Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day One - In Heaven

Oh my gosh. I seriously don't know where to begin.

Travelling overseas for the first time was definately interesting. A flight to Sydney, a 14 hour flight to LA, a 3 1/2 hour flight to Chicago and a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Madison. With little to no sleep in 26 hours, I couldn't care less - I'm excited like a kid before Christmas.

Oh, Chrissy A - you were right, Matty was scamed for money as soon as we landed in LA - cost him 10 US dollars!!

Today was day 1 of Trek World - we ventured out to Waterloo at 7:45 am for breakfast at Trek, to be followed by a factory tour and bike testing.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be standing in the foyer of Trek USA. Words cannot explain when you walk through the glass doors into the first main area. You are greeted with the words "We Believe" on the wall - which is just the start. In the same area, there are all of Lance Armstrongs Tour De France ACTUAL winning bikes!!! Every single one, complete with photos, signed jersey and story.

Also, was Alberto Contador's custom Pink Madone from when he won the Gyro de'Italia (of course I had my photo taken with that bike!!!).

From here we started the tour with our AWESOME guide Jason. From the commuter room and wellness room - which is a full sized gym complete with 4 Cyclops trainers, running machine, weights machines, free weights etc - we moved onto the design room. This is the newest part of Trek (the one that was recently featured on Cycling News about 12 months ago). The place is just incredible - Trek look after their employees like family.

In the race room, the awesome experience just continued. Here is where they put together each bike that Trek teams race on. All are custom made to each riders requirements. At the time, Lance's moutain bike was on the stand, getting ready for a new paint job. He has a MTB race on next weekend. If the boys in the race room aren't busy, they get to make their own bikes. And I kidd you not, ready to go were two 20 inch bikes - one a pink mtb, the other a orange time trial bike, complete with electronic shifting. Those kids will be the LUCKIEST in the world!!!

Moving onto the assembly process is where you truly get a feeling for the meaning "hand made". The Madones are literally - hand made. Every part of the process involves manual labour, from the layering process (which we actually saw), to the bike decalling (which is done primarily by women only).

After the tour was the bike testing. In the carpark, was every size of every Trek you would ever dream of riding. From the 6.9 Madones, Speed Concept bikes to the pure downhill animals. The world was our oyster for a few hours.

Tonite we are heading to the opening dinner which includes a keynote talk from John Burke - owner of Trek. There are shops from all over the world - China, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Salvador, Mexico and every state in America.

More than 1200 leading Trek shops world wide are represented here - including our very own little humble M1 Cycles, all the way from Gladstone Queensland. Some Americans here don't even know where Queensland are, so we are feeling very small in comparison!!!

We are having a ball and can't wipe the smiles from our faces - as you would imagine. Another update tomorrow guys.