This is the BIG HONKIN’ Post-INTERBIKE blog POST. Bikes, bike clothes, bike food, bike art, bike peeps, parties, races, bike dot.orgs ‘n’ bike stuff. So pull up a very fancy beer, maybe a bowl of pasta, and have a read – this could take awhile…
Found this little guy cavorting amongst the bikes and around his dad, absolutely giddy with bike joy. I think I can safely speak for everyone I know, we all felt pretty much like him walking onto that show floor.
We got down to that immediately the first night at a dinner with mostly media people. It was already fun putting faces and voices to the Twitter names. Among them, Carlton Reid of Bikebiz, David Bernstein of The Fredcast, Jeff Helfand and Gene Hansel from VeloReviews, Brian Hodes of VeloImages, and Markus Neuert of Cyclefilm who we already knew from the Tour of California this past February. Donna Tocci, you were sorely missed!
The Interbike experience began at the Outdoor Dirt Demo held in Bootleg Canyon. It had wonderful trails both paved and dirt to test bikes of all persuasions so test I did. I decided to focus on the less conventional bikes for blogging purposes. I cannot pretend to be an expert on technical aspects of bikes so I thought it would be more useful if I introduced the casual rider to some of the neato stuff you may not know is out there and available for your riding convenience and pleasure. Of course I brought a decidedly female perspective with me to the desert and allowed the flirty, pretty stuff to catch my eye. There were plenty of charmers.
There has been a lot of debate about the why and how of the new electric bikes. Is it almost a motorcycle? Too dangerous for the trail? I’ll sum up: No. It’s fun. This one folds and is a very pretty burgundy red. Remember I’m an artist. Color is ALWAYS key.
Dahon electric folding bike. I was intrigued. I like to ride for fitness, to challenge myself as fast, as far and as high as I can go. I don’t need no stinking electric bike! But I’m also very pro bike commute and getting as car free as possible. I have been known to try and haul more groceries than I can safely balance on a regular cruiser. Enter the electric folding bike. If you know your work is not all that far from home and you really could ride the distance easily but think you don’t really want to ride back after an eight, nine, ten hour day, this is for you! Say you want a good wake up ride and go on your own steam to the office but want to take it easy and use the motor for the trip home. Maybe it’s downhill there and uphill back. If you’re like me you want to ease into your day, let the coffee kick in and have a brisk ride back in the evening to shake off the sedentary hours. It’s also good for riding to the store sans assist and come back laden using the extra power. The fun thing about this bike is that it can be set to sense your effort and suddenly it’ll give you a little ‘ziiiiIIP!’ just like a giant hand giving you a push. I swear it made me giggle every time. Riding the Dahon folding electric bike actually improved my mood – and who couldn’t use that after a long day!
Ever wanted a bike you could ride in the snow? Yep, you read that right. Jill Homer is an amazing cyclist with a rather fantastic lifestyle. She rides the Iditabike. Yes, like the Iditarod, in Alaska through the snow on a BIG FAT TIRE bike called a Pugsley made by Surly. It’s also just fun in the sand and dirt. It’s very “bouncy trouncy” and surprisingly comfortable. I swear you’ll feel invincible on this thing and the best part – you’ll feel a little like a cartoon character and totally like a BIG KID! Read Jill’s blog. It’s a treat and makes you dream of doing something awesome in a faraway place.
Just a little more of “Did you know…” The wind was blowing the sand up hard in the afternoon and I needed a sheltered place to eat my hot dog without a side of dirt. The guys at X Fusion offered me a chair so I queried them about their products. Anthony Trujillo explained that not all mtb forks are born equal. Ever wanted to try out hardcore mountain biking but found the bikes unresponsive to a lighter weight and touch? Well gals can get custom forks and shocks to suit our size and weight and go play in the rocks and mud to our heart’s delight and not have to pay for our fun with a tweaked back and neck! Who knew? There is a trail I know in Colorado where this info would come in handy…
When I needed to go out for a nice, long, real ride I went to my friend Tim Jackson at the Masi tent. Now big disclaimer here: Tim is a personal friend so… I asked him for something not too light, not too heavy, tires not too skinny, had to be pretty… He put me on a perfectly lovely steel frame Masi Speciale CX and it gave me a great ride. The day was perfect and the Bootleg Canyon trails were freshly paved. As I got farther away from the demo area I was peacefully by myself and the views of unspoiled desert were breathtaking. Not too hot, enough breeze to keep me cool and I just kept riding over the rolling hills until I poked through a pass and saw the city in the distance.. and turned back. Could’ve happily stayed out there all day. Thanks Tim.
Tuesday night saw roughly 200 bike nerds make their mark on the Strip at the Bike Tweetup held at the very posh Lavo restaurant. In case you were hiding under a rock at Interbike and missed it we had big, serious fun and raised over $1500 for Bike MS and Aids/LifeCycle by raffling off some super sweet schwag.
Back to the dirt…
KidzTandem puts the child in front of you where you can see him/her…duh!
I loved seeing this child friendly tandem bike because it always made me nervous seeing small children in seats of any kind on the back of a bike. Thank you KidzTandem!
Bike candy: VP Components pedals, headsets, bottom brackets…and plastic stuff.Castelli Aero Race bib short…
Prologo Italy, Pucci inspired pattern, Choice DEA Women saddle
Finally it was time to move inside the Sands Convention Center where I made it a point to sample ALL the sports drinks and ALL the nutritional food bars in order to give you all a helpful assessment/my humble opinion of who hit the mark on taste and who did not. Let’s face it life is too short to put something that tastes like cardboard in your mouth just because it’s supposed to be good for you! And you don’t have to.So here are the best of the best: Luna Bars White Chocolate Macadamia and Cliff Bar Builder’s in Lemon the best bar, IMHO, at Interbike. Shout out to Team Luna Chix women’s pro team because they rock. Odwalla’s bars were Ok but not yummy. Larabar was a little better than Odwalla.
Liz Hatch at the Lazer helmet booth listens to the cycling version of a fish story.
And then it was time for Cross Vegas!
Carlton Reid before the race flanked by Martha and Jennifer Sage
(see top photo of post for the view)
Detour Sports of Hood River Oregon. These products are so cool in so many ways. Money from Trash is a grassroots effort of several women-owned and operated cooperatives in the Philippines who make products like these seriously beautiful and expertly crafted bike bags from recycled materials. Your purchase of a recycled bag empowers the women who run these cooperatives and their communities. Please follow this link to learn more about the B. Luz Cooperative .
My initial purpose for being at Interbike 2009 was to participate in the Urban Legend Fashion and Art show sponsored by Momentum Magazine, invited by the illustrious Thomas Prehn – who worked his butt off to put the Art part of it together. Thank you Thomas and thank you Rich Kelly – honestly I don’t know HOW you do it.
Here we see cycling photographer Carson Blume on the other side of the lense for a change in a dashing urban ensemble, riding a bike that accomodates a massive bucket. Photo courtesy of BikePortland.org
I found this kid just before the official closing bell of Interbike 2009 – after five long days of tightly organized mayhem – sitting at the bottom of the stairs that lead up from the registration area to the show floor. He looks exactly like we all felt at that point. I took down his name but can’t find the card so if he’s one of your peeps please leave a note in the comment section and I will credit him properly. I love this industry because it’s full of people who love to ride bikes and to all my dear friends with whom I shared the week: Thank You from the bottom of my heart for making it memorable.