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A Humble Beginning

When I was twelve years old, my father came home from work one night and proclaimed that we were going to buy bicycles. He and I were going on a bicycle trip.

“Okay, Dad,” I told him.

As we drove down to pick out bicycles, my dad told me that he had met a guy named Bevil Hogg, a South African who owned a bicycle store in Madison, Wisconsin. Bevil was looking for someone to invest in his store. I had my mind on a new bicycle and didn’t really pay any attention. We bought two bicycles, some bicycle packs and a few maps, and my dad announced that the following week we would be riding from Beaver Lake, our home, up to Fond du Lac and back.

It is a beautiful ride through the hills and valleys of the Kettle Moraine region. I don’t think that I had ever ridden my bike more than ten miles in one crack, and now we were going to ride seventy miles in a single day. I don’t remember much about this trip, with the exception that I crashed going over some railroad tracks, and that we were on a really busy road for the last few miles of Day 1 when a semi came past me and almost blew me off the road. On the second day of our two-day journey, we stopped at a bar outside of Monches. I drank root beer, and my dad had a couple of beers before we got back on the bikes and headed home. We had a great time.

Not long after the bike ride, my dad told me that he had bought a bike store in Madison with Bevil named Stella Bicycle Shop. My dad loved business and was always looking for great opportunities. When serendipity led to him meeting Bevil Hogg on a plane, my dad decided to pursue his interest in bicycles.

After beginning with one store in Madison, they opened a second Stella Bicycle Shop in Champaign, Illinois. My dad always thought big, and his idea was to set up a nationwide chain of bicycle stores in college towns. One problem, though. It didn’t work. The stores lost money, and my dad and Bevil closed them in the fall of 1975. My father and Bevil learned that in order to succeed, they could not just sell any brand; they needed something special. None of the good brands were available to purchase, so their solution was to create their own brand of bicycles.

No one was building really good bikes in the United States. Bevil thought that instead of being a retailer, they should manufacture high-end bikes built in the United States. Schwinn sold a lot of low-end bikes and kids’ bikes and there were some high-end European brands, but nothing from the middle price points all the way to the top that was made in America. It was a unique idea, something completely different.

- John Burke
President, Trek Bicycle
(Pictured: Dick Burke)

드라이빙 파크

트렉의 창업자가 위스콘신주 워털루에 새로운 벤처를 시작하기 80년전 워털루 드라이빙 파크 협회가 마을의 남서쪽에 구성되었습니다. 헨리 포드가 첫 자동차를 소개하기 2년전 "드라이빙"은 말이나 자전거를 타고 레이싱 하는 것을 의미했습니다.

워털루 주민들은 흙으로 된 트랙에 모여 레이스하며 서로를 격려하고 경쟁했습니다. 인간은 즐거움과 도전을 위해 레이싱합니다. 레이싱은 자연적으로 고유한 본능입니다. 자전거가 있었던 만큼 자전거 레이싱이 있었습니다. 처음 흙으로 된 타원형 시합장에서 사이클리스트들이 레이싱하기 시작한 84년 이후, 트렉은 건너편에 새로운 본사를 세웠습니다. 오늘날, 트렉은 스토리를 가진 땅을 바라보고 있습니다. 트랙은 더 이상 남아있지 않지만 인간의 본성은 남아있습니다. 레이싱은 언제나 했던 것입니다.

Over a Few Beers

Fast forward to the winter of 1975, two gentlemen met at a dimly lit bar in a classic Wisconsin supper club called The Pine Knoll. As far as Trek's founders, Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg, were concerned, they were simply performing a time-honored ritual of business in Wisconsin where friends and partners met over drinks to hash out the day’s events, plan the future, and debate ideas good and bad. Over a few beers, the men engaged in a deep debate over what to call their fledgling bicycle company. Hogg favored Kestrel, after the bird of prey. Burke preferred Trek because it called forth images of travel and adventure. He must have known there was something remarkable about the word, something that held the promise of longevity and freedom and exploration and quality.

Trek was never just a name. From the beginning, it was a summation of values.


Born in a Barn

Trek was never just a name. From the beginning, it was a summation of values.

Months later, spring of 1976, in a southern Wisconsin barn located halfway between their homes in Madison and Milwaukee, this pair of visionaries set out to make a business of building bikes of extraordinary artistry. Here, in the geographically convenient town of Waterloo, their dream sparked to life.

There were five employees on the payroll when the barn doors opened in 1976. In its first year, Trek produced 904 touring frames. Steel tubing, lugged and silver-brazed, handcrafted and hand-painted with care.

A culture of craftsmanship and rebellion was fostered in the young American upstart. Every bend and every weld was charged with purpose, as each meticulously constructed frame broke the convention that all great bikes must come from Europe. Trek was out to change minds.

Today, Trek's headquarters is a mile up the road from the original barn, in a much larger facility. Although Trek has outgrown the barn, every bike we make is a testament to Trek's founding principles.

끝없는 성장

시작 이후 40년동안 목격한 혁신은 지난 400년간의 혁신보다 큽니다. 자전거는 기술적 발전의 폭발적인 영향을 피하지는 못했습니다, 그리고 트렉은 변화의 선두에 있었고, 지속적으로 자전거의 가능성의 한계에 도전하고 있습니다. 사람들이 사랑하는 자랑스럽게 생각할 수 있는 자전거를 제작하는 창립 이념을 바탕으로 끊임없이 혁신적인 기술 개발이 지금 트렉이 있을 수 있는 이유입니다. 하지만 우리는 더 많은 일을 할 수 있습니다. 세계는 그 어느 때보다 자전거가 필요합니다. 그리고 트렉은 심플하고 멋진 머신으로 더 나은 세계를 만들어 가고 있습니다. 저희와 함께 라이딩해요.

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