#coast2coast4acause

The bike, we know, can be a powerful tool for change in our world, whether as a vehicle for personal empowerment, as a symbol of work invested, or as a platform for telling an important story.

The Seven-sponsored REAL Ride aims to harness the bike’s power in all of those ways. The REAL Riders will cross the country by bike, but not in the usual way, directly and on paved roads. No, they are more ambitious,

They’ll ride largely off-road, and take a route that spans 5,000 miles. It will be hard, some might think even prohibitively hard, but that is intentional. The ride is about highlighting the difficult path some students face in navigating our educational system, kids who too often drop out rather than finding a way through.

In their own words:

We can make a difference, with your help. The REAL Ride is supporting a life-changing school for highly at-risk students — a school that’s making a profound impact locally and nationally against the drop-out crisis. To make the ride possible for the REAL Riders, we’re hosting a fundraising event for the team on May 6th — and it’s a party you’re not going to want to miss! To buy tickets or make a donation to support the team, check out https://www.biddingforgood.com/RealRiders. See you on May 6th!

#coast2coast4acause

Seven is supporting the REAL Ride with bicycle support as well as a custom Evergreen adventure bike, much like the ones the riders will be on, auctioned at the launch party. See the details here:

 

The REAL Ride Gets Real(er)

The Boston Globe ran a feature on The REAL Ride this week, bringing even more local attention to this ambitious event, which will raise money for school kids who are struggling to stay on track.

Our friend Cris (caricatured at right) told The Globe, “Many people ride across the country on pavement, but we’re going to do it in an alternative way that will challenge ourselves like these students are challenged,” said Rothfuss. “These kids are off-track in the sense that they’ve wandered from a traditional educational path, but they’re making their way to a diploma, and their route is rigorous.”

The REAL Ride will cross the country, from Seattle to Boston using dirt roads and farm paths to the greatest extent possible, stretching the distance from 3,000 to 5,000 miles. The team will ride mainly Seven’s Evergreen line of adventure bikes.

Art: CHRIS MORRIS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

The Enduring Humanity of Robin Williams

rwviiWhen we built this bike, we did not publicize the fact that we were working with a famous actor. Mr. Williams, who was widely known as an avid bike collector, was in many ways a very private person. His great appeal as a comedian and actor was both in his infectious energy and in his humility, a willingness to share with the world all the parts of himself, the successes, but also the struggles.

It is bittersweet, now, some years after his passing, to see his bikes being auctioned for charity, and to see this specific bike again in this context. We can not for a moment imagine the emotion invested in this project by his family, and the grace it takes to let these things go for the benefit of others.

We feel simultaneously sad at the circumstances, but also happy and proud to have gotten to work with a man of his integrity and impact. In as much as the auction of his bicycle collection will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, we felt the time was right finally to share this bike.

You may bid on this very special bike here.

 

Moving Together 2016

img_3945We were honored to be asked to present at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s recent Moving Together Conference, on a panel with New Balance and the Springfield manufacturer of new subway trains for metro-Boston. The panel was titled: Made in Massachusetts, focusing, you guessed it, on transportation sector companies that actually make things here in our home state.

First, it is important for us to recognize what an honor this is. New Balance is a top five global sports brand. That the Mass DOT sees an equivalency to what we do is humbling, and we were touched by an element of respect that comes from doing what we do for nearly two decades.

This was a great opportunity for us to interact with various cycling advocacy groups and transportation planners. While we were there, ostensibly, to talk about how it’s possible to manufacture quality, competitive products here in Massachusetts, a lot of the discussion was focused on the evolution of cycling infrastructure, the gains we’ve made and the progress still in front of us.

Seven only plays a small part in all of that effort, so it was inspiring to hear about all the good work being done by MassBike, the Livable Streets Alliance, People for Bikes and so many other groups trying to make cycling safer, easier and more popular. What struck us, as it always does, was the inter-connectedness of all these groups, and the level of cooperation it takes to bring even simple projects to fruition. There are vital people in every community doing this important work, and it was nice to spend some time with them, and have an opportunity to tell them about what we do here at Seven.