Seven Cycles Blog

On the Road – Velosmith Bicycle Studio

September 25th, 2014 by Seven

Partnerships are important. We do our best work with shops we work with a lot. On Saturday we were at Velosmith Bicycle Studio for the launch of a special collaboration, the Moselle. Tony Bustamante, of Velosmith, once worked here at Seven. When he opened his studio, we immediately began working together on gorgeous custom bikes for his customers. It is a partnership in the truest sense of the word where we use our shared experience to do increasingly difficult, but gratifying, work.

 

And now the culmination of all that effort arrives in the form of the Moselle, a bike Tony designed specifically for Velosmith and only available there. The Moselle is a straight gauge titanium Swiss Army knife of a bike, disc-equipped and set up for wide tires. It can group ride on the road. It can explore double track. It can happily roll down the trail, and it can commute in all weather. The finish is a subtle, bead-blasted river theme that mixes shine with matte to create a signature look.

 

 

For the launch, our friends from SRAM came out. The Moselle features their new CX1 drivetrain and Force 22 hydraulic brakes. The first bike was built for Velosmith team racer Eric Drummer, who will mix cyclocross with longer gravel events, like Dirty Kanza, to showcase everything the Moselle can do. At the end of the night we sat with Tony’s father Alberto, a legend of the Chicago bike world, and he shook his head wistfully looking at his son’s creation. “We can do anything now, can’t we?” and he smiled, and that alone made our visit to Chicago worth making.

 

 

On the Road – Omnium Bike Shop

September 24th, 2014 by Seven

OtR5The way to the world is down along the river, through the tunnel and out to Logan Airport, where a jet will take you almost anywhere. It had been a little while since we’d visited the Twin Cities, but our friends at Omnium invited us to their annual Sonderkrossen party, an event to mark the switchover from track season to cyclocross, so we booked our passage and packed our bags. We even shipped a bike ahead, so we could see Minneapolis and St. Paul in the manner most befitting a cyclist. We had no idea what was in store.

 

 

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Omnium sits between a breakfast cafe and a bakery, across from a deli. As places to meet go, it’s a cyclist’s dream. It’s also the kind of shop where everyone who walks through the door is a friend. “Bill!!” They yell from behind the service counter. “Hi, Nancy!” Our East Coast frostiness melted in the honest mid-western warmth. We bought a round of coffees, and helped set up for the party.

 

 

 

 

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The party looked like this>>> There were a few Seven owners who were kind enough to share their Seven experiences with us, and the crowd was kind enough to listen while we talked about bike building as something of a religion and our factory as a sort of cathedral. This made more sense in context than it does here, or maybe it didn’t, but everyone smiled and clapped politely, and we got down off our soap box (actually a step ladder) quick, before anyone’s beer got warm.

 

 

 

 

OtR3Don’t tell anyone we took the party to the roof as the clock ticked well past closing time. We were definitely not supposed to be on the roof, so as far as you know that didn’t happen.

We got to bed late, and set our alarms for the pre-dawn Fleche ride, that leaves from yet another coffee shop, just across a bridge over the Missisippi, on the Minneapolis side. <<<<<Aaron, Omnium’s GM, organizes the Fleche, a soft roll around the cities, a chatting ride, a beautiful way to greet a Saturday morning, even when you’re dog tired from not partying on the roof.

 

 

 

 

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One of our fellow Fleche-ers was big Russ H, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He got this bike >>>>>>> from Aaron at Omnium and came out for the Fleche in part so he could ride with us, which was, naturally, very touching. Russ turned out to be a fantastic riding companion, even if he did turn up on a more attractive bike than even we were able to muster for ourselves. That’s how you know he’s a winner.

The party, the ride, the company, it all made getting out on the road that much more fun. Meeting people, riding bikes, that’s what it’s all about. We are lucky to do what we do. It’s funny that we sometimes have to get on an airplane to be reminded.

Company Picnic Recap

September 23rd, 2014 by Seven

Our company picnic and camp out took place last weekend and, as always, proved to be a fun opportunity to relax, and to appreciate the wonderful group we have here at Seven Cycles.  Harrisville, NH, was the perfect destination with the leaves already a brilliant red and the air cool and crisp.

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Some rode their bikes from Boston the morning of, including two who pedaled up on a beautiful road route complete with climbs, views, and a heavy duty collision with a chicken.  Another two chose an off road path, and over the course of a hundred miles never touched pavement outside of an occasional street crossing.

Others met in Harrisville and rode a mixed terrain loop, where it was learned that in New Hampshire, a rail trail is very much a trail next to rails, yielding a Stand By Me vibe for a portion of the ride.

A Knight without Armor

A Knight without Armor

A few took advantage of the local single track and couldn’t resist the fun of using the cable ferries to cross the Nubanusit Brook midway through the ride.

When you can't ride through it...

When you can’t ride through it…

No matter the route, the ride reports were the same, all smiles.

When the wheeled fun began to die down, people made their way to the host site.  Homemade chili, Pete’s mastery of the grill, and award winning brownies from Mayfair Farm were on hand and available throughout the afternoon and well into the evening.  There was music and laughter, and before long, two glowing fire pits.  We had planned for cold, but the fires were powerful enough to keep us warm long into the night, so long as we kept our feet close to the heat.

Tents popped up, or in some cases, were assembled by a team of five utilizing duct tape, splints, and a five year old’s knife.  Cobbler was introduced to much fanfare.  Before long everyone was around the fire cracking jokes, sharing stories, and genuinely enjoying each other’s humor and company.

Some hang, others set up tents.

Some hang, others set up tents.

As the hours passed, people drifted off and headed for their tents, the wood-stove warmed barn, or the house.  A few dedicated fire goers stayed up past midnight, with only the most uproarious laughter carrying through the tent walls of those who wished they had the will power to stay up long enough to have heard the punchline.

Plenty of Heat

Plenty of Heat

Crickets, frogs, and birds filled the morning airwaves, and as soon as people began to rustle, coffee was made.  No alarms were set, but people woke up early anyhow.  Awaiting them, a most picturesque, mist covered swamp.

Morning on the "swamp," as seen from a bivy sack.

Morning on the “swamp,” as seen from a bivy sack.

It wasn’t intentional, or even needed, but sitting around a camp fire and camping out is a fun way to make a big group of co-workers feel like one big family.  We’d be seeing everyone the very next day at the factory, but it was still hard to say goodbye after such a fun weekend.

Packed up.

Packed up.

The Hour Record

September 18th, 2014 by Seven

In honor of Jens Voigt’s successful attempt on the hour record, our own John Lewis rode sympathy laps around the Seven kitchen until he felt sick.

#TBT

September 11th, 2014 by Seven