We spend all our time building custom bikes and talking about custom bikes and trying to tell the story of custom bike building. So it’s sort of mind blowing when you work with a customer who fully documents the process from their own perspective, and you get to read it and it opens your eyes to what it is you really do.
A recent Expat S build, for Dan H, gave us this opportunity. Dan has an excellent, personal cycling blog, and he starts right from the beginning on this project, narrowing down his choices and ideas. Then he orders his Seven and does a deep dive on the details. Then we detour into naming the bike, a process that is equal parts goofy charm and intimate portrait of how bicycle riders bask in the culture of riding bikes. That part was pretty inspiring. At last, Dan comes to visit while we are building his bike, and then we deliver it to him.
You can read for yourself that Dan is quite a character, a passionate cyclist, a big thinker. Getting to know our riders is one of the very best parts of doing things the way we do. That Dan is local to Seven and comes to us through the excellent Ride Studio Cafe is great, but we have had this sort of experience with riders from Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, Germany, Spain, the UK, Texas, California, and Ohio, too.
We received this cool video the other day from our friends at Tenafly Bicycle Workshop. How fitting that the first bike posted to our blog here in 2019 features the special edition Four-Seasons paint scheme.
This is Peter’s Evergreen PRO. Watch it being assembled by the pros at TBW!
The roll-top door at our shipping dock makes the same sound now it made in 1997. The electric motor makes a loud click and then there is a drone and rattle as the door’s wheels trundle up and down their tracks. It’s one of those familiar, even comforting sounds that attends daily business here at Seven.
And maybe opening doors just seem more poignantly symbolic on the first work day of a new year. The door rolls up, low winter sun streams in, bike parts, titanium tubing, and people follow. Late in the day, bikes go out.
The bike season is funny. By some loose consensus it starts October 1st and runs through the end of September. But in real life, there is nothing quite like the turn of a new year, right?
After 22 years of bike building talking about new dawns feels dramatic. What we can say for certain is that no year (or season) ever looks quite the way we think it will. Riders bring us new challenges. The industry churns up new technologies and trends, and the one constant is just the group of us, building bikes, which makes for a nice constancy and safe place to sit and ponder how we can best respond to all the ideas we’ll hear, how best to present all the ideas we’ll have.
We’re excited. The bicycle is still a miracle machine. It’s still fun to ride. And every day people call us up with great ideas for new bikes for themselves. We look into the near future and see a busy year of bike building.
We got this note and photo recently from Kate Harris whose book, Lands of Lost Borders, was just written up in the New York Times Review of Books. It’s been a good year for Kate, and if you’re looking for a good holiday (or any time) read, we recommend Lands of Lost Borders. It’s a good and powerful reminder of the value of exploration, no matter where you are.
Thanks so much for the newsletter love for my book, Seven!! I’m forever grateful for your support of our wild Silk Road ride, and I’ve taken my loyal Expat S steed on several bikepacking epics since, including a winter ride from Dawson City in the Yukon above the Arctic Circle to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories via the now-defunct “ice highway.” Skinny wheels, studded tires, loaded bike, sheer ice—no problem. Warm wishes to all of you at Seven, and I hope I can someday get back to Boston and visit you!
Here’s a handsome crew. Our friends at Outdoors, Inc in Memphis sponsor a race team called Los Locos (pictured here with some of their Sevens), and this is a shot of them just after the Race Between the Bridges, a local gravel grinder. Seven rider Hart Robinson, second from right, made this year’s race podium. Outdoors, Inc. owners Joe and Carol-Lee Royer are in the middle.
Out of 100+ starters, only approx 38 finished the race due wet conditions with clay mud and gravel.