Joe Cruz’s “Given by Mountains”

There are small adventures and there are big adventures. They are all good. We believe in the adventures our riders find at the ends of their driveways as much as the ones they find at the ends of the earths.

Here is a video our friend Joe made about his bikepacking expedition (a big word for adventure) to Kyrgyzstan. Joe rides a Seven Treeline SL.

 

Mike I’s Evergreen SL

This is Mike’s Evergreen SL, out in the Rockies. We built him this bike as a collaboration with our good friends at Bike Doctor, Waldorf in Maryland. Bead blasted decals keep this one low-profile. We think it came out great.

Mike says:

Thank you Seven Cycles!  My new Evergreen has been nothing short of perfect.  Colorado just might be its natural habitat.  

Mike I. 

At the Races with Julie Wright

Seven Ambassador Julie Wright checks in with us after a challenging start to her cyclocross campaign that’s taken in both World Cup races and the other big US events.

We just added a Mudhoney SL to her race day equipment.

For those who don’t know me, here are some random and less random facts about me. I race on a small women’s elite team, Team Averica. We’re based out of Boston, though I live in Western MA. My day job is working in analytics in the health care industry. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favorite things. So are bikes, vegetables and swimming. And riding trails. When I decided to get my Mudhoney PRO, my goal was to have a bike that would elevate my level of racing, be fun to ride and be a source of inspiration to work harder. I found all of that and more! I’m beyond excited to have the Mudhoney SL now, which is proving to be another absolutely amazing bike.

I’m fresh off my first block of racing for this cyclocross season! As is expected, there were some ups and downs. The results weren’t what I hoped for, but I’ve learned a ton from the racing and the women in the UCI field.  Two years ago, during my first full season in the UCI field when I was coming up with my cyclocross goals, my ultimate goal in cross was to race in a world cup one day. At the time, I thought it was a long shot. This year, I got to start my season off with not one, but two World Cups, and both right here in the United States. It was an amazing way to start the season.

I made the trip in my little Honda Fit, packed with two bikes, five wheelsets, a trainer, clothes for racing in any imaginable weather and my work gear. I was gone for a solid three weeks, starting the season off in Rochester. I made my way west to Iowa, for the Jingle Cross WC, then on to Wisconsin for Trek CXC WC and then back again for KMC. I knew it would be a trip where the learning curve was steep, but I couldn’t have imagined how steep. I definitely lean toward the type A end of the spectrum and I really wanted a FAQ on traveling for bike racing, what to pack, how to budget, what to expect at a World Cup, and how to calm all the nerves that had been building up since wrapping up the cross season last year in Belgium. The funny thing about racing World Cups is that you don’t pick up your number at a reg table like you do at any other bike race. For those of us that don’t have a DS, we have to find the US representative who picks up our number for us either at the venue the day before the event, or if you don’t find them in time, at their hotel later that night. It’s kind of like Where’s Waldo, except for that you don’t know what Waldo looks like or what he’s going to be wearing. It was an adventure. It turns out Waldo was very nice and he had my numbers.

Lining up alongside some of the fastest women in the world is incredible and a bit terrifying. World champion stripes have the ability to be a little intimidating. We also had Annika Langvad, the 2016 XC MTB World Champion lining up. It took some practice reminding myself that I belonged there and that it was still pedaling around in circles like any other bike race.

Here’s my bike, post trip. It’s also a good metaphor for how I felt after the road trip back from the Midwest…

This past week, I’ve been camped out at home, enjoying some more of my favorite things: sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my kitchen, drinking coffee slowly, getting out on some long rides and mixing in rolling dirt roads, as well as beginning to work on the long list of things I learned I need to work on from the trip. Lots of turning practice!

With Summer Receding

It was cold in New England when we woke up this morning. It was a pleasant change from the tropical, late summer heat we’d been pedaling through. It was also a reminder that the summer, despite the weather, is quickly receding. It’ll be October when we unlock the shop door on Monday.

We are still in the thick of building our 20th season’s worth of bikes and still basking in the gratitude of being able to do what we do. Our riders call and write. They stop by to visit, to see the shop, and it reinforces for us how valuable the bike is as a way to connect to people with cycling. The bike is almost secondary. Almost.

We thought we would celebrate 20 years more, but the truth is we are as busy as ever, with our heads down building bikes. It’s the bike-builder equivalent of the paceline rider only lifting his or her gaze when coming to the front of the line.

The cold morning air coming in at the window woke us up. What a great season it has been, again. What cool bikes we’ve been able to deliver, and at the root of it all, what nice people we’ve been able to meet.

As some of the crew in the shop has begun racing cross over the past few weeks, our riders are also shifting gears, thinking of cross, mixed-terrain, mountain, plus and fat bikes for the end of the calendar year. Of course, it’s always sunny and warm somewhere, so we’re not done building the many varieties of road bike we make either.

A shift in seasons is usually bittersweet, right? Part of you rues the swift passing of time and regrets not having done more, the other is excited for the things the new season brings. Mostly we feel that excitement. We are moving forward so quickly, with new bikes, new forks, new industry partnerships that will deliver even better bikes to our riders, that it’s hard to think much on the summer. Something new is blowing in the window, and we can’t wait to see what it might be.

Jeremy Kampp on the Snoqualmie River

You get the sense that Washington State alone contains a lifetime of riding. Road. Trail. Everything in between. Thousands and thousands of miles of it. Here, Seven Ambassador Jeremy Kampp shares another little slice of his home state with us:

Seven months and over forty inches of rain might have been a dream as I awake to a spectacular 5:20am sunrise in May.  A weather window with the temperature in the 70’s leaves me thinking about an adventure combining riding and fishing rather than riding and layering against the dampness.

Have I told you about the enormous brown trout that I hooked but got away? Oh yeah, that fishing story has been told before.  This story involves my Mudhoney SL bike and tenkara fly rod to explore along the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River and the fishing holes yet unseen.

Scattered white cumulus clouds sail above the snowy peaks. Deciduous trees reach for space between the towering evergreens with their apical buds of light green yielding little.  At the trailhead I can hear the river rapids running over the cobbles before I can see the green flow.  Water, food and rod on my back I accelerate up the road on my bike, ecstatic to be riding in the sun.  The thrill of riding is timeless and the freedom to roam is cherished.

Through the forest on a trail and over a suspension bridge reveals a swollen snowmelt river.  Sandbars to fish from won’t be available for two more months.   I fish eddies on the main river, make a note of holes that will be prime for trout in 1-2 months, and then seek smaller tributary creeks to fish.

Riding a winding singletrack trail with blue butterflies flitting near the drying mud I cross several streams along the way.  Rock hopping is easy. Wading is cold and sometimes necessary.  In the end the fish swim free, I am energized by the day of exploration and the dream of the next trip forms as I ride down the long tree shaded road towards home.