Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interbike Postmortem

We rolled into Vegas and I couldn't believe my eyes. So much insanity crammed into a completely inhospitable part of the desert. We took a stroll on the strip at 10pm and I felt like I was in a hot yoga studio. Air conditioning mixed with whatever oxygen+ gases they pump into the casinos to camoflauge the cigarette smoke. No discernible dress code. No rules. No curfew.

I rode a rollercoaster, had a taco in a pyramid, saw the fountains, the pirates, the brides and bachelorette parties, the show girls, the costumes, the homeless, the volcano, the cigarette girls; rode in a limo, walked my legs off and took the tram. Shopping malls full of dreams where the Prada salespeople first offer you a glass of champagne. I had a short drink and a very, very tall drink. On the street. A fine meal, and salads made of sad brown lettuce. In Vegas, there's something for everyone.

But during Interbike, "everyone" is a bunch of cyclists, all sorts. You can tell who they are and what discipline they prefer just by looking at them mingling with the rest of 'Merica.

The Show
I did not expect to be so hyped on the show. I was like a kid in a candy store. I can't even fathom how many millions of dollars were on display on the conference floor of the Mandalay. Bikes, accessories, apparel, trips, fitting, helmets, shoes ... and then the booths themselves. Just amazing. This is the first year that Interbike was opened to consumers (Friday only) and I think it would be worth tracking down one of those invitations.

Elite CX Women (My fav Cdn mtb-er, Catharine Pendrel
in blue a couple back!)
I have never been to a cyclocross race. I have never really seen the appeal -- I mean, in Ontario, it's all about racing in the mud, snow and cold. It's a 40 minute all-out effort where you actually are expected to get OFF your bike. Does not compute.

But since everyone was off to CrossVegas, I was swept up in it as well and *now* I kind of get it. Even though we didn't have rain/snow/mud/cold to contend with. To my dismay, I found myself wishing I was out there ripping around so I guess I'm eating crow.

The Chris vs Kris Highroller Championship of the World
National Crit Finals HighRoller Crit! 
The night after CrossVegas we had more pro-level racing right outside the conference centre. But I was distracted by fun on Highrollers (BigWheels for adults!) and almost made the finals on these three wheelers. Congratulations to Coach Richard who did go on to the finals and came second to a BMX Olympian, no big deal. I have no idea what happened in the actual crit.

Last Friday Night/Waking Up In Vegas 

After all was said and done, and I'd managed to *not* show up to the Focus Bikes booth hungover on any of the show days, I was sucked into the ashtray/sewer/hole that is Las Vegas. But you know what they say about that ...

Here's some photos I snapped from the trip. Big thanks to Tim and everyone at Focus Bikes for having me along.

Interbike coming together, one day before it all gets started. Taken from atop a union ladder in the Focus booth. 

Starbucks, comfy shoes, name tag -- ready to hit it! 

Team car for Jelly Belly

Ryder Hesjedal stopped by the Cervelo booth (Focus and Cervelo are sister companies) so I got a photo with my favourite Canadian hero -- he won the Giro the same weekend Gerhard proposed so it was pretty much the best weekend ever. 
Ryder's Giro d'Italia trophy. Every winner gets their own. I touched it. 

*THIS* guy and his 36 INCH mountain bike ... when does it stop?! 

Team Jelly Belly/Rapha Focus stopped by our booth and told everyone we had free beer. But really we just had jelly beans. Awesome to meet (from left) Jeremy Powers, Freddie Rodriguez, Nic Hamilton and Brad Huff.

Focus Izalco Max awarded "Best In Show" by Bike Radar .... droooool

My "Best in Show" - A gorgeous offering from Electra I got to see when it was still in production. 

In which I meet Nelson Vails and am informed he's kind of a big deal. That's another story ... 

So many jelly beans ... Stop the madness. 

Always cracks me up when people take photos with iPads. Nothing more to see here. 

The welcome wagon at the Bellagio

Paris in the desert. 


Waiting for the fountains at the Bellagio, trying to remember the plot of Ocean's 11

A picture of a million picture takers. oh, and a volcano. 

The aftermath. 

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