At the Coulee Challenge

Brad and Matt are at it again, this time taking on the 1200km Coulee Challenge in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We remixed their TransAt bikes for this new event. This ride differs from the TransAtlantic Way they took on last month in the quality of the road surfaces (thus the switch to 700c wheels) and the type of climbing they’re doing.

From the ride description:

Our RM 1200k route includes great roads and bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin with a focus on the challenging coulees of Southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin. The terrain will have some hilly sections, with multiple, occasionally steep, hills crossing ridge lines followed by pastoral valleys and quiet, bucolic roads. Along the way riders will enjoy passing through a number of small towns in the coulees and river towns on the Mississippi River.

A coulee is a deep ravine, one of the defining features of the terrain in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is no flat, mid-Western romp,so we reconfigured Brad and Matt’s bikes for the occasion.

The Coulee Remix bike is a progressive gravel bike that features a number of innovations, special offers, and incentives. It’s also available for a very limited time. The Remix employs the SRAM Force 1 group set with mechanical shifting and hydraulic brakes, aiming for the lightest weight, simplest design, and purest performance.

Follow the Brad and Matt’s progress here.

TransAt Project Update – WE WIN!!!

They rolled out in the most perfect weather Ireland could offer, made it through a wild coastal storm that nearly blew them off their bikes, and finished in the middle of the night. We are super proud of Brad and Matt and what they’ve accomplished over the last week in Ireland. When you set out on a race/adventure like this one, you hope it all comes together, the training, the equipment, the performance, and it did.
Their winning team time was 7d16h19m over a total distance of 2251.6km.
We have already talked with a number of riders who have been following along and are interested in the special edition bikes we put together. The deadline to place a deposit for a TransAt bike was Monday, the 18th, but Brad and Matt’s big victory inspired us to extend it to the end of June.
These are incredible bikes for riders who want to take on any style of endurance event, from ultra-endurance races like the TransAt to local bikepacking and touring. It is the thoughtful details that make the ride. This win feels good for all of us here, not only because we’re happy for our friends, but also because it bears out our experience designing and building high-performance bikes for our distance-minded riders.

Mo Bruno Roy – Prototype Evergreen PRO

IMG_3380MMRacing is the team of Matt and Mo Bruno Roy, Matt the record-setting randonneur, and Mo the elite cyclocross racer. We have worked with them on bikes and parts for years, a good relationship that has led us through many cool bike builds.

When Mo retired from racing last year, we were anxious to see what she would do next, how she would stay involved in cycling. It didn’t take long to find out. With much of the late summer/fall race calendar free, Mo decided to have some fun, to ride her bike less for the podium and more for simple fun.

We all knew where that was headed, our Evergreen PRO, built for adventure with wide tire clearance, rack braze-ons, and a geometry she could stay comfortable on hour-after-hour over any surface. There were a series of design meetings, one of which focused exclusively on aesthetics. We also resolved to use our new Seven thru-axle fork prototype and matching Seven thru-axle dropouts, both projects we’ve been working on for a year or more. Matt and Mo wanted to run the latest SRAM hydraulic eTap 1x system, another advanced release product not yet in the market. IMG_3105On the paint side, Mo likes black. It goes with everything, and she also wanted to bring in some of the color palette from our New England woods, where this bike would see most of its miles logged. We opted for a rich, dark green over the frame’s carbon tubing, with black on the upper Ti lugs, and bare titanium for the chain stays. Staci, our paint design manager, suggested some reflective decaling along the back of the seat tube, so we added evergreen cut outs there in thick white, high-viz vinyl.

IMG_3375Here is the finished build, and we feel comfortable saying this is close to as cutting-edge a mixed-terrain, adventure bike as you can build today, with our best Ti/carbon frame, wireless shifting coupled to hydraulic disc brakes, a 1x wide range drive train for simplicity and versatility.IMG_3378

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this bike through the Fall. Count on it.

Guaranteed Adventure

Here we are with Joe Cruz (the one in the blazer), the night he picked up his new Treeline SL from the shop. A philosophy professor during daylight hours, at all other times of year Joe is compulsive traveler and a committed back country cyclist. We wrapped this bike Tuesday night, and tomorrow Joe leaves for Alaska, where he’ll swap over to studded tires for a week of glacier exploration outside of Anchorage.

