Every now and then you get one of those phone calls that seems beyond unlikely. Robot works at Seven Cycles, which gives us a fair excuse to get on the phone, though we don’t take advantage of that nearly enough, and just talk about one of our favorite things ever. We’d been talking about bikes and travel and I’d made the observation that Seven ought to have a dedicated travel model to really promote just how good they are with S&S couplers and how traveling with some variety of coupled bike is the only smart way to go, in my opinion. Then one day he called and suggested that Seven and RKP work together to create the ultimate travel bike.
“Yes” didn’t seem quite strong enough a word.
I previously mentioned I’ve been traveling with an S&S coupled bike since 2010. The sheer ease of traveling with the bike in that case has eliminated any question of whether or not I’ll be taking a bike when I do go somewhere by plane. Eliminated. As I mentioned here, the biggest factor is cost, but ease is another significant factor. While I love my retrofitted bike, I would change a few details were I designing the bike from the ground up.
I flew to Boston in July to meet with Rob Vandermark, Seven’s CEO, as well as Neil Doshi, Seven’s head bike designer. This also had the added benefit of giving me a chance to hang out with Robot a bit, which doesn’t happen as often as either of us might like. I went for a ride with Neil and Karl Borne (who was Seven’s marketing manager until just recently) and that gave me a chance to try Rob’s Evergreen, on which they were thinking the as-yet-unnamed Airheart might be based. It was this ride that led to the decision to make the Airheart a disc-optional bike (more on that to come).