Truitt (8yrs) Talks Trek

This week our son Truitt toured the Trek Factory with his classroom. Only one parent got to chaperone per four classes -- and it wasn't me. Maybe next time!

His brothers and I walked to school pickup this afternoon and on the way home Truitt told me about today's field trip to Waterloo, Wis. to visit Trek Bicycles. I told him I might write about it here on IronMakeover.

The conversation went like this:

T: Mom did you know Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 7x?
Me: Yes.
T: And when he was retired some other guy won.

While on tour Truitt got to hold a bike frame. "It was extremely light," he says. The Waterloo factory just makes the frames and then the frames go to Whitewater, Wis., where wheels and handlebars are put on, he says.

T: They use really sticky glue on the bike. Your finger could get stuck to it.

Truitt liked the conveyor belt that frames hung underneath. "There was a net under the conveyor belt so if the frame fell it goes down the net and slides," he says.

He says they break the bikes to find the weak spots and the bikes also go through eye inspection and testing. Each frame takes about eight hours to make, he says.

Truitt and his classmates had to wear safety glasses while on the tour. Sometimes it was noisy on the tour. He says the workers "probably work 22 hours a day so they have 2 hours at home and that'd be it."

The group was only allowed on the first level, he says. "You're not allowed on the secret stairs unless you have a pass. Sort of like Coca-Cola--they have a secret recipe and they can't tell you either."

He ended our interview he, "This is Truitt signing off."

From reading Trek's web site I also learned:
- They encourage commuting and have a dedicated commuter room with indoor bike parking and full locker rooms. If you ride 12+ miles to work Trek buys you breakfast or lunch, cool.
- Trek provides loaner bikes for employees needing to run errands or pick up lunch, cool.

Questions for You:

- Have you taken a factory tour?
- What's the coolest field trip you took as a kid?

photo by me: of Truitt riding his nonTrek bike.


Joel said...

Great story! I think the only "factory" I've ever toured is a Budweiser factory (does that count?)

Love your blog!!!

Lisa said...

Never been to a bicycle factory tour. the coolest tour when i was a kid (or at least I thought so) was lays potatochip factory.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Joel -- thanks! A beer tour sounds interesting too. I toured the New Glarus brewery after the New Glarus triathlon, great combo.

Lisa - Oh neat, a chip factory! I wonder how the tours from the past have changed with new tools/techniques etc. Thanks for your comment!