Posts Tagged ‘Interbike 2015’

Blue bird, red nose

September 20, 2015
The affordable made-in-America Co-Motion Bluebird starts at $2,995.

The affordable made-in-America Co-Motion Bluebird starts at $2,995.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — We took one more spin around the show floor on Friday, the Adventure Cyclist folks and I, and then I got the hell out of Dodge — but not before I collected a nasty case of Snotlocker Surprise®, which didn’t fully manifest itself until I got home Saturday afternoon.

interbike-bugI hadn’t been sick in a good long while, and I was taking the usual sanitary precautions during the show, but there were plenty of sneezers and wheezers in attendance and one of them must have drilled me with a booger-bomb.

A sore throat, plugged sinuses and the general feeling of having been et by a coyote and shit off a cliff is what I get for making jokey videos about drugs. Now I’m actually taking some, and they are far from mind-expanding, though one may hope that Claritin-D 12-Hour is at least nostril-expanding.

Before the cooties took root in my snoot we checked out the new Bluebird tandem from the fine folks at Co-Motion as well as a Traitor Wander, which sounds like a command but is actually a bicycle. The Ortlieb guys had one at the booth, wearing their bags, and after some brisk negotiations with the Traitors I wound up taking one home with me. No doubt there was a certain segment of the Bicycle Retailer readership that, upon seeing me in the company of a Traitor, muttered, “I knew it!”

An Arizona parfait, as shot through the passenger window.

An Arizona parfait, as shot through the passenger window.

With a bike in hand, I abruptly decided it was time to go. I’d had all the secondhand smoke I could bear, the omnipresent background music was starting to sound like the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U” as interpreted by Don Vito Corleone, and I was sick of watching people play with their phones. When the alien archaeologists root through our leavings they will posit that we were a feeble race of eejits with detachable rectangular genitalia that we were always stroking.

I beat it for Flagstaff and more or less went straight to bed, then spent Saturday morning lazing around the Hampton, grazing on the free breakfast, and failing to upload that White Walkers video (the Hampton’s upload speeds are even worse than mine).

Then it was the old zoom-zoom to Duke City, where the traditional multicar pileup at I-40 and San Mateo added an extra 20 minutes in first gear to the last miles of my pilgrimage. I had camping gear with me and was tempted to pitch my tent in the fast lane but then the traffic started moving again and I was homeward bound at last, mumbling along with Tom Waits’ “Swordfishtrombone”:

Well, he came home from the war
with a party in his head
and a modified Brougham DeVille
and a pair of legs that opened up
like butterfly wings
and a mad dog that wouldn’t
sit still
he went and took up with a Salvation Army
Band girl
who played dirty water
on a swordfishtrombone
he went to sleep at the bottom of
Tenkiller Lake
and he said “Gee, but it’s
great to be home.”

 

 

 

 

Bay window

September 19, 2015

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — I was sitting in a window at Mandalay Bay, taking a load off my aching puppies, and the hordes of show-goers trudging to and fro became so hypnotic that I broke out a camera and just let it run.

But why aren’t these people riding bicycles? It’s a bicycle show, yeah?

Titties and beer

September 18, 2015
One of Marin's Gestalt bikes. I should've snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

One of Marin’s Gestalt bikes. I should’ve snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Well, almost.

Dinner last night was at a Mexican place none of us had ever been to before — Mike Deme, the Adventure Cycling Association’s King of All Media, picked The Eldorado Cantina after sifting Yelp recommendations online — and when we all piled into the cab and gave the hack the address he says, “Strip club.”

interbike-bug“Naw, it’s a Mexican restaurant,” says Mike.

“Strip club too,” replies the cabbie.

Oops.

So, yeah. We were expecting the worst. Pasties in the posole? Instead of a napkin in the lap, a writhing young person of the female persuasion hawking watered-down $20 margaritas? Tony, Silvio and Paulie Walnuts leaning on the bar, serving up heaping helpings of fresh stinkeye, on the house?

Nope. Nice little place, good food, excellent service. Bada bing!

Anyway, we discussed the future of tech coverage in Adventure Cyclist, and I think you can look forward to some good stuff there, though I can’t say much about the details at the moment because Tony, Silvio, Paulie, etc.

Before dinner, there was more wandering about at the show, during which I got a look at the Marin Four Corners and Gestalt series; the Masi Giramondo; and the Giant Toughroad SLR 1, a rare flat-bar adventure bike.

The monster-crosser, fat-tired, all-conditions, disc-equipped adventure bike, with compact double or even single-ring drivetrains, is definitely the industry’s latest wet dream.

But I did see one lonely, overlooked traditional setup tucked away in the corner of one booth — a Fuji Touring bike with a triple crank, Tektro rim brakes and bar-cons. No pasties.

Next: The long and winding road that leads to my door.

And so it begins

September 16, 2015
Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Should you ever find yourself forced to choose between eating at the Public House or doing a full-gainer freegan dive into a Dumpster behind the Luxor, I recommend going for the garbage.

interbike-bugThe Bicycle Retailer crew had a prix fixe deal going on — at the Public House, not the Dumpster — and you’d think that would have greased the culinary wheels of progress somewhat, but no.

