|Jeff Kerkove (R) and myself at Interbike 2009. (Image taken by S. Looney)|
Anyway, this Interbike trip was always a HUGE pain to me but also a HUGE blessing in that I got to see certain people only at that show. If there is a negative to not having Interbike, this would be the only one, in my mind.
Humans, at least North American ones, seem to only get together if "forced to" by an occasion. You know.....weddings, funerals, class reunions, etc. Otherwise we're not tuned into just "making the time" just to see a friend, relative, or acquaintance. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I'm just making the observation. This image of Jeff Kerkove and I is a prime example of that.
Anyway, that is a time gone by, Interbike, that is, and I am glad I attended those years that I did. I always tried to make it something of an adventure, because if it wasn't, then why bother? The walks down the Strip, riding bikes down the Strip, or wandering around in the seamy back alleys of the casinos. Whatever it was I did there, I tried to keep it all above board and fun. But always the main thing remained. That was the people. Interbike was always about the people I met.
Interbike, ultimately, was taken down by technology. The reasons the trade show existed back in the Analog Era were all circumvented by the dawning of the Digital Age. You can virtually see components and bikes via the computer in your hand at a moments notice, and marketers go direct to that device now. Even the buying of stock for stores is all done on-line. The days of signing an order and getting a handshake are long gone, supplanted by faceless technology.
And in a way, cycling is going down that same path. You don't have to join a group ride anymore, or get on a trail. You can Zwift anytime you like. Scenery passes by on your big screen device safely, and everything is digitized- Right down to the post ride data which goes up on your social media immediately. Just sit back and count "the likes". Whoopee!
Someday I'll probably hear some young person ask me what it was like when we could feel the wind in our hair.