A week spent in Vegas is tough on anyone, except this week wasn’t your typical trip to Las Vegas. Interbike 2009. The industry’s bike show. This was my first trip to Interbike, and I had heard about its chaos, but nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming show, and my intense schedule.
Ritchey Logic brought me to Vegas to help them out with their booth at the show. I had structured hours to sit at their booth and assist their clients, as well as organize their meetings. What free time that I did have, I was pulled in every other direction. I was at the Look USA Cycles booth demonstrating the new Look Keo Pedal adjustment. I was meeting with Steve Hed at HED wheels. I was with LJ and Brooke representing our sponsors. I was signing autographs with Floyd Landis. I was racing a night crit at Mandalay Bay. It was crazy. When do you eat? Late. When do you get off your feet? Never. When do you ride your bike? You don’t.
The week flew by and before I knew it, I was back in Marin, trying to remember the blur of neon lights, bicycle components, and carbon fabrication.
My highlights were:
- Seeing all the guys at Look, and having Fred adjust my cleats using their new system. Our French/English barrier was cleared up, as he used simple language with me. “No” “Stop” Done.
- Asking Ming at Look if I could just take a couple of bikes home with me, like the beautiful pursuit bike, and he said that he didn’t have it in my size…right…
Cleat Adjustment at Look
- Paying $7.50 for a weak latte. Coffee is horrible in Vegas, so if I was going to pay $3.75 for weak drip coffee, I was going going to try to get a “real” cup of coffee. I loved my Peets coffee yesterday. Strong and good.
- No time to eat lunch, so lunch could be trail mix, Almond Joy, beef jerky, and Wheat Thins. My pre-race meal was a package of Nutter Butters and Oreos.
- The SRM VII. Finally, we no longer have to velcro, tape, chewing gum, anything you can find or construct to attach the powermeter to the TT bike! It is smaller, more battery life, and comes in fun colors. Can we say, time for an upgrade? Yeah, right…but it was good to see Uli since the last time I saw him was in Lucca!
- Meeting with Steve Hed. Yeah, the genius behind the best wheels in the world. He is the aerodynamic guru, and I can’t wait to work with him regarding my time trial. What a great, humble guy, willing to help. He did say I wasn’t dainty by any means, and that we should use what I have. Power. ha. Well put, Steve. I told him that I might only eat lettuce between now and when I meet with him next. RIght.
- Having a poster saying that there was going to be an autograph session with me. With me? Ha, no one wants my autograph, BUT if Floyd Landis will be there, they will line up for the entire length of the showroom.
- Signing with Floyd Landis, and having him give me a $100 casino chip for my valuable autograph. I know he was joking, but you better believe I took that casino chip. He was a ton of fun, and kept Brooke and I in stitches the entire hour, we were laughing so hard. He may not be riding much now, but he is sure having fun…
- Racing at night in Vegas was fun. It was a small field, not the best course, but there was some good racing, and why not, we are in Vegas.
Mandalay Bay turned Criterium
- Trying to escape Vegas and getting stuck on the airplane, the Marin Airporter and everything else with a bunch of mechanics, shops, and dealers STILL re-hashing Vegas. We left, guys! Ah!
- Playing Foosball with the ClifBar Team, Brooke and I, Christian Vandevelde, Zabriskie, and many others in the tournament, and all loosing… and hearing Dave Towle, say, “The one thing we can say about this, is that professional cyclists make horrible fooseball players..” The little players were painted with our team kits, and were so cute. Garmin. TIBCO. BMC. It was fun.
Team TIBCO Foosball Player
- Walking around, being a part of Team TIBCO and visiting my sponsors. I love them, and it was great to support them because of all the support they give the team!
- Everyone in my cycling world, all congregated in one place. It was craziness in a nutshell.
Upon my return, I must say that I am glad I woke up in Marin this morning. There were no neon lights, no chaos, and I could sleep and rest. I am so glad I got to go to Interbike, but I am also so relieved it only comes but once a year. I have a year to recover until I give it another go.
Thanks to all the support and great products!