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Mike and Mary’s (Continuing) Awesome Adventure

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

MIke+racing+MSA+2013When last we checked in on our erstwhile heroes, they were at MTB nationals in Pennsylvania. Since then they’ve been to race the World Cup at Mont Ste. Anne in Quebec on their custom IMX 29 SLs and are now, briefly, at home for a week of rest before heading to South Africa for more World Cup at Pietermaritzburg. Part of really appreciating the effort these guys put in to compete at the elite level is understanding that most of their exploits are based from an RV. They rarely sleep in their own beds, and have elevated mobile mechanic/office/home living to an art form.

Mike and Mary have also been selected to the US National Team for XC World Championships again, so we can look forward to more amazing stories from Team Kenda/Seven/NoTubes. We are proud, as always, to be represented by such amazing athletes (and people).

Read their full report here.

Mary+McC+rarin'+to+go

 

Mike and Mary at MTB Nationals

Monday, July 29th, 2013

MnM+at+nats+2013

Great pictures and stories from Mike and Mary’s recent exploits at MTB Nationals, where they made us all really proud, Mary with a podium finish and Mike with a top 10, as well as the full catch up on their RV-based, race-chasing exploits.

Just a sample:

I got a great start from my front row call up and settled into a 3rd place position that I was able to maintain for the entirety of the race.   I really had to measure my output in the heat but actually felt kind of great a few times while taking a few calculated but extreme lines and really enjoying the challenge of  this “real” mountain bike course – something that is less and less typical in this newer era of XC racing.

- Mary McConneloug

Seven on the World Cup Circuit

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Proper test ride 27

We recently built new Sola 650b SLX race bikes for Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug and had them delivered to Germany where the pro mountain biking power couple are working their way around the World Cup circuit.

Mary said:

The frames turned out beautifully!  

The care you all take with your work, the attention to detail and finesse is second to NONE!  Rob – your design, is again, masterful!  We know so many hands played a part in this project!  Thank you guys for your artful work in planning, crafting and shipping these incredible frames to Mike and I over here in Europe!!  Mike spent the majority of this past week carefully building the frames up at the SRAM headquarters in central Germany.  Having access to a real shop (and not some outdoor RV camp spot) to build the bikes up was very much appreciated.  Thanks to our awesome crew of supporting sponsors who helped with the various components – everything came together perfectly.

We feel so lucky to be backed by the best in the industry and we are honored to represent you all out in the field!

Continuing the evolution!

We got out on our first ride in the forests of Schweinfurt yesterday and instantly were both SMILING! The fit and balance of the frames are impeccable. My first impression of riding the 27.5 wheel size was the ease of acceleration.  I could feel the relation of the pedal stroke efficiently translate my power to the smaller wheel size and it seemed easier overall to push and maintain a smooth cadence. The complete bike is also a little lighter and easier to maneuver through the tight turns of the trails…

We can hardly wait to RACE our new 27.5 Solas at the World Cup in Italy this weekend!!!

Thank you all again!!!

We are truly honored to represent Seven Cycles and ever grateful for your continued support of our team.

Yours truly,

Mary and Mike

Seven’s McConneloug Wins Pan American Championship

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Team+work!!!Last week, Seven-sponsored mountain bike racer Mary McConneloug took the overall title in the elite women’s field at the  2013 Pan American Continental Championships. The race was held in the high mountain valley basin in the small town of Tafi de Valle, Argentina.  Both Mary and teammate/husband Michael Broderick, who also competed, arrived 10 days early to acclimate to the higher altitude and prepare for the challenge as best as they could.

This is Mary’s 4th Continental Champion Title in the past 10 years riding a custom Seven.

Mary reported to us after her win saying:

“My IMX 29er was incredible once again… and especially fast as she lost a bit of weight (over a pound) when we installed SRAMs XX1 components…  It was surely a team effort!  THANK YOU all at Seven Cycles for your commitment to building the best bikes on the market!  We are honored to represent!”

For pictures check out their blog.

Congratulations to Mike and Mary for another amazing win. We are proud to have you as representatives of the Seven Cycles team.

