Seven at Syllamo’s Revenge

Syllamo’s Revenge is a 50 mile mountain bike race that takes place annually in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas. 50 miles is a long way to go on a mountain bike, but it’s even longer (not technically, but certainly effort-wise) when you’re racing single-speed as our friends Hart and Boomer were. They were 1st and 2nd place in the single-speed division, left and center in the photo below. We built both their bikes with our friends at Outdoors, Inc in Memphis.

Hart’s picture and words below:

Syllamo

Seven team, 

I just returned to Memphis from north central Arkansas having completed “Syllamo’s Revenge” for the 7th year in a row.  This was the first year on a Seven as I took delivery in December from the good folks at Outdoors, Inc. Joel worked with you guys to get me setup on the perfect rig, and keeps it running smoothly and reliably. The conditions were great and I finished 2nd overall and 1st single-speed feeling tired but not nearly as beat up as in previous years. I credit the Custom Ti frame for the difference. I am very pleased. This is my third race on the bike and I am happy to report the Seven has put me on the top of the podium in each of the three. 

 Thank you guys for an awesome bike!!!

 Picture attached. (I’m in the center. Boomer also rides a Seven and is standing to my right.)

 Warmest Regards,

 Hart

On Course at CX Nationals with Mo Bruno Roy

We finally got the chance to catch up with Mo Bruno Roy after her National Championship winning ride in the single-speed race last week in Austin. She got to Austin via the Resolution Cross Cup in Dallas, where she got on the podium one of the two days in the Women’s Elite category, so she was feeling good coming into Nationals.

She says, “Early in the week (Ed: before the course turned to a muddy bog and the racing was postponed), it was dry and fast, which doesn’t really suit my strengths, but there was an off-camber, twisty section and there were three run-ups, where I thought I could make some time.”

With nearly 40 women in the field, the single-speed race more than doubled in size from 2014, and the talent reflected that growth. Zilker Park in Austin was packed with racers from all over the country, and while things went a little awry later in the week, the single-speed races went off without a hitch on Wednesday.

Mo says, “The hardest part of the race was actually a block headwind of 20-30mph you had to fight through at the beginning of every lap. For the first three laps I had 10 seconds, and at that point one mistake can kill you. I don’t normally think about that, but the announcers are saying it over and over again, which isn’t all the way helpful. I mean, you hear them. They give you the gap, which is good information, but they can also plant the seed of doubt if you let them. So at that point, I just tried to focus on what I was doing. The ground was loose and slippery, so I couldn’t go fast through the off-camber section. I had to make my time on the run ups.”

CM1_4591In the end, she had 40 seconds on the nearest competition and was able to celebrate alone-in-photo. This was her ‘A’ race for the year, the goal she wrote down on paper before a single race had gone off, so winning validated her plan to shift focus to races that are more fun. It was a big departure from her previous World Cup campaigns.

She says, “I seem to enjoy single-speed events throughout, not just afterwards. World Cup racing is really stressful, and single-speed isn’t like that, so that’s been working for me. As defending champ, I felt pressure. I was supposed to win, so after this one I felt a little relief, a little happiness. Mostly I was glad not to have to ride into that headwind anymore.”

If it is possible to say how proud we are to work with Mo too many times, we hope we never get there. It’s hard to describe how good it is to see good people do good things on your bikes.

See more of Mo’s bike here, here, here and here. Connect with MM Racing here. Or watch a post-race interview with Mo here.

Photos by the talented Chris McIntosh.

 

Mo Bruno Roy – Single Speed CX National Champ AGAIN

We don’t like it when a big win, say a National Championship, gets billed as a title “defense” just because the rider won last year, too. Defense has negative connotations for us, whereas, winning a bike race, especially on a technical, cyclocross course is about attacking every corner, every rise, about riding your own race, rather than playing defense.

Here’s a great interview with two-time Single-Speed Cyclocross National champion Mo Bruno Roy, done by Cyclocross Magazine, just after the finish where she explains how she did it.

Check back next week, when we’ll have some pictures and an exclusive interview with Mo about her exploits in Austin.

