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!
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 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
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.
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.
We 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.
This is Sean’s Axiom SL, cooked up with our good friends at Cyclefit in Covent Garden, London. We had a really nice note from him in the spring about his bike, and here is an end-of-summer follow up. This one was too good not to post:
Hi Jimmy, Neil and John.
I hope you’ve all had as good a summer as I have. As per Jimmy’s request below, I just wanted to let you know that my Axiom SL continues to fulfill my every wish – I take back nothing of what I wrote in May.
My main goal this year was the Cent Cols Challenge, Cevennes edition. I’m 1 week back from it, and I can say that the bike performed beautifully – the roads were often harsh and broken, and the days were long, and while I was generally pretty shattered at the end of a day, I’m more than pleased with how the frame rode. Stiff, yes, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. Next time I’ll probably put 25/28c tyres on it, but that’s a learning experience. It really is everything I wanted in a bike, and I have to say that amongst the sea of off the peg carbon bikes, it really stood out – I lost count of the number of times people said “What sort of bike is that? … Man, that’s a really nice frame”
As is customary, I thought I’d attach a photograph – well, 80 photographs, actually. 80 of the 100 cols climbed over the 10 days, with the bike against each col marker sign.
Again, massive thanks to all you guys, and the teams at Seven and Cyclefit… So very happy with my ride.
10 days of riding
1800km distance (give or take)
36000m of climbing (give or take)