Monday, January 28, 2008

Day 3 Team Camp

Today was possibly the most important day of our team camp so far. Although we woke up to a pouring windy rainstorm, our spirits were high as we loaded into the Aaron's van for the short drive over the mountains and to Specialized World Headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA. On the agenda at Specialized was a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, a meeting with the Brand Manager of the Designs 4 Women (by which the Aaron's Team is fully sponsored) and, the highlight of the day, the World Championship Specialized employee LUNCH RIDE!

So, we unloaded the vans and headed to the front door. in our Hincapie "Sunday Best" team attire. This is Kat Carroll- wearing HIGH (sort of) HEELS! Never seen that before!

So here are a few shots of the facility...we visited the helmet research and development lab where we saw a first hand demonstration test of the very helmet the Aaron's team will be wearing. It was quite dramatic as we witnessed a 3-G-force impact, through which our helmet would have successfully protected the rider. Impressive!

You might not know this but Specialized makes the best water bottles on the market, hands down. They basically make water bottles for everybody else! Here's part of the process, where the do the artwork, and it includes a series of UV lights to help dry the ink. Everywhere you looked in this area of the facility were boxes and boxes filled with water bottles!

We also saw some top-secret departments at Specializes where a "no-photography" rule was enforced...from shot is our fearless leader Director Sportif Carmen DeLuisio sliding down a fire pole from a secret department to the bike-build shop. Also, we met this guy hard at work asleep on a stack of wheel bags!
This is Mario Cippolini's bike post-crash from an impact with a barrier. Unbelievable King Mario walked away unscathed but some of the tubing on this bike was severely compromised and buckled from the impact of the barricade. This is clearly a monument of stature for Specicalized as it represents the purpose of their hard work. Again, this place is impressive...these are the people who make the technology of cycling happen.
Our tour ends in the Marketing Department where Catherine Powers finds herself a new set of go-go boots, which we were told, could easily equipped with cleats! Eron Chorney inspired us all with an explanation of what the Designs 4Women brand is all about. We are now the women of Specialized...we represent strong, smart and athletic women of cycling. It is our mission to continue to reach out to the next generation of cyclist, no matter what age or "stage of the game"...we'll be looking for women who love cycling just like we do and we can't wait to help them find their way to the best line of women's cycling products in the world: Specialized D4W.
Oh, and we did head out with a few brave soles on the Lunch Ride-it was possibly the worst weather I've ever witnessed from my saddle but fun nonetheless. Felicia says "we won" meaning the Aaron's women beat the Specialized employees. She says the finish line was "back there where we were in front" and hey, I'm going with that!!!!!!!

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