A couple of weeks ago I visited Seven Cycles - a local manufacturer of titanium, steel and carbon fiber bicycles. I was given a tour of the factory and it was, of course, fascinating. I never tire of seeing local framebuilding shops: The machinery, the precision of the work involved, even the heaps of tubing and the scraps of metal lying around excite me. And there certainly was all that at Seven, on a grand scale.
To my surprise - seeing how they are TIG-welders mostly - there was even lugwork. Lots and lots of lugwork in fact, with interesting cutouts.
But what made the biggest impression on me during the visit was not the intriguing floor layout, the delicately carved titanium latticework, or the explanation of Seven's approach to the manufacturing process. It was the fact that I recognized so many of the faces I saw there.
The first person I saw when I entered the production area during my visit was Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H. Cycles - whom I watched make a lugged mixte frame for me more than 2 years ago now. He works for Seven (making carbon fiber frames!) a couple of days a week, and on Royal H. the rest of the time.
blog and contributes to Boston Retro Wheelmen, but what I didn't know is that he also has this cool tattoo that promotes cycling to work in regular clothing. Notice that the pirate is riding a step-through with a full chaincase. I wonder how the crate is attached to the rear rack, and whether there is a sword peg brazed onto the frame?
Jonathan Henig lives maybe 5 minutes from me and is a fellow photographer. First thing he did when we started talking was examine my camera lens and nod approvingly.