Trans Andes 2013 – Mike and Mary Win Again

Monday, January 28th, 2013

You only ever want your bikes to be carrying people to awesome adventures. It doesn’t matter whether those adventures are happening in their neighborhood or across the sprawling landscapes of Chilean Patagonia, as happened last week as Seven sponsored riders Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) won the Trans Andes mountain bike race again.

The Trans-Andes is both a physical and mental challenge. The stunning scenery will not always distract racers from the punishing topography of this section of Patagonia.

Stage 1 stretched from Puerto Pirihueico to Huilo-Huilo threading its way between lakes and volcanoes. Stage 2 went on from Huilo-Huilo to Termas de Coñaripe, before Stage 3 took up the network of technical jeep track, gravel road and single track to Termas de Menetúe. Stage 4 then threaded an out-and-back loop from Menetúe out around Lake Hualalafquén and back to Menetúe with 2250 meters of climbing in between. Stage 5 left Menetúe again and looped East before heading due West for Lake Caburgua and then Pucon, which hosted the start and finish of Stage 6 south to the Villarrica volcano and back.

Mike and Mary managed to win each stage on their way to the overall in the mixed, open category.

Gran Prix of Gloucester CX II – Photos by Matt O’Keefe

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

 

Gran Prix of Gloucester CX – Photos by Matt O’Keefe

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Seven founder and production manager Matt O’Keefe has a long history behind the camera. Here are some recent black-and-white film shots he took at the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Cyclocross at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Stay tuned for the color shots. Find more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Prix of Gloucester Cyclocross

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Finally, some mud. Also known as the New England World Championships, the GP of Gloucester is part of “holy week” in our local cross world, and this year we had what some might call perfect cross weather, gray and drizzly and a little bit raw.

The Grand Prix of Gloucester is considered one of America’s best cyclocross races, and it was well attended by riders and racers from all of the country and the globe. For Seven Cycles this is a hometown event and our bikes could be found in nearly every race category throughout the weekend. From factory employees in the amateur categories to our sponsored professionals in the men’s and women’s UCI Elites, our Mudhoney’s were ridden hard and fast through the perfectly wet and muddy conditions featured in Gloucester this weekend.

The course was classic Gloucester; it opens with an uphill stretch of pavement through the start/finish, winds up past the beer garden steps and then dives down into muddy off-camber chicanes.  There were barriers (of course) and wide-open power sections through the grass.  Gloucester has one of the steepest and meanest loamy rocky run-ups in cross where anyone who is really running is a lot fitter than me.  There were deep mud holes and ever-changing slippery lines twisting through the trees, and day two featured a sand section that crosses the oceanfront beach at Stage Fort Park.  Spectators could watch the race and catch some amazing views of this classic New England seaport from atop a giant rock – a prominent feature in the park and a major attraction for the young ones in the crowd.

The UCI Elite women’s race featured no less than four women racing on our bikes – nearly ten percent of the field and three of them were top-ten finishers this weekend.  Mary McConneloug posted 5th and 8th place finishes, and Mo Bruno Roy was 11th and 4th.  Overall this was an outstanding weekend of racing for Seven Cycles.

- Joe W.

Midnight Ride of Cyclocross

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Last night Jake and I left work a bit early and headed west to Lancaster to compete in the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross.  This fast and fun mid-week race is in its second season and after hearing the rave reviews from last year I put it on my calendar as “can’t miss.” The Midnight Ride follows a similar course to November’s MRC race, but in the reverse direction. Since it’s still September, the course was dry and fast and the reverse direction offers less climbing and off camber turning than it’s November counterpart. Announcer Richard Fries was on hand for the event, which always makes things more exciting, and as he repeated multiple times throughout the evening, this race is the kickoff to what is now known in New England cross as “Holy Week.”

Racing as a beginner amateur and working at Seven, I’m in a great position for success. I have friendly relationships with some top Pro racers who have raced on the very same courses that I now compete on and they willingly offer up advice on things like tire selection. I ran into Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug at Cross-Vegas last week and Mike gave me some tips on what to run for the Holy Week races. I heeded his advice and it paid off in spades. The treads that I had chosen were fast on the gravel and pavement and hooked up just well enough in the grass and loose loamy corners that I was able to walk that fine line that exists between speed and control. Line selection, not tire selection, would be the only fault in my race.

