Kona is a company that has a solid grasp on what the bike is about; not fashion, not trends, but a tool for adventure, a means to an end. Finnish bedouin Erkki Punttila wanders with lust on his new Unit and ends up Not far From Home.
Words by Erkki Punttila – Photos by Teemu Lautamies
I really love exploring new places with my bike, but I also constantly hear the call of the sea – why not combine the best of both worlds? First enjoy a nice evening cruise and then hit the trails with your lights on and find a peaceful spot to camp. My boat is an old fishing boat and has a 5.4 litre truck engine from 1972 that has proven to be quite “reliable”. They are somewhat simple machines after you get to know the basics of maintenance and repair. Just like bikes. Remember your first wheel build? Slightly scary at first, but very rewarding at the end.
INTO THE NIGHT
On longer bikepacking trips it would be ideal to find a camp site before the sun goes down. It just makes things easier. But sometimes it’s fun to ride in a pitch black forest with your lights blazing. Your focus shifts from the scenery to the trail and its obstacles. And what better way is there to scare yourself shitless than startling a sleeping moose just a few meters from you?
A few tips for night riding:
– Set up your lights before it gets dark. Then you can just turn them on and keep going.
– Know your gear. How long does the battery run on low/medium/full power?
– Conserve power. On roads you can use the low setting on your lights and then turn it up when the trail gets nasty.
– Always have a backup light source so you can continue if one fails. Probably the best option is to have a hub dynamo powered light for riding and recharging your GPS/phone/headlamp during the day. And a good quality waterproof headlamp for camp activities.
– Know where your gear is. Try to memorize all of your stuff when packing and always pack things in the same place. You can then find spare batteries or your multitool even with your eyes closed.
– Pack wisely. Having your shelter in one place with easy access is nice. I keep my tent as the first thing in the handlebar bag along with a dry base layer. Dry clothes, shelter, food, sleep.