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Rapha Prestige New England

Monday, August 31st, 2015

IMG_1109We left Seven in the late afternoon after a long week of building and riding bikes. We drove west on Route 2 to where 91 shoots north into Vermont and arrived at our campsite after dark. The manager had gone home for the night, and it took us a little while to figure out where to set up, but we did eventually, eating some pre-made burritos and laying down for a quick night’s sleep.

IMG_8154In the morning, we drove up to Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlett and signed in for the ride, all of us a little nervous about what the day had in store. Our friend David, from Rapha, plied us with espressso and we got our act together as quickly as we could. The Prestige is not a race, but each team has a departure time, so we needed to depart.

IMG_8172Vermont is beautiful. We all knew it was beautiful, but it was nice the way the frenzy of the morning gave way to quiet roads and dazzling views. We all woke up a few miles from the farm and settled into our rhythm, working together, enjoying the scenery.

It turned out to be one of those great days on the bike for each of us. No flats, good food, cool weather, good packed dirt and fast paved descents, it was a great route, and we were all as strong as we could have hoped to be. It was classic Evergreening terrain, hilly, some of it paved, some of it not. 116 miles and 10,500 feet of climbing.


(L-R) Performance Designer – Greg Marchand, Production Mgr – Matt O’Keefe, IT Guy – Jake Bridge, Tool Shop Mgr – Skip Brown

Vermont never disappoints and the folks at Rapha put on quite an event. Back at the finish just over 8 hours later, we sat down to a gourmet meal before repacking the van for the long drive back to Watertown, getting in after midnight, exhausted but happy.


On the Road – 250 Miles of New England Dirt

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Rob is obsessed with dirt. That is, perhaps, an oversimplification, but it gets pretty close to the truth. For years and years he thought of himself as a mountain biker, both as a racer and a committed adventure rider. Then his riding migrated to the road, but any chance he had to spin out onto a trail, even on skinny tires, he took. The dirt has always called, and his obsession has been a blessing to all of us here at Seven.

If you’re looking for a good all-dirt or mixed-terrain route to ride, Rob has it. Rob can show you trails, in your own neighborhood, that you’ve never seen before. We call this style of riding, on-road/off-road/trail, “evergreening,” and none of us was really surprised when Rob started Overland Basecamp to spread the gospel of dirt far and wide.

OB recently ran the Maneha 250, a two-day, 250 mile ramble through some of the best mixed-terrain in New England. The pictures tell the story:

Two Approaches to the Maneha 250 - photo - Rob VandermarkRiders took a couple of different approaches to the challenge. Some rode self-supported, packing all their food, clothing and camping supplies. Others took more advantage of the organization Overland Basecamp provided.

Maneha 250 Unofficial Pit Stop - photo - Rob VandermarkThis unofficial pit stop belies the quality of the food served throughout the event, which was catered by Mayfair Farm in Harrisville, NH. They also hosted the campsite and provided the stunning evening view…for those who got in early enough to see it.

Abandoned Narrow Guage - Matt O., Brad S. - photo - Rob VandermarkHere, our very own Matt O. rolls through an abandoned narrow-gauge rail bed with Brad on his wheel. They both rode unsupported.
Oh Look, Another Hill - Brad S. - photo - Rob Vandermark
One of the most charming (and unavoidable) features of our New England topography is the endless, punchy, rolling hills. The Maneha 250 has a climbing profile like a heart patient’s EKG.Strategy Before The Sunrise - photo - Rob VandermarkSunrise breakfast and strategy session at the campsite, a pretty great way to start day two.

The Smile Train - Matt O., Cris R., Dan S., Roger C. - photo - Rob VandermarkMore Sevens rolling by this abandoned freight, go ahead and ask Rob how he found this spot, likely riding around in the woods in the dark.

Read more about it on the Overland Basecamp site.



On the Road – Velosmith Bicycle Studio

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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.



Company Picnic Recap

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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.

photo 2

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.

An Inspiring Evening

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

We are excited to invite you to a special event at 7:00 this Friday evening, August 22nd, at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA. Headlining the night is Patrick Brady, renowned blogger and founder of Red Kite Prayer, author, cyclist, and our long time friend, who will be on hand to read from his new book, “