Trek Bicycles Now Available
Born in a Barn
Eighty years before Trek’s founders, Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg, would make Waterloo, Wisconsin, the home of their new venture, the Waterloo Driving Park Association was formed in the town’s southwest corner. Preceding Henry Ford’s introduction of his first car by two years, “driving” held a different meaning — namely, racing horses and bicycles. Here, Waterloo residents gathered around a dirt track to commune, cheer and test themselves against one another in competition. Humans race for fun, for excitement, for the challenge. Trek was never just a name. From the beginning, it was a summation of values.
In spring 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 they make is a testament to Trek’s founding principles.