Even though I have a serious love-hate relationship with my home state (it’s not personal, I just hate the tundra climate every winter), I thought it would be fun to showcase various places throughout Wisconsin. This past week, my husband took off work for a few days to celebrate his 30th birthday. We had a “staycation”, went to the Chicago area for some shopping, and on Wednesday, decided to take a tour of the Trek Headquarters in Waterloo.
A little background regarding why we went: Husband has been wanting to go on this tour for a while now. It is the world headquarters of Trek bicycles – various family members have gone on the tour previously and recommended it, I also have a cousin that works for the company and have heard it’s a really cool place. My husband also enjoys biking so getting to see the fanciest models out there was a huge draw to him.
The tour is offered weekly on Wednesday mornings – so yes, this can be a challenge if you work a regular Monday-Friday job. That being said, if you ever have a random Wednesday off work, I recommend making the drive to Waterloo. The tour is free and lasts about an hour.
Our tour guide was named Jason and had been with the company for almost 20 years. Safe to say, he knew his stuff! He gave a great tour for our group (there were maybe eight of us total) and was pretty funny.
Tour guide Jason explaining the features of one of the (fancy and very expensive) Trek bikes
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the manufacturing areas – for obvious reasons, we were asked not to take pictures. What I can tell you is that even as someone that isn’t really a biking enthusiast (I prefer 1200 lb crazy animals with a mind of their own), I enjoyed this tour and learned a lot. Not only is the whole headquarters awesome – and clearly has a great company culture – it was really cool to see the different stages of how they create these bikes from start to finish.
I was allowed to photograph the main area which had plenty of displays chronicling Trek’s history as a company and showcasing different products.
I thought this sign was pretty cool – Trek actually had a major cyclocross event starting that weekend where cyclists from all over the world would be coming in to compete. (Also don’t worry if you didn’t know what cyclocross is – I had to Wikipedia it too)
Here is my husband getting his “custom fit” results for a Trek bike
This display had the different pieces of a bike on that large table – our tour guide passed them around to show us how light they were.
Here it shows the company’s history and explains how Trek was “born in a barn” – as well as its Wisconsin heritage
So much gear on display!
If we’re being honest, I was getting tempted to take up the sport of outdoor cycling after seeing some of the cool workout clothes…
Various trophies and 24/7 cycling television coverage – also, those bikes are probably over $10k each
I had no idea there were so many customization options for a bike. I did see a Tiffany blue colored one on our tour and fell in love!
Waterloo is located between Madison and Milwaukee, so if you’re ever in one of those two cities and have a free Wednesday morning, I highly recommend taking this tour. Like I said, you don’t have to be a major cycling enthusiast to enjoy the experience – but you’ll likely leave with a new appreciation of the sport and perhaps an interest in learning more. Overall, it was really cool to learn more about this Wisconsin company. For more information, you can visit the Trek website here.