Monday, September 28, 2009

Interbike 2009: The Hangover

<====The view out the Circus Circus hotel.

Coming back from Interbike always finds me a bit discombobulated for awhile. The city, the venue for the show, on top of air travel, and the work load all conspire to leave me a bit out of sorts for a few days.

I sure am glad I cut the trip short and got back on Thursday! Of course, because of the situation, I ended up being awake for too long a stretch, which only added to the pile.

<===Chris King, (on the left with the tongs) braved near 100 degree heat to barbeque for a bunch of dusty bike freaks. Thanks man!

That said, I ain't complainin'! I got to ride a bunch of really cool bikes at Bootleg Canyon, adding state number seven to my total for the year of states ridden off road in, and I got to meet a lot of great folks again.

Added to that were the old friends and faces which I don't get to see at all unless I go to Interbike. Too bad it takes that to get to see these folks, but then again, at least we get together. I suppose it ends up being better that we meet at all.

< ===Beef! It's whats for dinner, eh?

The plan this year was to get my rear end in gear and do what I could in the two Outdoor Demo days and one day of indoor work at Interbike. Looking back on it right now, I'd say it was successful as far as being on par with last year. I got more pictures, actually, and I got plenty of content. Trouble with the "plan" was that I had zero time to spend digging into things. It's funny though, because the readers seem to appreciate the pictures, but when you start writing more in depth stuff, they complain about not seeing the show virtually. So I took more pictures and talked and dug up stuff less.

<====Mutant muni monsters. These guys are off roading freaks of nature!

So the "plan" seemed to be fairly balanced and seemed to work. My partner, Grannygear, was a huge help. Between he and I we did more with the Outdoor Demo than ever before, and if we hadn't run into so many road blocks, we would have gotten even more done.

Example: (This one chapped my hide more than any of the situations) Cannondale had a big circus tent like deal where you walked into the front of the tent, did the required sign offs, and told them what bike you wanted to ride. Okay. No big deal, right? Well, the line was long when I stepped up. It wasn't moving very fast either. Meanwhile, Grannygear is standing there waiting, since the "normal" time to get a bike anywhere else had long elapsed and he was ready to ride. Finally! I get to a clipboard and then I see why the line was crawling. Dorel, Cannondale's parent company, had you sign your life away, asked for your mother's maiden name, and made you promise to say please and thank you in triplicate. Well, not really, but I signed more signatures and initials on their release than I did for anybody else at outdoor Demo combined. Stinkin' lawyers! Anyway.......

I walk up to the guy asking which bike I wanted. I said, "Anything with 29 inch wheels." The guy says that they didn't bring any, because they were still in production. I said, "Well, give me back my I.D. then." He looks at me with wide eyes, "You mean you won't ride anything but 29"ers?" To which I said, "Nope!" I grabbed my I.D., and I took my steaming countenance outta there before something other than "Nope" came outta my mouth.

<===Bootleg Canyon leaves an impression in more than one way.

At least they could have put up a sign that said "We didn't bring any 29"ers. Sorry!", and I wouldn't have wasted a half an hour waiting for nothing in the heat. Sheesh! Thanks Cannondale!

Anyway, that was the worst thing, and that was not that big a deal, so I wouldn't say it was a bad trip. But it does suck the life out of you somehow, some way, and that takes a bit to get over.

Well, it's over now and my next, and last, big deal for 2009 looms on the horizon.

The Big Wheeled Ballyhoo.

More on that to come, stay tuned.............

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