Mo Bruno Roy – Prototype Evergreen PRO

IMG_3380MMRacing is the team of Matt and Mo Bruno Roy, Matt the record-setting randonneur, and Mo the elite cyclocross racer. We have worked with them on bikes and parts for years, a good relationship that has led us through many cool bike builds.

When Mo retired from racing last year, we were anxious to see what she would do next, how she would stay involved in cycling. It didn’t take long to find out. With much of the late summer/fall race calendar free, Mo decided to have some fun, to ride her bike less for the podium and more for simple fun.

We all knew where that was headed, our Evergreen PRO, built for adventure with wide tire clearance, rack braze-ons, and a geometry she could stay comfortable on hour-after-hour over any surface. There were a series of design meetings, one of which focused exclusively on aesthetics. We also resolved to use our new Seven thru-axle fork prototype and matching Seven thru-axle dropouts, both projects we’ve been working on for a year or more. Matt and Mo wanted to run the latest SRAM hydraulic eTap 1x system, another advanced release product not yet in the market. IMG_3105On the paint side, Mo likes black. It goes with everything, and she also wanted to bring in some of the color palette from our New England woods, where this bike would see most of its miles logged. We opted for a rich, dark green over the frame’s carbon tubing, with black on the upper Ti lugs, and bare titanium for the chain stays. Staci, our paint design manager, suggested some reflective decaling along the back of the seat tube, so we added evergreen cut outs there in thick white, high-viz vinyl.

IMG_3375Here is the finished build, and we feel comfortable saying this is close to as cutting-edge a mixed-terrain, adventure bike as you can build today, with our best Ti/carbon frame, wireless shifting coupled to hydraulic disc brakes, a 1x wide range drive train for simplicity and versatility.IMG_3378

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this bike through the Fall. Count on it.

Guaranteed Adventure

Here we are with Joe Cruz (the one in the blazer), the night he picked up his new Treeline SL from the shop. A philosophy professor during daylight hours, at all other times of year Joe is compulsive traveler and a committed back country cyclist. We wrapped this bike Tuesday night, and tomorrow Joe leaves for Alaska, where he’ll swap over to studded tires for a week of glacier exploration outside of Anchorage.

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We count ourselves lucky to be able to work with riders like Joe and Jeff Curtes and Daniel Sharp and Matt and Mo Bruno Roy, and of course countless others who use our bikes to find and share big adventures.

As kids, we remember pedaling away from home, disappearing for hours at a time, going wherever our wheels would take us, and the chance to recapture that sense of exploration and adventure now is really priceless.

Watch this space for more from Joe as well as the rest of Seven’s sponsored, encouraged, and inspired riders. The adventure is guaranteed.

A Tale of Two Millenia, Pt 2

After extreme heat made completing the Portland to Glacier 1000km unsafe, Matt Roy had another opportunity to knock off the distance right away, back here at the New England Randonneurs Downeast 1000km on July 30th. This time things went better, and his 63hr 9min finish was the best of the 18 riders who completed it. Here is the story of his Downeast 1000km, in his own words:

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Earlier in the summer I had the brilliant idea that I could string a pair of 1000kms together with a one month buffer in between. It was my plan all along.  And when the Portland to Glacier National Park 1000km went belly up in the heat I really had to commit. The Downeast 1000km was the first event in New England greater than 600km since the demise of the fabled Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200km, which was last run in 2006. The promoters, route designers and volunteers put a ton of effort in to it so I really wanted to be part of the inaugural edition.

The route promised to be amazing. Montpelier, VT to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and back.  636 miles. More than 37,000 feet of climbing.

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Day one, 4AM start, 20-or so starters headed out.  The route would head northeast towards to the north side of Rangeley Lake in Maine, crossing New Hampshire following Bear Brook to Lake Umbagog. It’s moose country. Hunting and fishing country. Amazing that Conway is only 60 miles away. It might as well be Saskatchewan.

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The overnight was at Colby College in Waterville, ME but I rolled in earlier than planned with two others.  With plenty of daylight to spare, I decided to press on with hopes of making to Bucksport, which would put me at a little over 280 miles for the day. It also meant that I had a much better chance at making to the top of Cadillac Mountain close to sunrise the following morning.

20080703550_3b2462009c_zIt seemed like a good idea at the time but I was being pursued by a nasty storm cell that periodically dumped rain on me. I pushed it for the next few hours, pulling into Bucksport where Mo met me at a motel. Soaked, tired, but pretty happy with the  day.

The next morning I pressed on to Cadillac with a fellow rider who met me in Bucksport after he got some shuteye in Waterville. We rode together along route 1 in silence. Both sleepy. In a literal and figurative fog.

Top of Cadillac. Maybe three, four other people there. Amazing. Mo picked berries on the side of the road and surprised us with them.

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Bar Harbor. Bakery. Brekky. And then, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed into the streets of Bar Harbor where the early morning quiet had vanished, replaced with bustling buses, hordes of vacationers. I saw on bumper sticker that said something to the effect of “No I’m not on vacation.”

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The highway back to Bucksport. Loud, hot, cars, trucks, RVs passing you at 65mph. Longing for the solitude of the roads east of Bucksport and back to Waterville.

20080750468_2d211dcb05_zMy original plan was to blast past Waterville, ME and press on to North Conway but the day got hot, the wind picked up and it would have been a solo death march for the balance of the day. 150 miles on day 2. I opted for a shower and a luxurious five-hour nap. I waited for a trio of friends who had made the trip up from NJ/PA. The four of us cruised under the full moon, starting at 2am. Pace was super casual but they were a blast to ride with. Plus, Mo wouldn’t have to worry about me riding solo and she could get another hour or two of shut-eye since she was meeting me at every checkpoint.

