. “They have truly been a partner in helping us to grow the Park Riding business, not only here in Whistler but all over the world. We are thrilled to be working with them again for 2006.”
Some of the Garbanzo bikes are based on 24in wheel Stinky 2-4 frames, while Stuff 2-4s are also in the rental fleet, so there are decent hire bikes for nippers too. If you don’t want something quite so burly, various other Konas feature in the extensive Whistler fleet.
“We’re very excited to be continuing our relationship with Whistler,” said Kona’s North American Bike Park Guy (yes, that’s his real job title) Kelly Steelman. “By assisting Whistler with bikes, event sponsorship and terrain development, we’re able to draw greater numbers of riders to the park and grow freeriding as a sport. That benefits us all.”