Wheat Ridge Cyclery and the Evergreen S

Our friends at Wheat Ridge Cyclery in Colorado did a nice write up on the Evergreen S, and took these photos of the bike with some Rocky Mountain back drop for dramatic effect.

They say:

The Seven Evergreen has definitely won us over, it borrows from the performance and passion behind their storied 622SLX titanium lugged carbon bikes and firmly plants itself at the top of the burgeoning gravel bike segment while looking ahead towards the future.

 

 

 

From Benelux to Barcelona

On Saturdays and Sundays, through the winter, we watch the cyclocross racing from Europe. Flemish language commentary bounces off the shop walls as we go about our weekend rituals, cleaning and tuning bikes, and so, when we spied a (mostly) free week that lined up with the World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, we packed our travel bikes and headed to the airport.

We flew into Belgium, the spiritual home of cyclocross, and drove east to Valkenburg.

Our original idea was to ride our bikes to the race, but there was so much mud it proved impossible. For two days we mixed with the oddly quiet crowd as the racers whipped by in their colors. A streaker sprinted down the course just before the men’s elite event, slipping, covering himself in mud, and bringing loud guffaws and cheers from the spectators. This wasn’t the R&D we had in mind, but we laughed along.

It snowed. It rained. It sleeted. But we didn’t mind.

On the Monday we rode the flat farmland outside the city, rolling through the open spaces on mostly car-free roads.

The next day we drove down through France, pausing for a quick ride in Lyon, before finding our hotel in Barcelona. There we did three rides, one an urban adventure, trying to find our way in the hectic, fever-pitch traffic of the city. We found the cycling infrastructure really impressive, but we struggled to keep up with Barcelona’s fast city riders. Still we fed off the energy and everyone we met was friendly and helpful.

The next day we put our tires on some dirt, riding portions of the Olympic mountain bike course, near the velodrome. The single-track was beautiful, swoopy, and fun on our Evergreens.

Later, we took a night ride up into the hills above the city, where we found wide mixed-use paths with stunning views. Beyond that we could see miles and miles of more technical dirt calling to us, but we were out of time. We’ll have to wait for another week, mostly free, to get away.

Mike I’s Evergreen SL

This is Mike’s Evergreen SL, out in the Rockies. We built him this bike as a collaboration with our good friends at Bike Doctor, Waldorf in Maryland. Bead blasted decals keep this one low-profile. We think it came out great.

Mike says:

Thank you Seven Cycles!  My new Evergreen has been nothing short of perfect.  Colorado just might be its natural habitat.  

Mike I. 

Jeremy Kampp on the Snoqualmie River

You get the sense that Washington State alone contains a lifetime of riding. Road. Trail. Everything in between. Thousands and thousands of miles of it. Here, Seven Ambassador Jeremy Kampp shares another little slice of his home state with us:

Seven months and over forty inches of rain might have been a dream as I awake to a spectacular 5:20am sunrise in May.  A weather window with the temperature in the 70’s leaves me thinking about an adventure combining riding and fishing rather than riding and layering against the dampness.

Have I told you about the enormous brown trout that I hooked but got away? Oh yeah, that fishing story has been told before.  This story involves my Mudhoney SL bike and tenkara fly rod to explore along the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River and the fishing holes yet unseen.

Scattered white cumulus clouds sail above the snowy peaks. Deciduous trees reach for space between the towering evergreens with their apical buds of light green yielding little.  At the trailhead I can hear the river rapids running over the cobbles before I can see the green flow.  Water, food and rod on my back I accelerate up the road on my bike, ecstatic to be riding in the sun.  The thrill of riding is timeless and the freedom to roam is cherished.

Through the forest on a trail and over a suspension bridge reveals a swollen snowmelt river.  Sandbars to fish from won’t be available for two more months.   I fish eddies on the main river, make a note of holes that will be prime for trout in 1-2 months, and then seek smaller tributary creeks to fish.

Riding a winding singletrack trail with blue butterflies flitting near the drying mud I cross several streams along the way.  Rock hopping is easy. Wading is cold and sometimes necessary.  In the end the fish swim free, I am energized by the day of exploration and the dream of the next trip forms as I ride down the long tree shaded road towards home.

 

 

Joe Cruz in Croatia

Another missive from our buddy Joe, adventure cyclist/philosophy professor, this time from Croatia. Beautiful images. Good words. All his. All adventure. Read on.No place is a unity, not if you’re open and look to learn something even from small things. In riding in Croatia, then, we didn’t find it to be one place. But the diversity was macroscopic, ranging over the thick parts of culture and movement and affect. In a single day we might pack up our gear from a woodland camp, take lunch dockside in the swirl of festive Europeans on holiday, clinking white wine glasses and bobbing yachts as backdrop. We might then climb on rutted tracks between centuries old stone goat fences up through half abandoned villages—cherry and apricot trees twisting in brightness—to pedal with our hearts in our throats through uncleared landmine acres, then sit at mountain camp with grinning Croatians sharing their stew and bread and stories. The next day we’d drop down off the ridge again.

Our hours were that kind of glorious haphazard fabric, unexpected warp and weft. The only constant was Homer’s wild northern sea, the Adriatic, always in sight or at least its suggestion.

Another evening after a restaurant dinner, the owner talks about her family’s olives, how when growing up in the era of Yugoslavia she used to drink olive oil as part of becoming strong for gymnastics. She doesn’t say so, but her voice suggests that it’s also a metaphor. With the sun a few fingers over the horizon, we pedal to a late ferry to Krk. When we reach the island, it’s plenty dark so our headlamps go on and we ride onto a dirt track, looking for a camp spot. The riding is rugged, dry. Demanding though buoyant. Water will be hard to find for these coming weeks. We’ve learned to spot the wells, low stone chimney looking blocks with an iron lid. Looking down at our reflections, the rain water is placid in the catch, three meters down. We lower an improvised pail, a cut in half soda bottle with a long length of wire. Jack carries the wire coiled on his saddle bag, I carry the bottle strapped on my front roll.

Later we feel the accumulation of ascent, scaling passes into a cracked plateau with the white gravel track disappearing before us deep into Velebit National Park. There’s a feeling of remoteness that we didn’t expect: from towns and people, of course, but also from the recent history of this region, as if the crags are trying to be a sanctuary from memory. For the first time on the trip we’ve had to put on our jackets against chill and a greying sky.

In total we ride a mix of demanding mountain bike track, dirt roads, asphalt that remains new in the way that only sunny warm climes can allow. We sweat and bend our shoulders against the sky, exalt in long descents and sometimes push our wheels up through thorny brush to emerge into expanse. We visit a Croatia that’s wilderness, that’s jumping accelerating commerce, that’s nearly silent alleys. We stop at the Nikola Tesla museum to have our arm hairs stand straight up near the big coil. We ride around holes in the tarmac where we can’t tell if they are from heavy truck tread or from shell fire twenty-five years ago.

Croatia unfolds to us and our days there are far too few.

Joe Cruz is a professor of philosophy, an expedition cyclist, and an ambassador for Seven Cycles. Find more of his words and images at joecruz.wordpress.com and on Instagram @joecruzpedaling.