Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interbike Exploration and Jubilation

Ahhh Interbike. The annual celebration of all things bicycle held in the city that stands as a monument to American excess; Las Vegas. It is a rather interesting pairing and with this being my first trip to the expo I wanted to experience both sides. Now that I have checked this adventure off my list I can say it was a fantastic experience but not necessarily one that I need to repeat on an annual basis. My story shall begin with the expo itself.

I have wanted to attend Interbike since the first day I laid eyes on a two wheeled human powered vehicle. After many long years of anticipation I can confidently say the event did not disappoint. It began on Wednesday morning and despite a long day and late night on Tuesday I was still up at the crack of dawn bouncing around like a kid on christmas morning. My traveling companions were super excited to wake up to the sound of me bouncing up and down on my cot at 7am. If only they knew what was about to happen them. Never bring a hyperactive bike nerd to Vegas. It only increases their already excessive energy levels.

So what did I see? Well, if you own a computer and have any idea how to use it for the power of good you have already seen everything at the expo on Bikerumor and a thousand other interweb sites. I'll do my best to tell my version of the story with a somewhat controlled photo dump. Spoiler alert, there is a urine joke in your near future.

This is where it all began. I was so excited to pick up my badge that I couldn't hold the camera steady. Either that or my camera sucks. You decide. Of course, if you choose the latter option and would like to buy me a new camera I'm certainly not above accepting gifts. In case you are wondering, I prefer Canon.

It is hard to put into words just how large this trade show is. It's apparently even more difficult to put into a picture.

First stop, Moots! The most beautiful bike at the show was their 29er. This is not simply my opinion. According to a statistic that I made up for this post, 118% of Interbike attendees agree that Moots created sex on wheels with this one. I didn't take this blurry photo so I defer back to the earlier comment about you buying me a camera. If all of my readers chip in just $100 each I'll have $200 to put toward this purchase. Thanks for doubling my readership, mom.

Stops 2-5. Yes, I went to the Moots booth on five separate occasions. Not sequentially of course as that would have bordered on creepy. But seriously, just look at that thing. Tasty times two.

No trip to Interbike would be complete without stopping by the Specialized booth. They had one of Jaroslav Kulhavy's bikes on hand. I may have touched it. There were unconfirmed reports of weeping. I don't know anything about that.

Tell me you wouldn't lick that bike if you had the chance.

So now is the point where this post could easily fall into a lengthy series of photos of various 29" wheeled bikes followed by my comments about how amazing they all are. I'll spare you that pain and go straight to my celebrity siting list. It is as follows: Chris Horner, Dave Zabriske, Levi Leipheimer, Ryder Hesjedahl, James Macilvain(yes he counts and no I don't care if you have no idea who he is), Chris, Sugai, Elvis and Ned Overend. Yes this is my second Ned sighting. No, I did not talk to him. I didn't talk to him last time and that approach has worked out pretty well so far. Do you have any idea what could happen? If I were to speak to him he might actually respond at which point I would pee all over the rug. Nobody wants that. Especially the clean up crew in Vegas. Look at how they respond such things....

That may be taking caution to an unnecessarily high level.

What else did I see? Every damn thing, that's what. And I went back to the Moots booth again. Over the course of two and half days I went to every booth at the show. Some were better than others of course and I was mocked relentlessly for touching every single tire but hey, I likes me some tires. There were more components, accessories, clothes and trinkets than I could ever cover here. So instead I present you with a picture of this guy:

I have no idea who this guy is. Apparently he was trying to sell some sort of ab machine that is so intense you have to wear sunglasses while you use it. It seemed like a great concept to me. Except for the ab machine part.

I also saw this thing:
For that very special person who loves the Stairmaster but wants to take in some scenery while they work on their fitness goals. Best to wear a helmet to protect you from the embarrassment of being excessively Caucasian.

The trip did include a short burst of exercise that I was very excited about. As if I wasn't already excited about everything else. Lemond Fitness had a stationary trainer set up with a power meter so Interbike attendees could compete against each other in a battle royale of watts supremacy. I didn't win. I know your shocked. However, I got to watch Dan, traveling companion number one, put up a number that held 3rd place until the end of the show. Notoriety and a free t-shirt for him. Free socks for me. Sweet.

