The Sevens of D2R2

D2R2, the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, is the sort of event that challenges a rider, not only to ride great distances and climb what seem like endless New England hills, but also to come up with a bike that will meet all its challenges for traction, comfort and speed. With up to 180km of mixed-terrain and as many as 10,000ft of vertical gain, this is no small challenge. Every year we love to look around and see the bikes, and it seems that each year we also see more Sevens.

We might be uniquely suited to building this style of bike. We saw Axiom road bikes modified to take wider tires (and a flat bar) like the one below. We saw Mudhoney CX race bikes, and we saw Evergreens aplenty, our purpose built mixed-terrain bikes.

Here are just a few of the Sevens we saw at D2R2.IMG_1050IMG_0996IMG_0999IMG_1007IMG_1004IMG_1061

At the Races with The Drifters

Zen and the Art of Cyclocross Racing has not yet been written, but if it had been, Seven’s own Brad Smith and his Drifters team might well be the protagonists. Three friends with a tent and a dream, Brad, Greg Ralich and Tony Fiandaca make an art of showing up, racing hard and having fun. There is a slack grinned style to what they do, an attitude that we think bike racing might just be desperate for. We caught up with the guys for a quick end-of-season update.

Seven: What are the Drifters trying to do? What is your evil plan? What is “drifting?”

Greg: We don’t try to do anything. We just do it. What is it? Tough to say. The indescribable only manifests itself in a singular choice moment. The moment in question is when physics says no, but your body says yes. When you lose your grip, you’re out of control, but you push harder. “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose” …Mariah Carey said that. This is the best way we can describe drifting, and occupying this mindset at every possible opportunity is what makes us The Drifters.

Seven: How is your season going results-wise? Do you care at all about results?

Brad: Results are pretty cool. Scoring points, podiums, upgrades are neat too. Definitely stoked on all of that. We’re more than racing though. The Drifters love a New England gravel grinding session or even just getting out early for a couple good turns. We like to volunteer at races and do cool stuff with our friends. We’re most interested in just getting out there as much as possible and always having a blast on bikes. We’re also super grateful to our few sponsors who believed in supporting a good time.

Greg: Mostly vanity plates, we are just really into good vanity plates. 

Seven: Who is the most handsome Drifter?

Tony: Rambo. He’s technically a drifter. The cops call him a drifter a lot in the movie and he absolutely rips that dual sport in the woods. And he’s just like crazy handsome. But, if you’re talking about the most handsome member of the team it’s Me. They call me “Mr. F” (in the first grade classroom where I am a teacher).

Seven: Brad, you ride a Seven. How is it? Fast?

Brad: I’ve got a Seven and Greg rides a bike I built him called a bRad (pronounced: be-RAD) and Tony has at one point in time owned pretty much every bike ever.

This is my 4th season racing cross and just this year I built up the Mudhoney SL and WOW is about all I can say. It makes me feel like a kid. It just feels fast and SO light. My steel bikes are awesome, but they feel a bit more sluggish everyday in comparison. Every time I get on it I just get super excited to rip!

Check out The Drifters here to follow their wacky hi-jinks and see ALL the vanity plates in greater New England.

Being World Champion – Mo Bruno Roy

You don’t get to be World Champion by sitting still. You don’t stand on the top step of that podium just by being “talented” either. And certainly, it isn’t a bike that puts you there, although we couldn’t be more thrilled that it was our bike that carried Mo Bruno Roy to the Single-Speed Cyclocross World Championship this weekend in Louisville.

The SSCXWC is an irreverent event. There are costumes. The winner gets a tattoo and a legendary golden swimsuit to receive their medal in, but it’s also a fast race dominated by seasoned professionals.

There are years of work that have gone into this honor for her. So much training. So many races, big and small. Local dirt crits. Belgian World Cup events. Lots of wins, but also lots of finishes staring up the leader board and wondering what more she could have done. Some people call it paying dues, but that’s a negative way to express what Mo has done in her career. What she has done, and what we think makes her so worthy of this honor, is live the cycling life completely. There is a level of commitment there that goes beyond showing up for races year after year or cultivating sponsorships. She brings all of herself to cycling, and that’s why we’re so proud of her and why we’re honored to work with her.

When we see Mo around town, she’s on a bike. When we see her at a race, she might be giving a clinic for new riders or doing an interview, spreading the joy of cyclocross, cutting up, visiting with friends. Cycling doesn’t so much define her as she helps define cycling in the way she lives her life. These are sorts of people you want to work with as a bike builder.

Mo is not a powerhouse. She’s the type of racer who depends on long experience and superior bike handling skills to overcome stronger opposition. Make no mistake, she’s plenty strong, but that’s not what makes her so good. She is a great cyclist, fast, canny, skilled, the complete package.

And now she is a World Champion.

 

 

Mike T’s Mudhoney

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This Swimming Pool Blue, steel Mudhoney belongs to our good friend Mike from Richardson Bike Mart.  He told us he seems to get a new cyclocross bike every year, but they’re never quite right, so he decided to go custom and get both the fit and finish he’s been missing. Mike wanted a threaded adjuster on the down tube to tension the front derailleur and full length housing to the rear derailleur to keep the mud out. We shipped this to him a few weeks ago, and he wasted no time before getting dirty.

Mike says:

Please send along my sincere thanks and gratitude for the team at Seven Cycles that helped with my Mudhoney.  I rode it on Tuesday in the rain and raced it Wednesday night in a little mud.  I am confident to say this is the best handling bike I have ever ridden.  The steering performance and handling could not be better.  The drive train is ‘race stiff’, just like I wanted.  Did some standing efforts to get my 210 lbs up the short steep climbs last night and I did not feel I missed a beat with the steel frame.  I love it.