Julie Wright Bursts Onto the National CX Scene

Image: Jon Nable

Julie Wright is disarmingly nice and alarmingly fast. We built her a Mudhoney PRO cyclocross race bike last year and watched as she got faster and faster and faster, culiminating in a 12th place finish at Cyclocross Nationals recently.

She wrote us this note, when we asked her to tell her how it went:

Looking back on this past season, it’s a bit of an out of body experience when I think of what I’ve accomplished. I started cross racing when I lived in Phildelphia and had a job that kept me up in New England on weekends in the fall. Coming off of a year of “road racing” where I fell off the back of every single cat 4 race, I never in a million years would have thought I’d race in a UCI field. Somehow, many years later, I made it there, and this past season, in my second full UCI season, I got points in almost every race weekend. I got a few top 5s in C2 races, a few top 15s in C1 races and ended up 12th at nationals. It blows my mind.

Image: David Foley

I started my list of goals for the CX season before the 2015/2016 season was over. I tweaked my goals and tiered them throughout the year and finalized them right before the start of cross. Most of them made my palms sweat, so I knew they were goals I had to work for, which meant staying mentally engaged through the season. Staying engaged for me equals staying honest and listening to my body. It’s funny how the things I learn through bikes run parallel to the non-cycling aspects in my life.

Image: Jon Knable

One of my favorite things about cross is that it seems like an individual sport at face value, and for my first few years, that was my experience. But as my results have improved, so has my community of support. There’s no doubt in my mind that the community came first. It’s hard to show up to a race, or even a workout, and not give it your all when there are people who’ve worked just as hard beside you to help you achieve your goals. Or when people are genuinely excited and supportive of your improvements. When you’re on an inspiring team of driven and hardworking individuals, when you have a coach who encourages you to push your limits, when you have Seven Cycles fix a bike post crash, within three days, and then hand deliver it to your house. I feel so fortunate. This season has been a dream in so many ways.

Thankfully, it isn’t over yet! My Seven Mudhoney PRO and my persistent stutter step are heading to Europe to try out Belgian racing, along with one of my teammates, Erin, and our team mechanic, Gary.

If you want to follow along with Julie, Team Averica will be keeping everyone updated on IG: @team_averica and on twitter: @teamaverica.

Her 2016/2017 Season by the numbers

22 races in the US, 5 races (still to happen!) in Belgium

19 US UCI races, 24 UCI races overall

69 UCI points

12th 2017 USA Cycling Elite Nationals

18th USA Cycling Pro Cx Standings

6 vacation days used, pre Belgium trip

8 US states, 3 countries

2 awesome teammates and 1 incredible NECX community

Lovely Bicycle Laps the Lough

Lap the Lough is an annual cycle event around Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland and Britain. Our friend and erstwhile correspondent Lovely Bicycle recently took on this ride on her Seven 622 SLX, and the report is worth reading.

ll21She writes:

While most of the Lap the Lough route really was comparatively “flat,” by local standards, the final 5 miles featured a sustained, at times quite steep, climb into Dungannon, culminating in a cobblestone(!) section straight up the Hill of the O’Neill. While for those of us “lucky” enough to live in the northwest of Ireland, the climb was really nothing unusual (and really a rather fine way to end a 100 mile ride, if you ask me!) others were quite taken aback by this twist to the plot at the end. A few people got off their bikes and walked. Unprintable words were uttered.

For the rest of the story, click over to Lovely Bicycle.

 

 

 

The Numbers

As you can imagine, at a company whose name is Seven, numbers play an immeasurable part in everything we do. The name Seven, just to get this out of the way first, is a product of our desire to build bikes to be ridden on the seven continents, a lucky number, a prime number, and even as a word, a symmetrical combination of letters that looks good on a down tube.

The 622
The 622

Taking a step backwards to six, the first number in the name of our category defining 622 SLX, we find carbon, the sixth element in the periodic table. Carbon fiber is the defining element of the 622 line of bikes. It brings elemental lightness to those bikes. High frequency vibration, radiating up from the road or trail, disappear between the fibers.

Now jump forward to twenty-two in that same table, titanium, the metal that launched our bike building careers. Five times the strength of steel at the same weight, titanium moves with a rider like nothing else. It flexes and returns microscopically, soaking up the lower frequency jolts that push beyond carbon fibers range. Titanium smooths the ride, keeps your tires connected, spares your muscles. It won’t rust. It holds a shine like little else.

A Long History of Photo-Taking
A Long History of Photo-Taking

Nineteen is another prime number. Nineteen is the number of years Seven has been building and delivering bikes. Our second full decade is there on the horizon. And, with apologies, we are primed to do our best work. This year’s R&D effort will produce a slew of new products, new bikes, new forks, new frame components. We have already begun planning limited editions for our anniversary, already begun gathering the ideas that have been developing over those decades.

There are so many more numbers, too. Too many to call out, the lengths and angles of every rider-specific frame we’ve designed, more than 30,000 of them, the number of bike and component companies we’ve partnered with, the hundreds of bike builders we’ve been fortunate enough to train and learn from in return, and of course, all the riders, many of them with two, three and more bikes they asked us to build for them, maybe the most important number of all.

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.