Originally, the Barlow Road was a wagon way that skirted the slopes of Mount Hood, a way for travelers from the East to get to the Willamette Valley without having to undertake a dangerous river trip. Today it’s a rough route of 167 miles with more than 16,000 feet of elevation gain.
Photographer and adventurer Daniel Sharp took it on in the late fall, and posted some great commentary and photos for us to enjoy via his Bendicto.co site.
It’s ridiculously scenic – the barns seem perfectly weathered, every tree seems weather-beaten and sturdy. We stop for photos, snacks and skids. Not me – I’m too old for skidz I’d tear a sidewall. I’m all about the long game. Finally we reach a paved road and jog left. I’ve done a lot of rides in this area, but never these exact roads, which is cool. After the quick jog left we’re faced with Endersby Cutoff road. I know it’s a necessary evil to get to Dufur. It’s by no means endless, but it kicks up pretty good and by now it feels hot and we’re missing the altitude and the cool in the trees. We huff up the road, and gleefully bomb the backside.
Read more here and here.
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.
Rob Vandermark (left) and Mike Flanigan at Seven.
Seven has always been a sort of collective, a group of passionate cyclists and bike builders, very much in the New England tradition. Our founders came from Merlin Metalworks, but we’ve been fortunate to be able to bring in builders from the other local bastions of craft as well. We’ve given some young builders their start, and we are always, always dedicated to the idea that the more passion and experience we can get in the door, the better our bikes will be.
So we were particularly thrilled when Mike Flanigan (Fat City, IF, ANT) came aboard as a welder. Mike has been at this as long as we have and brings so much talent and experience with him.
He was interviewed recently by The Bicycle Story, and it’s a good read for anyone interested in custom bike building. Check it out here.
Our friends from SimWorks visited us in the fall and made this video. What is fascinating here is how universal the language of bike building can be, and how our own processes (and people) look when they’re reflected back to us.
Thanks to SimWorks and our friend Ryota for making us look so good.