|Meeting of the Year: (L-R) Tim Grahl, Gary Fisher, G-Ted|
The casinos had expanded a bunch since that time. The MGM had just opened up back then in '96, the New York, New York casino was being built, and there wasn't anything further down the Strip past the MGM. Imagine that today if you will.
This time, in 2006, Las Vegas was totally glitzed out and Interbike was at the end of a time when it still was totally relevant. Things were busy back then, the aisles were packed with dealers and show goers of all stripes. Everywhere we went the streets were full of people. It was an eye opener for sure.
That said, the very first day I was there, in the very first hours my shadow had fallen on Sin City streets, I had the highlight of the trip. It would all be down hill after this. I met Gary Fisher for the first time. It was totally by chance that we saw him in a mall on the Strip and Tim Grahl chased him down. We sat and had some Starbuck's coffee while we chatted for about an hour maybe. I learned a lot about him, and found that he was quite an erudite man with opinions that were enlightening on several subjects, but mostly on cycling.
Not only that but I saw the Twin Six guys right afterward and that was the second highlight of the trip. Hmm.... I saw Jeff Kerkove at the Ergon booth, (tiny, and on the outer edge of the show floor because they were a "new brand" ), and I got a Topeak-Ergon Race Team t-shirt from him which I still have. Yes.....I am sentimental. So sue me.
Anyway, I would meet Gary Fisher several more times in the following years. Each time was memorable. Say what you want about the man, but I think he's a star of the cycling world. And I think that's just the way he wanted it to be.