Titanium and Friends are for life!
I remember my trip up to Sommerville Massachusetts back in 1991 to visit Merlin Metalworks like it was yesterday. We took a peek in Fat City Cycles and visited Mike Augspurger at his new venture at One-Off Titanium. I remember the smell of Merlin’s and Mike’s machine shop, the tools, and the precise attention to detail that is a requirement for building titanium bikes. Those shops left a lasting impression on me so much that I soon pursued a career as a machinist and CNC 5-axis programmer.
I also remember the people who I met while riding Titanium bikes during that period, almost all of whom I am friends with for life like the bike material itself. Most of those friends have sold or moved on from riding Ti bikes but the memories of riding them are locked in my brain as clear as my visit to Massachusetts. Yes, bonds were made amongst the few of us that rode that rare and amazing material.
As fairly new bike shop owners, we have been searching for brands that work well with the store and Seven Cycles popped up on the list. Seven’s staff is made up of ex Merlin employees and owners and is still located in Watertown, Massachusetts not too far from Somerville. So Kevin and I packed up the TBW van and took a drive up there and see what they’re all about.
As soon as I stepped foot in the Seven machine shop, a chill came down my spine and the sense of Deja-Vu hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been there before, not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Those old memories of beers by the fire with our Ti bikes at Jim Thorpe, Davis WV, and Moab are like “brain tattoos” and immediately became crystal clear again while walking around Seven.
Its hard to believe a bike, a bike company, or a frame material can stir up such memories but it does. When I un-boxed my custom Seven yesterday, those memories and those friendships felt as perfect as the welds of this beautiful piece of equipment. Just like my 1990 Merlin, the relationships have seen some rough spots only to come back stronger than ever like the modern version of my Merlin, the Sola. Titanium is for life and so are the friends who ride them together.