Sleeping the night in Waterville and the leisurely nighttime ride meant that we’d get into Conway at prime weekend traffic hour, and up and over the Kancamangus with the buzz of a thousand Harleys. I pushed on alone once we hit Conway. Over the Kanc and thankfully soon on the quiet roads west of Kinsman Notch.

The last 60 miles were sublime. Winding dirt and paved roads. Hardly any cars. Along the Connecticut River crossing back in to Vermont and then winding gently up along the Waits River into the golden hour. Finished around 7pm. Daylight to spare. Not much left in the ol’ legs though. A little over 205 miles to cap it off.

Here’s the breakdown:
636.8 miles in 63 hours and 9 minutes. Total riding time, 42:11. Off the bike for 18:58 for a 15.09 mph rolling average. 37,402 feet of climbing. 20,949 estimated calories burned.

 

 

The Places We Go

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Because we build our bikes one-at-time, for their riders, we don’t have to manage an inventory of anything other than raw materials. That allows us to build the bikes riders want instead of trying to guess what they want or trying to convince them to buy what we have already built.

The challenges our riders have been taking on this last year really bring home to us how the way we do things allows our customers to lead us forward, to take us where they want us to go.

Mike Bybee rode from Arizona to Canada on his Sola SL bike-packing rig. Brad rode across the US, from Oregon to Virginia on his Evergreen SL, set up for loaded randonneuring. We rode in Yorkshire and on the Isle of Man. Matt Roy and David Wilcox attempted a 1000km brevet in the worst heat wave the Pacific Northwest has seen in decades. Daniel Sharp rode the Oregon Outback. Seven was at the Mt.Evans Hill Climb, in the Pyrenees and at Dirty Kanza. Sevens have been ridden through the night, through two full centuries, around Lake Michigan, through Paris and over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.

Sometimes we shake our heads in wonder at all of it. What ends up happening is that, as much as guide Seven riders through the process of designing their bike, they guide us through the world of cycling. They show us what is possible and change our own ideas about what a bike can be.

Image: Daniel Sharp

A Tale of Two Millenia, Pt 1

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To say that Matt Roy and David Wilcox failed to complete their first attempt at a 1000km brevet this summer in the Pacific Northwest would be technically true, they did not ride 1000km, but so oblivious to the circumstances and outcomes as to be ridiculous. Most of us can’t even conceive of riding 1000km (621 miles), and doing so, as Matt explains, requires a process of understanding how to break down the mileage to begin with.

19247665074_9c447a23c9_z“Anyone who’s done a full brevet series (200km, 300km, 400km, 600km, 1000km) knows they come in palatable chunks. There’s a natural progression, and brevets are designed to be finished as the season goes along, March through August,” he says. “I had done the training, the series, so you get that confidence that you can do the next distance, which eventually adds up to 1000km. I never start with my computer set to countdown from 620 miles. I just break it down and know that I’ll have a mental reset at each checkpoint.”

The week of the PNW 1000km event an historic heat wave swept across the region, visiting temperatures north of 110F on the roads of the long route.

“At the start,” Matt says, “we thought we had it. Temps were peaking around 104F, but it’s dry heat, probably equivalent to the 80s here in New England, so we thought it would be tolerable. We never thought we’d encounter the heat we did, but it became clear midway through the first day. When the heat came it was complete, like you’ve never experienced, and the roads are all really exposed. There was no shade even to change a flat in, and I thought we might be in trouble.”

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Normally, brevets are self-supported. Riders need to manage their own equipment, food and liquid. That first day Matt and David rode from 5am to 1:30am the next night. Around 10pm they received a text from one of the promoters that just said, “Good luck, guys. You’re the only ones still riding.” At that point, Matt’s wife, Mo, began to follow the pair by car packing water bottles with ice for them to carry in their jersey pockets and nylon ice socks to drape over their necks.

19683766099_fc8736f0d1_zThey were on their bikes at 8:45am the next day, and it was already 98F. With 86 miles to the next checkpoint they calculated they had 8 hours to get there. Stopping as they were, every 20 miles at first, then every ten, for Mo to restock them with fluids and ice, they made the checkpoint in 8-and-a-half hours.

“We were riding fine,” Matt says, “probably holding to about a 15mph average, but the day just ticked away from us.”

 

After two days they’d covered 350 miles. They sat in a Taco Time restaurant and assessed the situation. They’d missed the checkpoint closing, and the math on the ride to the next check suggested they’d have to ride straight through to Whitefish, MT in 27 hours.

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“We did that practicality check before we did a safety check really,” Matt says. “Then we said, ‘This looks dumb.’ None of us ever stops anything. This is what we do, but we were all just trashed, even Mo from worrying over all the things we were doing to keep moving.”

19682358400_fb49cdcc8c_zSo they got in the car and continued the trip just as they would have, along the route, but with stops at creeks to swim. They visited Glacier National Park. They saw friends in Missoula.

Matt says, “Listen, we didn’t make the 1000km, and that’s disappointing on some level, but we’re happy with how it worked out. We had our adventures, which is really the point. That’s why you undertake these things. The riding is important, but it’s not everything.”

In part II, Matt tries again, this time back home in New England.

All images: Matt Roy