18th April 2013
Although it took him some time, but finally he could come as the Olympic winner. Jaroslav Kulhavy visited the seat of the Morgan Hill Company in California, USA for the first time after signing the agreement with the Specialized Team in September 2010.
During three days of a busy schedule he managed to meet the company owner Mike Sinyard, engineers who produce the items with capital “S”, look around the building including the museum and took part in the everyday Lunch Ride and in the team photo shooting.
“I met Mike at the welcome meeting in our new team truck. We were mainly talking about the Cape Epic. He was excited about what we, together with Christoph, presented during the race”, says about the friendly meeting with a man who founded Specialized in 1974.
“It is obvious that it works. Many competent people work here, everything is done efficiently and without a sign of stress. It even looks as if it is going on its own, but it´s evident, that these people spend very much time here, from morning till evening. They perfectly understand their work and it is reflected on the final product. They all actively ride the bike, use it and think about it. Bike and biking is their hobby. The original idea of the company has been still working and that´s why the company is still on the top”, explained Jaroslav after he got acquainted with the running of the building in Morgan Hill. He himself also takes an active part in development of some products.
“It is great that we, riders have the chance to be here and can tell the developers something about our feelings and knowledge from the view of top athletes. And it´s also great that they really works with the feedback we are giving them. It is not like with some other brands, that you get some products, which you simply have to wear during the races and trainings, promote them, even though they do not suit you at all…”
During the showing off Jara visited all the areas of the company. Starting with the own museum of the mountain bikes, through the workplace of the developers and designers, testing laboratories, product managers and finishing in the marketing department.
“Overall it was interesting very much. I was attracted especially by the first prototypes of the bikes which are to be produced and we could see them here. The engineers have them on the desks and you can see how they are physically working with them, thinking of and improving them. You can see that contact and that´s really important.”
In the camp there are, in addition to cross country Racing Team, a number of top riders from gravity disciplines such as the World Cup Downhill winner Aaron Gwin, Freeride star Darren Berrecloth, Freestyler Martin Soderstrom or former World Champion in Fourcross Michal Prokop.
Jaroslav with his team has moved from Morgan Hill to Monterey, where is the biggest bike festival in the United States.
“I haven´t been on the bike for a couple of last days because of the busy schedule, so I do not expect any results. Rather I want to start after the health break, because it is high time to start doing something. If I were successful in one race it would be great, after all it is the biggest race in America…” adds Jaroslav, who is starting at Friday´s short track, Saturday´s cross country and Sunday´s Gran-Fondo.