In September of 2004, I was fresh out of grad school and substitute teaching in order to afford my lavish lifestyle of living at home, eating my parents’ food, driving their cars, drinking their wine, and searching for full time employment on their computer. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but had a few traditional Monster.com searches that I checked daily, all the while wasting an exorbitant amount of time on fun searches using words that had no hope of yielding a legitimate job. One time I searched the word “bike” which produced mostly garbage, but oddly enough, had an interesting hit. Seven Cycles, in Watertown, MA needed a customer service rep.
I had worked in three bike shops, led several biking trips for kids and college freshmen, and thanks to subbing, interning, and student teaching in a public school, felt like I had enough patience to cut it in the world of customer service. Before I sent out a cover letter, I thought I’d make the forty-minute trek to the nearest Seven Cycles retailer to see one in person for the first time.
The store was across from a town green, and their window suggested they meant business if not bidness. Once inside, I was overwhelmed; Merlins, Litespeeds, Looks, and a variety of other rare bikes littered the floor. I took a lap. When the salesman approached, I asked where the Sevens were, and he said something to the effect of, “Seven? Sweet bikes, but they won’t make you one until they know your astrological sign. We don’t have any on the floor, but I’ll grab you a brochure.” I didn’t mention why I was interested, but thanked him for the brochure, picked up an Apple Cinnamon original Powerbar and walked across the street to a bench. I probably spent an hour thumbing through the catalog while indulging in culinary perfection.
The slate blue cover was understated and classy, and the mantra, “one bike. yours.” sounded like they might care about me or at least someone considering owning one of their bikes. The first bike to be featured in 2004 was an Elium. Without looking I can tell you that it was outfitted with Ksyrium SL’s, a Dura Ace kit, and a titanium stem. It even had a pie plate, which was just as odd then as it is now. I took in every detail. That night I fired off a cover letter and a resume to [email protected] and wondered if they’d respond.
They did. At the time, I never would have thought that just seven years and two months later I could say that I helped play a small part in each of the eight brochures we have produced since.
When 2012 edition went off to print I had a Proustian moment that brought me back to that day in the park. Last Friday afternoon, the first pallet of completed brochures was delivered, but you would have thought Tom and Gisele walked through the door based on the smiles and general jubilance.
This year’s brochure is especially exciting because nearly everyone had a part in its creation. I’m a team guy after all. Rob, Skunk, Jennifer, Matt, Stef, Krissy, Joe, John, Dan, Neil, and many others all helped to make it happen. No outside help, other than the printer, laid a hand on it. I think that’s something to be proud of.
We’ll mail you a free one if you fill out the request form online. For full effect, I recommend reading it while snacking on a Powerbar. Let us know what you think.
Written by Karl B.