With Summer Receding

It was cold in New England when we woke up this morning. It was a pleasant change from the tropical, late summer heat we’d been pedaling through. It was also a reminder that the summer, despite the weather, is quickly receding. It’ll be October when we unlock the shop door on Monday.

We are still in the thick of building our 20th season’s worth of bikes and still basking in the gratitude of being able to do what we do. Our riders call and write. They stop by to visit, to see the shop, and it reinforces for us how valuable the bike is as a way to connect to people with cycling. The bike is almost secondary. Almost.

We thought we would celebrate 20 years more, but the truth is we are as busy as ever, with our heads down building bikes. It’s the bike-builder equivalent of the paceline rider only lifting his or her gaze when coming to the front of the line.

The cold morning air coming in at the window woke us up. What a great season it has been, again. What cool bikes we’ve been able to deliver, and at the root of it all, what nice people we’ve been able to meet.

As some of the crew in the shop has begun racing cross over the past few weeks, our riders are also shifting gears, thinking of cross, mixed-terrain, mountain, plus and fat bikes for the end of the calendar year. Of course, it’s always sunny and warm somewhere, so we’re not done building the many varieties of road bike we make either.

A shift in seasons is usually bittersweet, right? Part of you rues the swift passing of time and regrets not having done more, the other is excited for the things the new season brings. Mostly we feel that excitement. We are moving forward so quickly, with new bikes, new forks, new industry partnerships that will deliver even better bikes to our riders, that it’s hard to think much on the summer. Something new is blowing in the window, and we can’t wait to see what it might be.

A Message from the Mountains

We’ve said it a thousand times, one of the very best things about building custom bikes is that we get to know our customers. This message came in the other day from Len, a longtime Seven rider. You can find more of Len’s photography here.

Hi 7 team,

I bought my Seven Verve mountain frame back in ’03, and it has been a faithful ride. The first year I bought it I took it out to Moab to break it in…. On the drive to Moab I photographed the “7” head badge hanging from my rear view mirror and sent it to you.

Here is another image on the same topic –  taken many years later.  The scene is looking out the windscreen of my Land Rover Defender over a dry and harsh mountainscape at a little over 11,000 ft in elevation. The image was taken in the White Mountains east of the Sierra Nevada. When you spend a week or so between 11,000 and 13,000 ft even the air molecules in the mineral oil filled compass precipitated out of the oil solution to form an air bubble.   The “7” frame performs flawlessly at high altitudes!!!

regards,

Len

Rik’s Sola 29S Monster Cross

This is Rik’s Sola S 29er, built monster cross style. We partnered with our good friends at Cyclefit in London for this one.

Rik says:

Picked up Tuesday. Built Weds/Thurs. Ridden Saturday!!

Proper good. Def. not gravel, or road-plus, this is proper monster cross!! Very happy man!!

Cheers 

Rik

Joe Cruz’s Tian Shan Traverse in Peak Design Journal

Seven-sponsored rider Joe Cruz‘s adventures in Kyrgyzstan got a fresh treatment from the visually stunning team at Peak Design.

From the post:

Ever wonder what it’s like to bike through Kyrgyzstan? Well, Joe Cruz (@joecruzpedaling), Logan Watts (@bikepackingcom), Joel Caldwell (@joelwcaldwell), and Lucas Winzenburg (@bunyanvelo) did and decided to find out. Over the course of 20 days they biked 613 miles of mostly unpaved terrain, ascending a total of 49,000 feet and reaching elevations over 12,000 feet. We’ll let Joe take it from here, but encourage you to check out the additional links down below to see more images and hear more stories from their epic journey. From Joe.

Kyrgyzstan is in the cloud scraping peaks of the Tian Shan-in Chinese it’s the range of the “heavenly mountain” that meets up with the Pamirs and Altai. The country is glaciers and crystal blue sunshine and mirror lakes, long lonely valleys with low grass like a golf fairway. It’s nomads who have moved their herds to high pasture in summer, living with their families in yurts. It’s breathless four thousand meter passes, scree slopes and lumpy marshland plateaus requiring river crossings. It’s roaming curious horses and the smell of sage at every star domed wild campsite. And it’s blocky central asian urban areas with Soviet era monuments and facades.

All images by Joe Cruz (@joecruzpedaling), Logan Watts (@bikepackingcom), Joel Caldwell (@joelwcaldwell), and Lucas Winzenburg (@bunyanvelo).

Daniel Sharp – Riding Oregon’s Barlow Trail

Originally, the Barlow Road was a wagon way that skirted the slopes of Mount Hood, a way for travelers from the East to get to the Willamette Valley without having to undertake a dangerous river trip. Today it’s a rough route of 167 miles with more than 16,000 feet of elevation gain.

Photographer and adventurer Daniel Sharp took it on in the late fall, and posted some great commentary and photos for us to enjoy via his Bendicto.co site.

For example:

It’s ridiculously scenic – the barns seem perfectly weathered, every tree seems weather-beaten and sturdy. We stop for photos, snacks and skids. Not me – I’m too old for skidz I’d tear a sidewall. I’m all about the long game. Finally we reach a paved road and jog left. I’ve done a lot of rides in this area, but never these exact roads, which is cool. After the quick jog left we’re faced with Endersby Cutoff road. I know it’s a necessary evil to get to Dufur. It’s by no means endless, but it kicks up pretty good and by now it feels hot and we’re missing the altitude and the cool in the trees. We huff up the road, and gleefully bomb the backside.

Read more here and here.