Interbike 2018: Hello, is there anybody in there?

My lodging for Interbike 1999 was a tad spartan.

This morning, when I should have been risking life and limb motoring to Reno via U.S. 550 and U.S. 50, a.k.a. The Loneliest Road in America, I took a little spin down Memory Lane, which is much easier on the kidneys.

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

Back in 1997, the pre-Interbike issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News ran a whopping 150 pages, more than three times this year’s 46 (and the pages were bigger back then, too).

It was an embarrassment of riches, so much so that the editors awarded me some extra space to play with, probably because they had run out of actual news to plug the holes between the ads.

Thus, my “Shop Talk” cartoon, ordinarily a simple black-and-white strip at the bottom of the Editorial & Comment page at the back of the book, took over an entire page of the September 1997 issue, and in full color, too.

The resulting CMYK image file was so friggin’ huge that I had to break the sonofabitch into segments to squeeze it through our lo-fi Innertubes outside Weirdcliffe for deposit upon the BRAIN trust in Fanta Se (click the image to see the big picture).

Back then I was drawing cartoons for the Show Daily, too. But that’s another story.

• Next: Just nod if you can hear me.

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16 Responses to “Interbike 2018: Hello, is there anybody in there?”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    Jeesh, I didn’t know the word “dude” was even in the vocabulary in 1997……….dude! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:


      • Libby Says:

        “The Big Lebowski” was released 20 years ago. TCM presented a theatrical release in August, I think. I’ll put in a plug for these events. This month see “Rebel Without a Cause” September 23 and 26 in theaters. It’s wonderful to see these films on a big screen. And, you notice things that you just haven’t seen before even in much-viewed/familiar films.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    That picture looks familiar. Right down to the rubber mat, bedliner, and those goofy clamps holding down the camperback.

    Mine musta made close to fifty trips up and down the hill from BombTowne to Fanta Se this last winter, hauling crap piecemeal between The Old Home and The New Home. Sigh. I’m still not used to living in a city again. Miss the solitude, and the glowing mule deer down in the canyons…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That 1998 Tacoma of ours motored from Maine to Spokane, Austin to Boston. Herself drove the wheels off it whilst taking her masters at DU, and I beat on it pretty hard with road trips to Interbike and elsewhere.

      I kinda wish I still had a truck. Sue Baroo the Fearless Furster is a fine ol’ gal, but sometimes a feller needs hisself a truck.

      The Mercedes-Benz Metris cargo van looks like a winner, too, despite its lack of AWD/4WD. While on a ride the other day I saw a guy unloading stuff from the back of one and stopped to ask him how he liked it. Turns out he’s the general manager of the Duke City dealership.

      I’m trying very hard not to buy one.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        Our 1990 4Runner still charges on after 13 moves, 2 kids, numerous bike and rock/mulch/fertilizer hauls, etc. Only 178K miles on him (Bert….from Bert and Ernie time) so I expect to pass on before Bert does.

        The Mercedes Metris looks real good…..who would have thunk a Mercedes would start at $25K?

        You should consider becoming “good friends” with that Duke City MB Dealership GM…..especially as we approach the late year end and then the late month end. Does he like bikes??

        Can’t wait to hear/read your next Interbike 2018 revelation. 🙂

      • khal spencer Says:

        I barely use the Tacoma. I think it is a 97. If you are interested. 330k miles. Sheesh. A testimony to Japanese quality.

  3. Gary Burmette Says:

    The shop strip was my introduction to your “mindset” and, agreeing (like) totally (dude) I followed along for years – great to see Shop Guy and the MudStud again. Thanks!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Stud is … something. Nobody knows exactly what, but still, there you have it.

      While rooting around in the archives I found an old Show Daily three-parter that actually made me laugh. This is a rarity, because I’m a tough audience but only a so-so performer. I’ll break that one out here shortly.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Those were the daze! Thanks for the memories. Dunno about the Merc van…a few years back I drove one around Italy for about a month and really thought it a POS. Granted it was a rental but the beat-up condition wasn’t the issue. Auto trans really didn’t work well and the speedo would suddenly read 200 kph..and then 50 kph, all while rolling along the autostrada at just over 100. Mentioned it to someone else who had one and got, “Yeah they all do that”
    My in-laws both have Mercs and they spend a LOT of time in the shop.
    Meanwhile, our 1993 Mitsubishi is getting the last rites. Started acting up earlier this week (and we need the thing for only two more months at best 😦 ) and the techs diagnosed a fried ECU – a $1000 parts/labor tab for a car at best worth $600-$1200. RIP Mitsubishi, you were a great car for 25 years… if/when we need 4 wheels we’ll be down at the rental office. They say it costs around $9K a year to own/operate a typical car, so we can rent a lot of cars when we need ’em and never have to deal with ’em when we don’t!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think I may be suffering from a fond memory of me sainted mother’s 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220S. O, what a fine ride that was. She sold it out from under me without warning while I was at college, never considering that as the eldest child I would be the one selecting her nursing home.

      The Subaru will have to do for a while yet, I think. If only they made an Outback van with a pop-top camper.

  5. sherkat Says:

    Just the basic facts. Can you tell me where it hurts?

  6. tj mora Says:

    I followed the “Stud” thru my years at trying to make a living at the end of a wrench. Now I put stones in their place and am much more comfortable. But I still miss wrenching. God bless the bike.

  7. Libby Says:

    Love the ‘toon. Eagerly awaiting the next installment. You had some good times and good pals over the years at Interbike.

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