One of the things I really enjoy about being a Trek retailer is the way they are always helping us take things to the next level. It's never "what kind of bike shop we are". It's always "what kind of bike shop do you want to be?" We have been able to experience things we would never have seen if it were not for our partnership with Trek.
Anyhow, our latest big project is high end fitting. Tamara and I needed to go to class for Precision fitting to learn all the things our new equipment makes possible and to get factory certified in the process. We chose to go to the factory in Waterloo, Wisconsin for class. In January. To the frozen tundra. We were stoked with nervous anticipation.
Remember, we both grew up in Texas and started this business when we were in our twenties which means that we haven't exactly gotten out much the last fifteen years. And we never see snow. Trek has us up to Wisconsin sometimes but it is usually in August when the weather is wonderful and everyone is out riding their bikes and jogging.
January is different. Lakes that have sailboats on them and people waterskiing in summer are frozen solid and covered in snow. To make things even "cooler", there was a polar vortex pushing south bringing record lows to the area. It was -19 when we got off the plane with a wind chill of -ludicrous. To our surprise, it was really tolerable. Maybe it's a dry cold. It kind of seemed like once your face goes numb, you have kind of reached the point of diminishing returns on freezing and feeling like you might die from exposure.
We get to the factory and Tamara grabs this photo from the front door, which we thought was cool and sparked a huge discussion on taking Pedal Power off the grid.
So the class was super cool. Paraic McGlynn, former head instructor of the Serrotta fit institute was our teacher. He owns a company called Cyclologic in Scottsdale Arizona where he built the first bike specific wind tunnel among other really impressive cool things. The other half of the instructor team was Dr. Mark Timmerman, a sports medicine doctor and avid Tri athlete. The two of them really provided a balance of bike smarts and medical smarts that was eye opening even to me with twenty five years selling bikes behind me.
When the class was over, Dr. T immediately started packing all the class materials into giant black cases like a band uses when they are out on tour. Turns out he and Paraiac were leaving right away to meet up with Cancellara, Andy Schleck and the Trek pro team in Spain.
It was a big deal to spend as much time as we did "picking the brains" of two guys that have spent their lives perfecting their craft and are at the top of their game. Paraic and Dr. "T" had the approachable nature and quiet confidence that only comes from being the best. He who speaks most, know least and all that jazz....
And I guess that's my cue.