|A "mix and match" Chris King headset from '07 that I still run in one of my bikes here .|
You can go back to last week's series and read much of what it was like. I won't rehash my posts from ten years ago as many of the memories were covered here last week. But I will delve a little deeper in to what it was like working Vegas back then.
Grahl had us in the same time share "apartment", for lack of a better term, that we had used the year before. It was very conveniently located about two blocks from the Sands Convention center which was where Interbike was held. Obviously, we could walk wherever we had to go. Every morning it was a trek across a sandy lot, walking by a "station" where immigrants from Mexico were usually found in the evenings hawking escort service cards. The cards would be strewn all across the sidewalk and especially in front of the newspaper dispensers which were lined up at certain intervals along the Strip. These did not hold traditional newspapers, but they dispensed papers with several pages flaunting ads for escort services and pictured scantily clad women with "come hither" looks on their faces.
It was a walk of shame, for everyone, myself included. It was just a rotten, soulless place to wander through. Of course, then you had to negotiate the casino to get to the show floor. Smoking indoors is still allowed in Vegas so you were immediately aware of that stench and the noise, of course, of gambling. It was so surreal to see all these semi-fit, and fit cycling folk walking briskly by haggard folks with yellow tipped fingers blithely pulling one armed bandits and slumping over roulette games. It was just soooo wrong.
Then we'd bust our butts from 9:00am until 5:00pm, posting as many images as we could, and then hitting up the food court in the nearby "fashion mall" for some slices of pizza before retiring back to the "apartment" and its rather close quarters. If I recall correctly, this was also the year that journalist Brad Quartuccio, then of "Dirt Rag", but soon to split off and be doing his own gig, was working with us. In fact, he may have just left "Dirt Rag" at that point, come to think of it. Anyway....... I recall Brad being very thin and very intense. He was doing some work for Grahl at that time. Just a favor or two.
The week ended with me getting back to Iowa and being very happy about that. Here's a quote I pulled which gives you the basic feeling I had post-I-Bike in the form of a bit of advice to those who had never been to the show:
".....but any self respecting cyclist owes it to themselves at least to stay far away from that black hole of waste called Las Vegas. I still find it ironic that the industry thinks this is a good idea to go there. Wow!"
Obviously, it wasn't the best place and now it won't be happening there in Vegas again. About ten years too late on that one, in my opinion!