I'm confident a gold embossed certificate of achievement will be arriving at the shop any day now.

Yes I rocked my sweet new socks with my sandals. No, people did not point and laugh.

Me, I put up 1146. Not too shabby for a little dude with chicken legs. Even less shabby when you consider that my score was 37 watts higher than a gentleman I shall only refer to as traveling companion number two. That is really not the most flattering name for him but he is currently in a safe house as a part of the 37 watts less than Dave protection program. The secrecy of this program is of the utmost importance and shall not be violated under any circumstances.

So that is the expo half of my Interbike story. What is the other half? Well, that would be the drunker side of Vegas. Oh the stories I will tell you through stilted prose and blurry photos. Don't forget, your individual contribution to my new camera fund will only decrease if you bring additional readers to my blog. Put on your reader recruiting hat and get to work. I like Canon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Prelude to Interbike

Dear readers it has been far too long since I last stood upon my soapbox to cast forth my deranged musings. Because I have neglected you so I am reaching out today with a very special gift. A gift so phenomenal that it will leave you with soiled undergaments and an overhelming sense of joy. Allow me to take a moment to lay the foundation....

This past week I found myself checking an item off my bucket list by attending the Interbike Expo in Las Vegas. Yes, that Las Vegas. I have been told that only old people are allowed to have a bucket list but that is total bollocks. I've got a lot of stuff to do and if putting that stuff in a bucket of some sort increases the likelihood of it getting done then so be it. I also don't feel a need to confine my desires to a bucket. The earth is full of so many incredible things that I have not yet seen that I may require a far larger receptacle. Why would I limit myself to a bucket when I could use something cool like a red wagon with tall wooden sides. Not only would that increase my carrying capacity but it also greatly improves the aesthetic value of my list transportation device.

I anticipate the phrase “wagon list” will be all the rage in 2012

Where was I? Oh yes, your very special gift. My trip to Interbike began with a visit to Douglas Airport where I boarded US Airways flight 383. Upon taking our seats my two travelling companions and I found ourselves with some time to kill. Of course, we did take a few minutes to review the safety manual and familiarize ourselves with the emergency procedures associated with our particular aircraft. We weren't in an exit row but I felt it was important for us to prepare ourselves in the event that the exit row passengers and everyone in the 15 rows separating us from the exit rows were unfit to assist in an emergency. You can never be too careful. Once this important step was out of the way I proceeded to open a copy of In Style Magazine that had been left behind by a kind hearted traveller clearly devoted to the happiness of others. As I flipped through the pages my fellow Interbike attendees and I marveled at the latest fashion trends and took detailed notes so that we could improve our personal wardrobes. Then something truly amazing happened. I turned the page to find the single greatest advertisement that I have ever laid my eyes upon. Ladies and gentlemen I give you......The Most Incredibly Lifelike Baby Monkey Ever!

I want you to take a moment to read this ad in its entirety. Really drink it in. This is no ordinary doll folks. This is a silicone based artificial orangutan that is the size of an actual baby. It warms my heart to know that the world will no longer have to settle for undersized imitation infant monkeys. Take note that this is the first baby monkey in the company's world famous So Truly Real line. Have you not heard of this world famous collection? I'm shocked. Have you been living under a rock with another rock on top of it? Where have you been??!! Just look at it. Soft pliable silicone skin. Wispy, hand rooted hair. Gentle eyes. And that little pink, so precious.

My only real disappointment with this product offering is that it will only be available for a limited time. You should be grateful that I came to you so quickly. As the ad states, high demand is expected. And how could it not be? At the bargain price of $139.99 plus $15.99 shipping and handling I can't see any reason to pass this up. I am left with only one question. Does someone who has $155 to spend on a small rubber orangutan really need to pay over time in five easy installments? My thought is that if you are in a financial position that requires you to make payments on a product like this it might be a sign that a baby monkey collection should not be high on your list of priorities. Of course, if you fail to make the payments I am quite confident that a suitable payment restructuring plan can be identified to suit your needs. This is America after all.

Stay tuned for an in-depth report of my assault on Interbike. The expo had no idea what hit it. In the meantime, I present for your viewing pleasure a video of a baby monkey riding a pig. Sing it with me. Sing it loud.