RAAM – Racing Blind

We build a lot of tandems. A custom builder is a natural fit for tandems, because the challenge of fitting a tandem is doubled. Both the captain and stoker need to be comfortable for the bike to work at all, and making two people comfortable is much harder than making one comfortable.

We’ve been building tandems for 20+ years, and we’re one of the few (if not the only) custom builder to offer road, gravel, and mountain bike tandems. That explains why so many pairs come to us for a new bike.

What we didn’t expect to happen is to be contacted by so many blind riders, looking for tandems they could stoke. And even though, over the years, we’ve built a fair few bikes for blind riders, we certainly didn’t expect Team Sea to See, the first visually impaired team to take on the Race Across America (RAAM).We built a tandem for Dan Berlin with our friend Rick at The Phoenix Cyclery in Fort Collins, CO back in 2013. This year, he and his captain raced RAAM with Team Sea to See.  These guys are demonstrating that visual impairment doesn’t mean life impairment. They are also, we would add, demonstrating that they’re amazing cyclists.

There was an excellent news story on them recently, and something from the Today Show, too. We’re proud to be involved, if only as a  (literal)  vehicle for the message.

Colby’s Evergreen SLX

Colby Pearce is a bit special, not because he won 14 National Championships on the track, in fact, not because of anything he’s done on the bike. When we first met him, he didn’t even mention his racing career. He didn’t feel he needed to, and that, we think, is what makes him different. He brings a quiet passion to his work as a fitter and coach. The past is less important than the future for him, and that’s a view we share.

He asked us to build him a Evergreen SLX, a real all-road killer, and he gave us the freedom (just a suggestion about the paint design) to build what we wanted.

Now he’s written something nice about the bike we made him, and shared some good photos. We’re pretty proud of how this one came out. If you’re in Boulder and need a fit, a new bike, or just want to ogle this one, get in touch with Colby. He’s well worth working with.

Rarely of What They Had Seen – Bob W

Bob came to visit us last week, as many of our riders do. But he didn’t drive up in a car, fresh from the airport. Instead, he rode his bike here, a heavily loaded Expat SL he got from our friends at Sabino Cycles in Tuscon.

He came, indirectly, from Santa Monica. Setting out from California, the Pacific Ocean swelling and rising behind him, he took Route 66 through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Moving forward about 50 miles a day, he commented to us that he could have come faster, but he prefers to eat at all the diners, to talk to all the people.

From the end of 66, he rode north along the shore of Lake Erie to Niagra Falls, then the Erie Canal Path to Albany. He rolled through Western Mass, and on into Boston, where he stopped in to have his picture take with Tim, who welded his bike. He left us after a few photos and a good chat, and continued on to the Atlantic Ocean.

We got a thank you note from him a day later, which closed with a quote from the iconic writer of Western novels Louis L’Amour: “Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”

Thanks for coming, Bob, and thanks for stopping to talk.

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.

Greg’s 622 SLX

This is Greg’s 622 SLX in Gloss Black with Superhero Blue accents and purple hubs. It has a custom Ti seatpost. Our good friends at Ride Studio Cafe turned this one out, and it’s gorgeous.Greg said:

So, I’ve had the bike out four times: Sunday coffee ride, Rippers opener, Ripper B52, and Monsters Spinster ride this past Saturday. The ride quality, handling, acceleration and all around feel is spot on. Numerous PR’s on areas I’ve ridden a number of times in the past, I PR’ed the col-de-lex and was one second off from a second PR just two days apart. The Spinster ride had almost 3K feet of climbing over 48 miles and I was easily in the mix. When I put the power to the pedals, especially up hill I can clearly feel the bike respond making it so much more rewarding to continue the effort. My Specialized doesn’t have anything special on the Seven in fact you can’t even put them in the same room together. I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything stupendous coming from what I had but, WOW, this Seven just keeps giving! After just 4 rides I know this bike is heads and tales above anything out there, if a reference is needed please don’t hesitate to give my name out.