*Disclaimer* Please do not read the following post as an opinion one way or another as to the current status of the United States' Military policies. I merely submit this post to you as a way of demonstrating how our products are used globally.
There's something about bicycles that bring out emotion in people. People love their bikes. Love them enough to treat them like their own children. I get more photos of Trek riders and their bikes than a new grandmother gets of Jr. It's actually a pretty cool thing. It's a great way of gaining insight as to how people interact with your product as well as how they modify it to suit their specific needs.
Perhaps the most amazing photos come from our fans overseas serving in America's armed forces. When you sit in countless meetings debating launch and PR strategies for the Trek Lime and then spend days determining who the target audiences will be there's something completely satisfying about seeing a photo that proves all of your conclusions may not be completely accurate. That's what happened to me last week when I opened up the most recent issue of Road Bike Action. While the magazine is targeted mostly at the spoke sniffers, I still have to keep an eye out for what's going on in the two-wheeled world. In their "Why We Ride" section where readers send in photos with the reasons of why they enjoy their bikes, there was a photo and an excerpt from Terrance Jackson, a soldier in the US Army. I humbly submit his writing for you now:
"When returning from Korea in 2006 I bought a Trek 1000 from the local bike shop and gave up driving totally and substituted the Army life-blood of running for riding and carrying a rucksack. I am now deployed to Iraq and continue to enjoy the freedom of riding on my highly coveted Trek Lime. For those who have never deployed, having the one thing that takes you away, if only for a minute, is paramount. When I return home, I have a date with a Trek Madone."
To Terrance; thank you. Of all of the accolades the Lime has received, your note is my absolute favorite. Thank you...for everything. Ride on, buddy.
To the right is another great photo from one of the few and the proud. This one is of "Gretchen" a soldier from Colorado who sports her Trek Cruiser Classic (in "Haze Blue") around the base in Iraq as well. The best part of this photo is the fact that she has a cable lock stored underneath the seat. Just a thought here Gretchen, I don't think anybody's going to steal your bike when you're packing that much heat. Just a thought.
As the holidays approach, despite your opinions as to what's right and wrong, try to keep all of those serving our country as well as their families in your hearts and in your minds.