You never really understand what a great fit feels like until you’ve had a bad one. Our guides have been trained to adjust every bike to individual comfort and preferences to ensure an excellent fit.
We believe that vacations of a lifetime shouldn’t include back pain, sore wrists, neck strain or general discomfort. That’s why, unlike other bicycling vacations, every Trek Travel adventure includes a bike fit customized to you, guided by the expertise of our sports medicine physician, Dr. Mark Timmerman.
Simply stop in to your local Trek dealer before your trip to get measured, and we’ll have your bike adjusted with the right stem length, saddle height, reach, drop and more, all ready for your first ride upon arrival. A few final tweaks and your bike will feel like home. That is, if home were the best vacation you’ve ever had.
A close friend and member of the Trek Travel family, we interviewed Dr. Timmerman to learn more about the lifelong athlete turned Sports Medicine physician.
Briefly, tell us your story.
I grew up in a northern Minnesota mining town – father in construction, mother a social worker. I graduated with a Geology degree from Carleton College, and then had an opportunity to teach secondary school math and science for three years. I was also a head wrestling and assistant football coach, having done both of those sports while in college. While I enjoyed teaching and coaching a great deal, I eventually returned to my lifelong dream of becoming a physician, and attended Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota. I attended a Family Medicine Residency in Madison, Wisconsin, and then a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. After practicing Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in Madison for 15 years, Peggy and I moved in to the country after becoming empty nesters. I now practice in a small clinic in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and we live on a 200-acre wooded farm.
What was it that called you specifically to sports medicine?
I have been a lifelong athlete myself, and have dealt with a significant number of my own sports injuries. Also, my experience with teaching and coaching adolescents helped to further spark my interest in caring for athletes.
How long have you been cycling and what inspires you to ride?
I have always enjoyed long distance events – and in fact my first long ride was at the age of 10, when I did a solo ride of 8 miles on my Schwinn American to my elderly baby sitter’s house – after which she fed me chocolate chip cookies and drove me back home! But I never really started biking until I started training for my first triathlon, and I purchased a Trek 5200 carbon road bike. I couldn’t believe the difference a great bike could make in riding enjoyment – and I had a professional bike fit which also made a huge difference. I have loved riding ever since.
How did you become involved with Trek and what has been the most rewarding experience?
Many years ago, when I was a Sports Medicine Physician in Madison, I helped Dick Burke and some other Trek employees with their sports injuries. Now I travel to Waterloo once a month to run a sports medicine clinic at their integrative medical center. When the Trek Fit Program was being developed, John Burke asked me if I would help by educating dealers about anatomy, biomechanics and injury prevention. I have really enjoyed being a part of the Trek Team. The most rewarding experience has been the thrill of riding with Trek employees and friends in L’Etape du Tour, a citizen’s bike race which tackles one of the toughest stages of the Tour du France each year.
What are the lesser known, but still important, medical benefits of biking regularly?
The great thing about biking is that it is so good for your knees. While it is well known that biking is easier on the knee than running, it is less known that biking strengthens the best muscles to support your knees. While running sports generally develop or over-develop your lateral or outside quadriceps (and this sometimes causes kneecap pain), biking helps develop the medial or inner quad muscle, which stabilizes the kneecap. I often therefore prescribe biking as cross training for any athlete that develops kneecap pain.
Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.
My first Wisconsin Ironman race. I was on my 5200 with snap-on aerobars. My only goal was to finish before they closed the race, and I had a terrific day. I struggled a bit later on the run, but I remember smiling almost the entire ride.
What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?
Well, I have been fortunate to travel to a lot of great places, and my Trek Travel trips have all been spectacular, but I have to admit that my FAVORITE place is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. We go wilderness canoe camping there every year, and I have most years since I was 16 years old. Being truly in the wilderness and completely unplugged for a week each year is a very rejuvenating experience.
Which Trek Travel trip is top on your bucket list and why?
It is always my next Trek Travel trip! In this case, we are headed to Croatia in May for our next Trek Travel adventure as a family, and I can’t wait. After that, Belgium is high on our list due to art for Peggy and beer for me! And, because we love Italy so much, there will likely be another Italy Trek Travel trip in the near future as well.