Chris Garrison  in Trek Warehouse. MIlton Keynes. March 2013
Chris Garrison in Trek Warehouse. MIlton Keynes. March 2013

The bike industry is dominated by men, most of the time it is a full–on sausage fest, so it is cool and refreshing when you actually meet a woman who is heavily involved in the industry and bikes, and that can hold her own. Chris Garrison is one such person... 

From Dirt Issue 134 - April 2013

Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Geoff Waugh.

Chris is totally down with the whole bike thing, she’s served her time in the industry and has been the self proclaimed Trek Media Maven (‘an expert in a particular field’ or Media Relations to you and me) for quite some time. She’s also got some weird thing going on with sheep! 

Who is Chris Garrison?

A tall, sarcastic, ex–pat American chick who knows how to play well with others.

Where do you live?

The centre of the roundabout universe: Milton Keynes. I come from New Jersey, which is the State in the US that has more roundabouts than any other.

What’s your job title?

I don’t really have one, so I made one up: Trek UK Media Maven.

What do you do?

As a wearer of many hats, my responsibilities include liaising with magazines for product requests and information, ad placements, media launches, sponsorship, tea making, chocolate eating, and working with our retailer network to help them market their stores.

How did you land the job?

For quite some time I was Keith Bontrager’s 24-hour race mechanic. Through a series of interesting and life-altering events, I wound up in the UK after quitting my job on Wall Street and got then my first job at Trek. I’ve now been here seven years. 

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I had a paper–pushing admin job that was so tedious and boring that I don’t even remember the name of the company for whom I worked.

Where’s your favourite place?

Nothing evokes that feeling of contentment like seeing the ocean and white sand beaches when I go back to my hometown on the coast of New Jersey.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

I cut my teeth on UK riding on the trails of Calderdale and it’s still a place that makes me excited to go riding. And Whistler…it has the ability to make anyone feel like a downhilling god/goddess.

When are you happiest?

When there is chocolate or Mexican food involved.

What makes you angry?

Misogyny, and inconsiderate people.

What makes you happy?

Chocolate…or Mexican food. Also, when I make other people laugh.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My father once told me that bad times are like crabgrass in the lawn of life, and as long as you have more normal grass than weedy, annoying crabgrass, then you are actually doing alright.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

Don’t say ‘Joisey’. No one from New Jersey says ‘Joisey’, and those idiots on Jersey Shore are actually New Yorkers.

What are your extravagances?

Lindt Sea Salted Caramel dark chocolate bars, backpacks/messenger bags, watches, and trainers.

Who do you admire?

My parents.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My sense of humour.

What would you never throw away?

Time.

What’s your greatest fear?

Not knowing what I want to be when I grow up.

What was your luckiest escape?

Every time I go for a road ride, I feel incredibly fortunate to make it home unscathed.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Assess whether or not I can feel all of my limbs.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Talk to my mom on Skype, or read something.

What would be your dream meal?

This is an impossible question to answer. I love food way too much to narrow it down.

What things do you always carry with you?

My phone, and my wallet.

Do you have any regrets?

I have normal regrets, like most people. I have learned from all of my mistakes.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

Age and experience are things that arrive to us too late in life.

If you could have dinner with three famous people who would they be?

Hard to say. I would want to have several women there who were influential in opening up opportunities for modern women.

Who is your favourite rider?

Tracy Moseley, whom I’m lucky enough to also call a friend. And Jens Voigt, because he is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

The Bontrager Privateer bike.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

White Lightning.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

‘Sarcasm is the body’s natural defence against stupid’.

What saying do you use too much?

Amazing’.

What bike are you riding at the moment?

I’m in love with my cross bike. It’s the best boyfriend I’ve ever had.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Aaron Espe, UNKLE and Skylarking by BT.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

I’d definitely reduce my fear factor.

What are your weaknesses?

I’m impatient, especially when I’m excited about something.

What does the future hold for you?

If I could determine that, I wouldn’t work in the bike trade.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

I suspect that people will continue to ride mountain bikes.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who knew how to make lemonade out of lemons, and did so in an entertaining way.

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