Photos & words by Sean Talkington
Just about 1 year ago we brought over a French intern named Thibault to work with us here at Team Dream. Thibault (or Tebow as America now refers to him) had been working at Mavic during my first trip to the Tour de France and was sent out numerous times to pick us up in a van when the Peugeot 574 would break down. After some long hours stranded on the French roadside with Tebow we became friends, and one night after a few glasses of rosé I offered him a job with us at Team Dream here in Los Angeles. To be honest I had no idea how crazy it is to obtain a work visa for a foreigner but after a lot of paperwork and a few site inspections at The Cub House we finally got Tebow to Los Angeles!
In a very short amount of time our French pal has made a real impression on all of us along with every single one of our customers at The Cub House. Everybody that meets Tebow loves him. With only 6 months remaining on his 18 month visa I am now reminded of two things...1. that time flies and 2. we really need to make some great memories for the guy before he heads back to the land of snacking on snails. That being said, this past Monday I pulled a few strings with some friends at both Oakley and Fox and arranged for a full fledged "all access pass" of both corporate headquarters. We decided to ride out from The Cub House to Seal Beach via a bike path that parallels the 605 freeway, and then head south on Pacific Coast Highway to Dana Point. From there we turn back inland for a bit before arriving in Lake Forrest on a mix of bike friendly routes and bike paths that lead straight to Oakley's global Headquarters. All together the route was about 85 miles with 2800ft of elevation.
Once inside Oakley's ginormous global headquarters we were greeted by my buddy Brian Takumi to talk top secret projects before heading down to the museum to learn a bit more about the companies history. Not to come off as too much of a fan boy here but discovering that Oakley founder Jim Jannard started Oakley in a house just a few blocks away from the original Cub House was a bit of a mind blower. Thats right...The same Oakley that later sold for 2.1 BILLION dollars was birthed in the same South Pasadena that made Team Dream (WHAT!?). Another crazy fact we discovered was that Jim Jannard had a real deal pet bobcat. Needless to say I now feel as if Jimmy Jannard and I are linked in some way and I will most likely be visiting his private island to hang out and talk about the good ol' days in South Pas. Or maybe he'll have to issue a restraining order. Regardless, I strongly feel that we should be friends. Oh, and if you thought I was playing about him now owning an island you can check it out HERE! After Oakley we rushed over to see our friends Shelby and Dave over at Fox Racing in Irvine. Tebow's got a huge French boner for enduro and freeride mtb, plus he is European, so he absolutely LOOOVES Fox. The Fox name has quite a rich history in both mx apparel and suspension as both were founded by two brothers Geoff and Bob Fox. In 1978 the two decided to separate with Geoff continuing the apparel portion, and his son is now acting as president. Their space is laid out in pretty spectacular fashion and even has a mini outdoor mx track in the back. All together it was quite an inspiring day and I think I had maybe almost as much fun as Tebow...maybe?
For this trip we opted for a ride back in a car BUT there just so happens to be a Metrolink stop in Irvine just a few short miles from Oakley. Luckily for you, the Oakley museum is completely free and open to the general public so you don't need to be a super cool and French like Tebow to go visit. That and the fact that there are some really great lunch spots near by make this route a really cool/easy day trip option.
Check out the video and gallery below to see more of our day.