I usually differ from my cycling comrades in one way. I LOVE Las Vegas, and they all think its horrible. All to often i hear their crunchy granola whining about bad air, inability to ride, the heat, the hotels, the food, the people, blah blah blah.
I fell in love with Las Vegas during my Frank Sinatra phase, who i might add I saw in Syracuse in 1994. He could barely get through one song and STILL got a standing ovation. The Chairman always gets respect. Vegas made Frank, Frank was the best, logic dictates – Vegas is the best. Vegas has everything that i loved as a kid…
- Rides – CHECK
- Hotels – CHECK
- Gambling – CHECK
- Restaurants – CHECK
- Star Trek – CHECK
- Waterfalls – CHECK
- Lounges (and acts) -CHECK
- Massive River Pool – CHECK
- Tacky old hotels that cost 30$ a night – CHECK!
- Breakfast Buffet – CHECK
When i discovered Interbike, it made a trip to Las Vegas that much cooler. When CrossVegas was added in it was like God had opened up my head and then said “Oh.. this looks cool, I’ll just take his fantasy and make it real.” I am always bummed that its not really bike friendly but that’s what hotel gyms are for. In the exercise department going for a run on the strip is wild… lots of stairs, the sidewalks are really long so not a lot of lights, and around 8 AM its a ghost town. Then add in flames, shooting jets of water, weird music – well, I just pretend its Logans Run. This year is going to be even better… Vegas has been hit hard by the recession, so we are getting a room at the Bellagio. Less time on the floor, more time at the pool. Each year is different… this year will be a hote year i think.
I think of my job at Interbike as performance art. Last year we got one good video clip and one good story out of it.
1. Story: It was Thursday, the night after CrossVegas, which Lance had flown in for. It was pretty early, like 10 and the floor had just opened up. I was by the Gita booth which is where Eddy Merckx hangs out when he is there promoting his bike line.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw this little pile of people walking towards me – the group was growing as they got closer coming down the aisle and i realized at the center was Lance Armstrong. Lance ponied up to Eddy, shook his hand and sat down. Eddy started showing Lance his catalog or something and the crowd of people started to grow. I walked away for a minute and realized I should go back cause I was missing one of those “key” moments in my cycling life. At the edge of the group was a tall guy straining to see the commotion, he was doing a little hop to try and see what everybody was looking at. I realized the guy trying to get a look was Gary Fisher, Norcal lenged, muntain bike inventory, and general bike industry mogul. It was surreal – I was within 10 feet of three modern day cycling legends. I looked at Gary and said “You should get in there!” I mean..this guy is huge to the history of cycling, let alone local and industry legend! He looked at me… slightly embarrased at getting caught peaking at Lance and Eddy, and smiled. He laughed and said…’Yeah, right.” I never figured him to come across so humble… but I thought that was pretty cool.
2. The Video – CrossVegas was awesome. Lance racing was cool, but… ripe for humor. I guess Lance isn’t coming this year. Should be an awesome race regardless of the Lance factor… sevearl Euro dudes are coming over which will raise the level of competition quite a bit.
I will chronicle the fun stuff more thoroughly – plane leaves soon!
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