It’s been great receiving lots of well-wishes about my new partnership with Trek! Thanks for the warm welcome. It means a lot!
I thought I would share about my visit to Waterloo, WI to the Trek headquarters in December. If you don’t follow me on twitter, perhaps you missed out on this tweet I posted after our visit:
@linseycorbin: One of my top 3 coolest days I’ve ever lived as a pro triathlete. Wish I could tell you what I did, but I can’t. #newsponsor
Chris and I flew out to Madison on a snowy day in December to check out what Trek is all about. Before I get to the actual Trek headquarters let me start out with our accommodations. Trek owns a luxury B&B in downtown Madison, the Mansion Hill Inn. We were told before our visit it would be one of the nicest places we ever stayed in. Big boss, Nick Howe, does not lie. We were put up in lucky room #7 - where some guy named Lance sleeps when he visits Trek. Our bathroom (hidden behind a secret door no less) had heated floors, there was warm cookies and milk before bed, a fireplace, tons of tasty goodies in the lobby, beer on tap (Chris enjoyed a Lake Louie Warped Speed Scotch Ale), iPads to read the daily news on, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Ummmm, okay - this Trek company is pretty gosh darn cool.
First on the docket was learning about the Project One program. Through this program the consumer has the chance to create there own bike - from paint scheme, to colors, to components. You really start with a blank slate and get to create your own ride. The Speed Concept I will be riding this year will come through the Project One program which has also produced custom rides for Lance Armstong & Bo Jackson to name a few.
The next day we got to visit where the bikes are made. Trek HQ. Wow! Trek truly is a family-run company and everyone made us feel right at home. The motto born in a barn, raised on rocket science just about sums it up. One thing that stood out to me is that every person I talked to had a strong passion for their job. From the engineers to the marketers to the designers - everyone truly loved what they were doing. I have never seen someone so fired up about designing a Bontrager shoe. Which in turn made me fired up about the Bontrager shoe. I left the visit feeling very motivated and passionate about my job and the products I will be using.
A highlight of the day was watching the bikes be built. I have never seen this process, and both the bikes I will be riding (the Madone & the Speed Concept) are hand-built in Waterloo. When I say hand-built, I truly mean hand-built: from laying out the carbon pieces, to welding, to painting, to the entire bike-build. To see a flat piece of carbon (think the size of a piece of 8x10 paper) be transformed into a bike was pretty impressive. We learned that no less than 45 sets of hands touch each bike before it has finished the process. To be able to shake the hand of the guy making your top-tube is remarkable.
I also got to sit down with the engineers behind the Speed Concept and learn all about my new weapon of choice. The three take-aways were:
1. The Speed Concept is the most adjustable bike on the market, which means a comfortable fit for 112 miles of riding, but aggressive enough to lay down some serious power.
2. The Speed Concept is the most aerodynamic bike on the market (we can thank the 30+ engineers dedicated to just the Speed Concept for this).
3. The Speed Concept is the most integrated bike on the market. All the bells and whistles are nicely tucked out of the way.
What’s not to love?
Lastly, I have to give a shout out to Mark Andrews, who pretty much makes the world go ‘round for the triathlete end of things. Mark is set up in the “race-shop” of Trek and his job is to keep us all happy! He has the bandwidth and knowledge to improve upon existing products and make them work for each individual athlete. Mark loves to tinker, loves this job, and rumor has it he can time-trial a bike pretty fast!
The last funny story I have to share: Chris and I were snuggled up in our lush bed at Mansion Hill Inn. It’s a rare-occurance for me to wake up in the middle of the night, especially when you are sleeping like princess and the pea. At 2 in the morning I rolled over and woke Chris up and asked him if this was a dream. Visiting Trek and being around such a great group of people is something I had dreamed of for some time. To be there, in the moment, was something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Have I mentioned how much I love fast bikes?
A big thanks to Nick, Mark & everyone else in the Trek family that was so welcoming to us. I am looking forward to being a part of the family!