When the Team Garmin pros rolled into town this week following their ride through the Rockies, we were all ears. Eager to hear what it’s like enduring the mental and physical struggles that come with a profession where success is gained by routinely putting your body at risk. Eager to hear their personal recaps of team and individual accomplishments. Eager to hear how our Edge bike computers have a hand in that success, putting more data at the cyclists’ fingertips than ever before. Through meetings with engineering, video interviews in our on-site studio, a Q&A session for Garmin associates and guests and a unique recording session with David Zabriskie, we mined some gems.
A conference room packed with pro cyclists and the engineers who design the bike computers that record their stats is truly a brain trust. One that shapes the features and flavors of the Edge lineup. As our fitness engineers reviewed the latest product developments and enhancements, the riders and staff were quick to offer suggestions and feedback. Much time was devoted to discussions of the Vector pedal-based power meter, which the team is eager to add to their bikes with a simple pedal swap and a pairing with their Edge 800 units.
Then it was time for Tommy D to the take the stage … which was a rather ordinary chair for an extraordinary young cyclist, fresh from a 4th overall finish at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and 9th overall and top American at his first Tour de France. With camera rolling and producer Kristin firing questions, Tom fell into a perfect cadence of inspiring word pictures and reflections. We’ll share more in video form soon, but here’s just a taste. Tom answered the question of what keeps him motivated with this: “When I was sick before the time trial in Vail, I thought of others who are sick with cancer and how they have to overcome obstacles. I had to come up with a new gameplan for myself, but for them, if they don’t make it to the next kilometer, they don’t live.” We asked Tom what it meant to have such an amazing performance in France this year: “I was in this dream, this fantasy world. I started having dreams of finishing in the top 10 and this was with a week to go in the Tour. I was like a kid dreaming of a Christmas present and I had to tell myself that this is real. This could really happen.”
Meanwhile, in our sound studio next door, David Zabriskie was doing what he does best off the bike — being a nut and letting others feed off his banter. And soon, Garmin fans and nüvi owners around the world will get an earful of it on every trip. Coming to a nüvi near you, downloadable DZ voice prompts.
The inspiration continued on day two of the team’s visit when we hosted a Q&A session attended by a standing-room-only crowd of nearly 250 Garmin associates and guests. After Jake warmed up the crowd and Zabriskie introduced his “fellow countrymen,” we opened the floor to questions. And here’s just a few:
Q. How old were you when you started racing?
A. Danny Summerhill: I was 10. I think Jack beat me to it (pointing to an 8-yr-old visitor on the front row).
Q. How did the Rockies compare to the Giro?
A. Christian: They had amazing crowds in Colorado. Guys in dresses and things they shouldn't be wearing. Why aren't there any women up there? I don’t want to see any more guys' asses. But most of the crowd is up there for support. It gives you goosebumps. You don't feel any pain through that.
Q. How did you survive riding the time trial with food poisoning?
A. Tom Danielson: I was going to quit. I called my wife and I guess we know who wears the pants in the family because she basically said to just get out there and ride it.
Q. How did you get started in pro cycling?
A. Jonathan Vaughters, Founder and Director Sportif: I started racing at age 12. I was dead last in my first race. I turned pro at 19, bought one-way ticket to Spain, and there I was at the airport, with my mom crying and begging him to stay home, go to college. I raced for 10 years, then started the team in 2003