Getting “served” required more than two hours, during which time several of my colleagues’ beverage orders went walkabout, and as for what finally arrived at the table, I’m going to go out on a limb here and call it “food,” if only because it came on a plate.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

The racket was abominable, and holding a conversation was impossible, which is kind of a pisser when you have two-plus hours to kill waiting for the grub. So we all shouted at those closest to us — mostly “What?” — and as a consequence this morning I feel like I’ve been gargling with broken glass.

Hey, there could have been anything in whatever that was on my plate. The foundation of a first-rate weight-loss program, is dinner at the Public House.

But, hey, First World Problems, am I right? It’s a brand-new day, I’ve had a couple $5 cups of coffee, and I didn’t have to wait two hours for them, either. Off to the show.

Next: Day one of Interbike.

Putting on the Dog

September 15, 2015
For today at least, Sin City is not a scorching hellhole.

For today at least, Sin City is not a scorching hellhole.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Early rising makes me disagreeable, even more so than usual. So rather than make my usual pilgrimage to Late for the Train, I fled Flagstaff for Vegas, where one more bad attitude is the equivalent of a mouse fart at a sewage treatment plant.

interbike-bugOddly, my arrival was completely incident-free. I checked in at the Luxor, picked up my show badge, and settled into my spacious Cycling Journalist’s Suite at the Luxor, awaiting the first of what I hope will be many meals at someone else’s expense.

The kickoff is always dinner with the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News mob. Then Adventure Cyclist takes a pounding for the duration.

That's Smirnoff, but not of the Yakov variety.

That’s Smirnoff, but not of the Yakov variety.

Throwing a few meaty bones to the old Dog is a small price to pay to keep me out of the office, and indeed across state lines. More than one of them, too, BRAIN being a California concern while Adventure Cyclist is based up Montana way.

On the way over to score my badge I noticed that someone had already had his dinner. Well, like they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Specifically, in and around the toilet at the Luxor.

Next: It’s showtime!

Through a windshield, darkly

September 15, 2015
It's a long and lonely road when the wind is up in your grill like you owe it money.

It’s a long and lonely road when the wind is up in your grill like you owe it money.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (MDM) — It seems as though I always see at least one tourist while motoring to and from Interbike.

interbike-bugThis poor sod was fighting a wicked head wind that took my miles per gallon down from Subaru Forester to GMC Yukon range. He had just struggled out of the rest area east of Flagstaff, and I didn’t see him until it was almost too late to snap a “quick” pic (goddamn the iPhone and its secret-password bullshit anyway).

It probably didn’t help that I was listening to a collection of old “National Lampoon Radio Hour” classics and giggling like a stoner. Some of the bits hold up mighty well, like “Stand Up,” “Light Your Faith” and “Frank Rizzo and the Philadelphia Police League for Retarded Children.” Yeah, I know, not exactly politically correct but funnier than shit.

Dinner at the Beaver Street Brewery & Whistle Stop Cafe was decent, but not spectacular. The clientele seemed decidedly geezerish, so it would appear that my Hip-O-Meter© is on the fritz as usual. God only knows where the cool kidz chill in this burg, and I ain’t askin’ Him, ’cause I’m in a hurry to get to Interbike and look at some toys.

Meanwhile, keeping watch over Elly Mae’s critters has apparently ruined me for sleeping in. I was up long before sunrise and they don’t even break out the java in this dump until 6:30.

Next stop: Sin City.

The Big Yellow Ball has company in the sky today. A little rain would definitely lubricate the final push through the desert.

The Big Yellow Ball has company in the sky today. A little rain would definitely lubricate the final push through the desert.

Sin City, here we come

September 14, 2015

Dire woof

September 12, 2015
Winter is coming! Also, Interbike.

Winter is coming! Also, Interbike.

I dreamed the other night that I was racing cyclo-cross, and doing pretty well at it, too, which was how I could tell it was a dream.

Sleep has been in short supply lately, with Herself off visiting friends in England. The menagerie is used to her schedule, not mine, and if you can sleep through reveille as sounded by Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), I regret to inform you that you died during the night.

Thus, instead of dozing until 6 a.m. I’ve been up and at ’em around 4:30, not least because Mister Boo has been suffering the usual separation anxiety, which manifests itself in peeing in the house and bouts of diarrhea alternating with constipation.

Also, and too, sniveling. Nobody snivels like The Boo. He wants that lady who gives him things, and I’m sure he suspects that I have finally driven her away for good, perhaps to some other, younger Chin with two good eyes and no incontinence issues.

Once everyone’s gotten fed and watered, I’ve been logging in at Live Update Guy with about half the voices in my head still clearing their respective throats. This annoys my colleague Charles Pelkey, who like me enjoys a quiet hour to himself in the morning and has come to expect me and my diagnoses to arrive 7-ish.

After a few hours of Vuelta bloggery I’ve lost interest in other blood sports, like politics, though it’s impossible not to notice that Hillary seems hellbent on topping Fritz Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry in the Worst Democratic Candidate for President In My Lifetime Sweepstakes. I’ve rarely seen a coronation go so horribly sideways, and I’ve watched all five seasons of “Game of Thrones.”

Speaking of the White Walkers, Interbike starts next week, which probably explains why I woke up no fewer than three times last night, the final time with the Son House version of “John the Revelator” playing in my head, which, surprisingly, remained attached to my neck.

I should be in tip-top shape by the time I hit the show floor in King’s Landing with the Adventure Cyclist mob. Hey, those aren’t bags under my eyes, pal. Those are panniers.