At the Coulee Challenge

Brad and Matt are at it again, this time taking on the 1200km Coulee Challenge in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We remixed their TransAt bikes for this new event. This ride differs from the TransAtlantic Way they took on last month in the quality of the road surfaces (thus the switch to 700c wheels) and the type of climbing they’re doing.

From the ride description:

Our RM 1200k route includes great roads and bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin with a focus on the challenging coulees of Southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin. The terrain will have some hilly sections, with multiple, occasionally steep, hills crossing ridge lines followed by pastoral valleys and quiet, bucolic roads. Along the way riders will enjoy passing through a number of small towns in the coulees and river towns on the Mississippi River.

A coulee is a deep ravine, one of the defining features of the terrain in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is no flat, mid-Western romp,so we reconfigured Brad and Matt’s bikes for the occasion.

The Coulee Remix bike is a progressive gravel bike that features a number of innovations, special offers, and incentives. It’s also available for a very limited time. The Remix employs the SRAM Force 1 group set with mechanical shifting and hydraulic brakes, aiming for the lightest weight, simplest design, and purest performance.

Follow the Brad and Matt’s progress here.

Mike Bybee – From Above Payson

It’s always good to see Mike Bybee‘s name in the Seven inbox. It means we have good tidings (and great photos) from one of our favorite Seven riders out in the expansive American Southwest.

Mike says:

Rode out from Payson AZ and up a mix of trails to a ridgeline and a summit about 5k’ that overlooked Tonto National Forest and Mazatzal Peak (in the back there).

Cleaned up some trail trash on the way back, and found a buddy with a pickup truck who’s going to come help me remove a couch and a CRT someone chucked along the way. The ride down from the little summit was a blast, with a couple 3′ + dropoffs and lots of stuff that was more fun to go *down* than *up*.

He also sent along this summit panorama.

Mike rides a Sola SL 29er.

 

Colby’s Evergreen SLX

Colby Pearce is a bit special, not because he won 14 National Championships on the track, in fact, not because of anything he’s done on the bike. When we first met him, he didn’t even mention his racing career. He didn’t feel he needed to, and that, we think, is what makes him different. He brings a quiet passion to his work as a fitter and coach. The past is less important than the future for him, and that’s a view we share.

He asked us to build him a Evergreen SLX, a real all-road killer, and he gave us the freedom (just a suggestion about the paint design) to build what we wanted.

Now he’s written something nice about the bike we made him, and shared some good photos. We’re pretty proud of how this one came out. If you’re in Boulder and need a fit, a new bike, or just want to ogle this one, get in touch with Colby. He’s well worth working with.

Rarely of What They Had Seen – Bob W

Bob came to visit us last week, as many of our riders do. But he didn’t drive up in a car, fresh from the airport. Instead, he rode his bike here, a heavily loaded Expat SL he got from our friends at Sabino Cycles in Tuscon.

He came, indirectly, from Santa Monica. Setting out from California, the Pacific Ocean swelling and rising behind him, he took Route 66 through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Moving forward about 50 miles a day, he commented to us that he could have come faster, but he prefers to eat at all the diners, to talk to all the people.

From the end of 66, he rode north along the shore of Lake Erie to Niagra Falls, then the Erie Canal Path to Albany. He rolled through Western Mass, and on into Boston, where he stopped in to have his picture take with Tim, who welded his bike. He left us after a few photos and a good chat, and continued on to the Atlantic Ocean.

We got a thank you note from him a day later, which closed with a quote from the iconic writer of Western novels Louis L’Amour: “Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”

Thanks for coming, Bob, and thanks for stopping to talk.

TransAt Project Update – WE WIN!!!

They rolled out in the most perfect weather Ireland could offer, made it through a wild coastal storm that nearly blew them off their bikes, and finished in the middle of the night. We are super proud of Brad and Matt and what they’ve accomplished over the last week in Ireland. When you set out on a race/adventure like this one, you hope it all comes together, the training, the equipment, the performance, and it did.
Their winning team time was 7d16h19m over a total distance of 2251.6km.
We have already talked with a number of riders who have been following along and are interested in the special edition bikes we put together. The deadline to place a deposit for a TransAt bike was Monday, the 18th, but Brad and Matt’s big victory inspired us to extend it to the end of June.
These are incredible bikes for riders who want to take on any style of endurance event, from ultra-endurance races like the TransAt to local bikepacking and touring. It is the thoughtful details that make the ride. This win feels good for all of us here, not only because we’re happy for our friends, but also because it bears out our experience designing and building high-performance bikes for our distance-minded riders.