Being World Champion – Mo Bruno Roy Interview

Mo Bruno Roy Red Mill kit Mudhoney PROSeven-sponsored rider and good friend Mo Bruno Roy won the Single-Speed Cyclocross World Championship in Louisville on October 25th. We wrote about it first here. We had Mo and her MM Racing teammate/husband Matt Roy in the other day to talk about the race, where she is in her career, and what she wants out of riding her bike. This is what she said:

Seven: Did you believe you could win this race going in?

MBR: I was hoping I could. I was planning to, but I didn’t realize what it would take. Single-speed racing is full of shenanigans. People hand you bourbon shots and beers while you ride, and you can take shortcuts based on your willingness to engage in the fun. At Worlds you could skip the flyover if you chugged a beer. If you were willing to throw your bike over a four foot wall and climb over after, then you could avoid running through the sand pit.

At the start this year, none of us had shoes on. We had to slide down this giant slip n’ slide and then get on the bike and start racing.

Having said all that, I raced full gas the whole time, because honestly I didn’t know what was happening. There were racers everywhere, people I knew hadn’t passed me ended up in front of me. Maybe they cut the course. Maybe they found some other way. I took the hole shot at the beginning, and Matt says I had 30 seconds at that point, but then there were all these women in front of me. My plan had been to race hard the first two laps, and then relax and have some fun, but when I realized I wasn’t in front I went 100% to the line.

Matt: Don’t forget the feats of strength the day before. The whole thing starts the day before the race. They broke everybody up into groups of 15 led by a “colonel” who took the racers all over Louisville to stuff like a 100 meter cross course, a mass start hill climb on which you could score extra points by stopping to pick up a rubber chicken. There were trivia questions. All of it scored points to qualify for the race. It was just a big bunch of strangers roving the city in search of fun.

Seven: So it’s a whacky event. How does that make you feel about being World Champion?

MBR: The thing that is so attractive to me about Single-Speed  Worlds is that there are very few rules. Ride a single-speed. Wear a costume. Don’t be a jerk. It’s just chaos, a bunch of really nice people having fun on bikes. I have taken racing seriously for a long time, and I needed to remember what it was like to have this much fun, so yes, I am totally proud of being World Champion. It also makes you appreciate the rules that govern the other elite races, that give those races structure. We complain about those a lot, but you can see what craziness takes over without that structure. I happen to be at a point in my career when I’m ready for some more craziness, so this is great for me, but I understand other people want to take it seriously. Honestly, this very well might be the highlight of my career.

Seven: This was all part of “taking it easy for the season,” but most people don’t associate World Championships, albeit whacky ones, with taking it easy. What is it you have really been trying to achieve in 2014?

MBR: World Cup racing is super hard work. You have to plan your whole life around it. There is so much expectation involved, and that ratchets down the fun level, or it changes it. You have fun, but it’s fun after you’ve finished, not right away. Sometimes it’s a long time after. So taking it easy, for me, means having fun WHILE I’m racing, actually enjoying each event, and single-speed races retain a part of the older spirit of cyclocross when events were weirder, and we were all less focused on results.

I think we need more of that spirit, and less of this sense that every race has to be pure and exclusive and elite. I have maybe been naive up until now, in thinking that bike racing was for everyone. Within the larger bike racing community we are more exclusive than I thought we were. So planning my season, I wanted to get back to a more open-minded approach to racing. I don’t think wealth should be a limiter, and that’s easy for me to say as a sponsored rider, but whether you show up on a mountain bike or need to zip tie your shifters to qualify for the single-speed race or whatever, we have to share this with as many people as we can. Honestly, if someone had suggested bike racing to me when I was a kid, there just wouldn’t have been any way, because we didn’t have any money, but cycling is really a community activity. We need to be drawing everyone into what we’re doing, and I don’t think there is any better way to do that than by making it fun, keeping it fun, and having that be our priority.

This isn’t some crusade for me to save bike racing. I’m just one person, but just like I ride a bike to work and to run errands, I can only try to be an example. As you get older, living your principles seems to become more and more important, so I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing, and I hope it helps the communities that I live in, and either way I’m having fun, so it’s a win.

 

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.