January 14, 2006
The Mother Ship and Saturday Morning Ride
Yesterday I made my annual trip to Waterloo, WI to see some people and pick some new equipment for the season. Wow, has that place changed since last year when I was there! They added on thousands of square footage so all the offices, production areas and testing areas are all much bigger and look way more techy.
I got the special "Chris Shaw" tour and actually got to go into what use to be top secret carbon fibre and molding room. It's so crazy to walk through and just see thousands of bikes on racks, some painted, some being painted, some drying, some being welded, some being glued and some being smashed. The smashing part is what Chris Shaw Midwest team director does. In fact, I got to watch them simulate a 250LB rider hitting a curb or a parked car at 25mph with an $800 front deep dish carbon wheel to see how many peices the wheel would end up in, the goal is zero. I guess it is a UCI test to make sure what the riders are using is safe, pretty sure if you hit a car at 25mph though your going to worried about more than your front wheel breaking!
I was a little shy of busting out the camera, since I thought I might be taken and held by the TREK secret police, so I kept put away. I did however take some shots of the new Lance wall of fame - all of his tour bikes lined up with pictures. It was pretty cool. Chck it out
Chris actually had my fuel 110 waiting for me to take home, but some of the parts were still missing from Shimano so I opted to leave it there. The bike I am really excited about getting setup though is the new 9.9, that thing is way cool! The tubes are different shape this year and it's quite a bit lighter so it should be a pretty fun bike to ride. I picked up my new Madone 5.5 and it looks really nice. I'll have to wait for a few weeks to ride it but it might be hard not to spin it around for a bit one these sunny days.
Speaking of sunny days, check out the beach today! I was pretty cold, but seeing the sun makes it OK. Riding into the 15mph headwind on the way home wasn't very sweet though.
at 1:23 PM