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bRad Across America – FINISHED

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

18718024464_bf9bacd64c_kToday, we are very proud to say that Brad (bRad) finished the Trans Am Bike Race in 25 days 10 hours 31 minutes. 4406 miles. Astoria Oregon to Yorktown Virginia. Average miles, 176 per day. See previous reports on his progress here, here, here and here.

This is/was the ride of a lifetime, and Brad managed it with zero mechanicals and not one flat. He pushed through all the fatigue, kept his daily mileage up, and crushed it.

We’ll follow up with a full trip report and some insight from Brad into what it takes to race across the continent, but for today we’ll just say that we are so, so proud and happy for him.

bRad Across America – Almost Home

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

When last we visited our young hero, he was barreling through the Mid-West, spinning ever closer to the end of the Trans Am Bike Race.

Kentucky offered up climb after climb after climb. And dogs. Lots of chasing dogs. But that’s America, right? On into Virginia he rode, until today, in sight of Yorktown, and the finish. Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion, and in the meantime, enjoy some photos from the road.19005435270_69660e7bb2_h19077456410_2262dad92c_h19106011230_ef6824843b_h19078916629_de2961192f_h19268920481_2085e4097c_h

Where Does Performance Really Come From?

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
bxs_CDThere is this idea that, to perform really well, a bike has to be hyper-stiff, and/or the rider has to get into a maximally aerodynamic position, as if either of these characteristics, alone, yields speed.

In the last few weeks we’ve received dozens of photos of Seven riders taking on challenges like the Trans Am Bike Race, 600k brevets, the Green Mountain Double Century and Dirty Kanza. As a percentage, Seven is disproportionately represented at these events, which is to say, you see a lot more of our bikes at events that require maximum performance from racers and riders. And why is that?

Torsional rigidty, drivetrain stiffness and aerodynamics can all be good things, but in our experience they have to be balanced against fit and comfort. If the rider isn’t comfortable in his or her “aero” position, it won’t be possible to generate big power. If a rider isn’t comfortable on the bike, it will be exponentially more difficult to cover big distance.

When the chips are down and things like fit and comfort come to the fore, a custom Seven shines, because we seek those balances in all our designs. Peak performance, and peak fun, too, don’t come from shorthand answers to design questions. They come from thoughtful design, carefully chosen materials and a rider-specific approach.

bRad Across America – Through the Mid West

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

When last we checked Brad’s progress in the Trans Am Bike Race, he was cruising through the Rockies. Over the last few days, he’s really put the pedal down (pun intended) and crossed off all of Kansas and most of Missouri. He’ll cross the southern tip of Illinois and then head into Kentucky over the next few days. If he didn’t still have so far to go, we’d say he’s on the run in to the finish. And while he’s confessed to being tired, he’s still covering 150-200 miles a day, sometimes riding at after dark to avoid the mid-day heat.

As always, he sends back great photos, especially for a guy literally racing across the country. Follow him the rest of the way here19027082025_38ba609209_h18971113611_5ab98f8ee1_h18897279200_458e51e05a_h19058766416_d84ee686de_h18839421658_2d9b050de8_h.

2015 Green Mountain Double Century

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

We had a number lunatics friends at the Green Mountain Double Century this weekend, including our own Jake Bridge, and close friends of Seven Matt Roy and John Bayley. This annual event is one of the great challenges on the New England ride calendar, the brainchild of Sandy Whittlesey. It’s the big brother of the hyper popular Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee, held each August on some of the same dirt roads.

Jake, Matt and John all finished this year, if only to prove they are better people than the rest of us.

Here is Jake’s report:

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Jake’s Rolling Self-Portrait

The most brutal day on the bike turned out to also be incredibly pleasant, laid back, at times even relaxing. The route was 210 miles, over 20,000 feet of climbing, and mostly dirt roads. Even starting at 4am, everyone knew there was no hope of meeting any reasonable deadline. We weren’t making it back for dinner. We weren’t making it back before dark. Maybe, we thought erroneously, we’d make it back by midnight. It would be foolhardy to crush any particular hill, with so many yet to come. With no deadlines, no KOM’s, no town line sprints, we settled in to enjoy the company, the roads, and a  beautiful day in Vermont’s Green Mountains. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant, sipping tea and lemonade and swapping stories while waiting for sandwiches and french fries.

Don’t get me wrong: it was plenty brutal, full of long monstrous climbs. Shortly after dark, the cue sheet warned, “terrible climb”, and we climbed, terribly, 1000 feet in the next two miles. Headlights told us where the edge of the road was. Taillights up ahead told us where the top of the climb wasn’t. The early part of the day had been marked by expansive technicolor views and jovial conversation. By the end the views had shrunk to illuminated patches of gravel and the conversations were mostly internal.

And, then, somehow, it was flat again. A few easy miles along the green river, frogs hopping out of headlight beams, and we were back where we started.

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You might have read, last week, about Matt Roy’s last attempt at the GMDC. Spoiler alert: it ended in the ER. This year went a bit better for Matt.

He says:

18217310123_6e7509ff06_zTurned out to be a good day after all. It was a last-minute decision to toe the line with the rest of the GMDC crew but I had been staring at the course profile above my desk for over a year now, pinpointing the exact spot where my hand came off the bars and I flew into the gutter. It meant that I would be tackling the course without a support car and without a team by my side but it also meant I could ride without pressure or expectations (my own, more than any one else’s). Happy with how the day went.

Here are some of Matt’s photos, which suggest, it was a good day (and night) for riding 210 miles.

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