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We count ourselves lucky to be able to work with riders like Joe and Jeff Curtes and Daniel Sharp and Matt and Mo Bruno Roy, and of course countless others who use our bikes to find and share big adventures.

As kids, we remember pedaling away from home, disappearing for hours at a time, going wherever our wheels would take us, and the chance to recapture that sense of exploration and adventure now is really priceless.

Watch this space for more from Joe as well as the rest of Seven’s sponsored, encouraged, and inspired riders. The adventure is guaranteed.

A Tale of Two Millenia, Pt 2

After extreme heat made completing the Portland to Glacier 1000km unsafe, Matt Roy had another opportunity to knock off the distance right away, back here at the New England Randonneurs Downeast 1000km on July 30th. This time things went better, and his 63hr 9min finish was the best of the 18 riders who completed it. Here is the story of his Downeast 1000km, in his own words:

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Earlier in the summer I had the brilliant idea that I could string a pair of 1000kms together with a one month buffer in between. It was my plan all along.  And when the Portland to Glacier National Park 1000km went belly up in the heat I really had to commit. The Downeast 1000km was the first event in New England greater than 600km since the demise of the fabled Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200km, which was last run in 2006. The promoters, route designers and volunteers put a ton of effort in to it so I really wanted to be part of the inaugural edition.

The route promised to be amazing. Montpelier, VT to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and back.  636 miles. More than 37,000 feet of climbing.

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Day one, 4AM start, 20-or so starters headed out.  The route would head northeast towards to the north side of Rangeley Lake in Maine, crossing New Hampshire following Bear Brook to Lake Umbagog. It’s moose country. Hunting and fishing country. Amazing that Conway is only 60 miles away. It might as well be Saskatchewan.

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The overnight was at Colby College in Waterville, ME but I rolled in earlier than planned with two others.  With plenty of daylight to spare, I decided to press on with hopes of making to Bucksport, which would put me at a little over 280 miles for the day. It also meant that I had a much better chance at making to the top of Cadillac Mountain close to sunrise the following morning.

20080703550_3b2462009c_zIt seemed like a good idea at the time but I was being pursued by a nasty storm cell that periodically dumped rain on me. I pushed it for the next few hours, pulling into Bucksport where Mo met me at a motel. Soaked, tired, but pretty happy with the  day.

The next morning I pressed on to Cadillac with a fellow rider who met me in Bucksport after he got some shuteye in Waterville. We rode together along route 1 in silence. Both sleepy. In a literal and figurative fog.

Top of Cadillac. Maybe three, four other people there. Amazing. Mo picked berries on the side of the road and surprised us with them.

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Bar Harbor. Bakery. Brekky. And then, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed into the streets of Bar Harbor where the early morning quiet had vanished, replaced with bustling buses, hordes of vacationers. I saw on bumper sticker that said something to the effect of “No I’m not on vacation.”

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The highway back to Bucksport. Loud, hot, cars, trucks, RVs passing you at 65mph. Longing for the solitude of the roads east of Bucksport and back to Waterville.

20080750468_2d211dcb05_zMy original plan was to blast past Waterville, ME and press on to North Conway but the day got hot, the wind picked up and it would have been a solo death march for the balance of the day. 150 miles on day 2. I opted for a shower and a luxurious five-hour nap. I waited for a trio of friends who had made the trip up from NJ/PA. The four of us cruised under the full moon, starting at 2am. Pace was super casual but they were a blast to ride with. Plus, Mo wouldn’t have to worry about me riding solo and she could get another hour or two of shut-eye since she was meeting me at every checkpoint.

Sleeping the night in Waterville and the leisurely nighttime ride meant that we’d get into Conway at prime weekend traffic hour, and up and over the Kancamangus with the buzz of a thousand Harleys. I pushed on alone once we hit Conway. Over the Kanc and thankfully soon on the quiet roads west of Kinsman Notch.

The last 60 miles were sublime. Winding dirt and paved roads. Hardly any cars. Along the Connecticut River crossing back in to Vermont and then winding gently up along the Waits River into the golden hour. Finished around 7pm. Daylight to spare. Not much left in the ol’ legs though. A little over 205 miles to cap it off.

Here’s the breakdown:
636.8 miles in 63 hours and 9 minutes. Total riding time, 42:11. Off the bike for 18:58 for a 15.09 mph rolling average. 37,402 feet of climbing. 20,949 estimated calories burned.