I’ve raced enough at this point that I am starting to get first row call-up and for this race I lined up one spot from the outside with a clear view of the first turn a few hundred yards ahead. At the whistle I jumped out in front and my first four of five pedal strokes put me out in front with a fair gap on the field. I had taken the hole shot, and it was suddenly my race to lose.

Having never been in this position before in any sort of bike race, I did my best to stay calm and just rode my ass off.  From what I’ve been told I actually put a sizable gap on the field and held it until my worst case scenario presented itself – a crash in a hard 180 degree turn on loose gravel. I got up faster than imaginable and got back on the bike, but after a couple more turns I lost the lead.

As we wove through the course and over the barriers I held onto second position for dear life and started to hear Richard announcing that the 14-year-old in the group was gaining on the leaders. I held second place for about a lap until the leader missed a turn in the woodchips and slid out – I was back in front.  For the next two laps I led this group of men and boys through the twists and turns of the Midnight Ride course and listened to Richard’ words about what it might mean to our egos to lose to a 14 year old.

He also seemed to give Jake’s single-speed a shout out every time he passed through the start finish area. When I finally saw the lead slip away for good, it was a newbie to cross, not a kid whose brothers have been notorious for cleaning up in the men’s field as juniors, who took it away from me.  I kept fighting and rode most of the last three laps in the 5th position and watched another young and new-to-cross racer, who had fought from the back row past about 65 other riders to take the lead with two to go.

When he went by the leaders he rode off in front with ease at a pace that none of us could match. I was cooked, and hanging on by a thread, dry mouth, blurred vision, etc., when I heard a friend yell “Joe!  Hurt!” Oh, yeah, I thought, this is not supposed to be easy, you have to hurt to win, there are no two ways about it. I kicked it back in but unknowingly was making it easy for the rider behind me. He was drafting me around the course and saving energy for a move in the last grass section before the pavement to the finish.

I feared if I let him around me so that we could work together that I would not be able to hang on, so my best bet was to keep him behind. It seemed to work, but in the end he made a move and went around me just as we came up on that speedy young teen who had finally run out of gas with just a few turns to go.

The result of these place changes left me squarely in 5th place, another top 5 finish in what has been a great start to my season.  A few more like this and the heckles along the course, hopefully, will be encouraging me to “cat up” into the 3’s, a place where many a family man can spend the bulk of his bike racing career.

Post-race, Jake and I grabbed a beer and heckled some friends as they suffered much in the same way that we just had, and then cheered on Mo Bruno Roy as she rocketed around this drag strip with apparent ease.  I picked up some tire tips from her husband and pit crew, Matt Roy, and he showed me some new treads that they are trying out for this season. It’s good to be an amateur, it’s great to get the inside line on tech tips from the pros, and it’s amazing to have the opportunity to ride and race on a bike that is just like the pros race yet uniquely built for me.

- Joe W.

Image: Matt Pacocha, Bike Radar

Team Kenda Seven No Tubes at 2012 USA Cycling MTB CC National Championships!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick took the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho by storm last weekend!

On Saturday, July 7, Mary raced to a podium finish taking the 5th position in the Women’s Pro Cross Country race.  Later in the afternoon Mike put in a solid performance finishing 17thoverall in the Men’s Pro Cross Country field.  On Sunday morning, Mike raced to a 12th place finish in the Pro Men’s Super D and returned in the afternoon to take 19th place in the Pro Men’s Short Track Cross Country race.  Mary raced in Sunday afternoon’s Women’s Pro Short Track Cross Country field and took a podium spot and bronze medal in her race!

Here is what Mary had to say about the races in sunny, parched Idaho:

It is high and super dry out here with little chance of badly needed precipitation.  The XC course consists of a single steep fire road climb that sorts everything out before dropping us into a no passing single track descent.  It makes for some hard racing at this altitude but it was a good weekend and we are both stoked to be healthy and fit!

At Nationals, Cycling Dirt interviewed Mike about his IMX SL 29er.  Mike raced all of three races on this bike, and we are happy to hear he’s satisfied  with its performance.  Check out the video here.