The Power of Together
There is always something special about spending quality time with people whether it be friends, family or business associates. Bringing people together creates an environment for sharing stories, laughing, crying and more; unarguably time well spent and fondly remembered. Often times, putting individuals from different backgrounds in the same room can answer questions and develop new ways of solving problems once seemed impossible. An aura of creativity hangs in rooms full of people from different cultures, passions in varying disciplines and ultimately ignites a damn good time – memories made to last a lifetime and beyond.
Nestled at the base of the French Alps in the alpine town of Annecy, Mavic Global Ambassadors from all over the world came together recently at Mavic world headquarters. They traveled to share their experiences, learn more details about the products they use everyday and to create a lasting impression on each other in hopes of broadening their knowledge and elevating their involvement in their own cycling communities around the world.
Janel Holcomb and Tim Johnson from America; Omar Di Felice from Italy, a man who rode his bike around the Arctic circle; Tito Tomasi a French soul-riding mountain biker who loves volcanos; a French road rider named Nicolas Roux; Fabien Barel a downhill mountain biker; Mike Cotty from the Col Collective, and Anne-Caroline Chausson a multi-time World Champion in downhill, BMX and more. A broad range of skillsets to say the least.
What do all these riders from different parts of the globe have in common? They love the bicycle – in any shape, geometry, tire width and wheel size. They’ve lived and breathed the sport for the better part of half a century. Gathered at the Annecy design center where brands like Salomon, Wilson and Arcteryx are also found, these incredible athletes joined Mavic product managers from every category (shoes, helmets & wheels) and were able to share new product information, give feedback and engage in conversations only possible in person. The difference between asking for feedback online, versus actually holding the item and being able to engage with the person who engineered it or placed it in a product line is a remarkable experience – to truly understand the thought behind countless features (no matter how minute) creates a communication line second to none. The Annecy Design center is insane enough for people to see in real life. It’s the kind of place where you can take an idea about a product and turn it into a working product within a matter of hours; all the tools are at the disposal of the 900 employees who work there.
Tim Johnson, a multi-time US national champion cyclocross racer and former pro road cyclist had visited the design center once before in 2004 and knows a thing or two about product development and refinement from his time on the racing circuits. For him, visiting this place over a decade later instead of by himself, but with other amazing athletes who push the limits of their gear in their respective disciplines everyday was an eye-opening experience.
“For me, walking around and seeing all the facets combined in one giant force is moving. To be able to spend three days, riding different terrain every morning whether it be road or mountain and have employees join us opened up doors and took relationship building to a whole new level.”
Annecy itself is located at the base of the French Alps and situated on a beautiful lake, so it has a feeling of ingenuity in the air – it’s the perfect place for an exceptional knowledge sharing experience.
“Walking around with this crew,” Tim continued, “it’s easy to see what really makes this whole company turn, constantly looking to solve new problems with unique solutions. The work they are doing there is truly inspiring and to be apart of it is even more meaningful for the entire group of ambassadors.”
Ultimately, the long weekend in Annecy helps create a platform that they can all jump off from – everyone knows the Mavic brand has history and heart in road cycling. But there is so much more going on in this cobbled street, alpine town. The team members at the design center are asking all the tough questions: Where are we going? What do we want to do? Who are the people we want to help us? All those answers come up when we have time to spend together. Free form riding, feedback and open communications. Taking the time to be in the moment and finding enjoyment in the experiences. Across cultures and language barriers, information sharing at it’s finest.