Stories From The Saddle

Viva Las Vegas

Well the dust has settled from another year in the desert so we figured it was about time to re-cap our week in Vegas at Interbike 2013, September 16-20th.Viva Las Vegas

The show was held at Mandalay Bay this year for the first time. Like everyone else we weren’t sure what to expect from the new location and what effect it might have on logistics. For us, like other companies that attend the western hemishpere’s largest bicycle industry trade show, we enjoyed a comfortable routine at the Sands Convention Center for years. Other than learning the new lay of the land, everything went very smooth. Of course there were varying opinions on the show floor layout, but all in all I thought getting around was the same as it always is. The likelihood of getting turned around is due to the distraction of all of  the new and exciting bikes and cycling gear everywhere.  Most of the big companies have enormous signage hanging from the ceiling – so a good method for finding your way around is to familiarize yourself with the road map up high. We were right next to Maxxis (our distributed tire brand) this year, so that was our ‘north star.’

For the second consecutive year, we sponsored the Cross Vegas cyclocross race which takes place the Wednesday night of Interbike week. It’s a great place to connect with industry friends off of the show floor, enjoy some tacos, a cold beverage and watch the poor souls on the race course gasping for air but mostly finding dust!  I left the show early on Wednesday to go race the Wheeler & Dealer event. This event is open category, and consists of riders that work in the bicycle industry. The race was pretty crazy, fun and of course HOT. As if racing in the heat were not enough, the experience was made even more challenging by a course with multiple run-ups, two flyovers, a berm and some really slow grass. Not being a CX racer with a ton of experience I was a bit intimidated at first. There are a lot of spectators heckling, but it turned out to just be super fun.

Thursday night was the USA Criterium Series Finals. Our longstanding friends at United Healthcare Pro Cycling hosted a gathering at their team bus for sponsors and friends. It was fun to see everyone, enjoy some snacks, and again watch some fast racing. UHC also happened to win the race so it was an exciting place to be. A mysterious round of blue liquid was passed around to celebrate the win, tasted good but went down like hot embrocation! We were also invited to a party hosted by Bicycling Magazine. Their tent was located on the start finish line of the course, so it made for great spectating.

The show itself, which runs Wednesday through Friday, was a huge success for us this year. We were happy to connect with all of our partners. Our location was not far from the main entrance so we had a lot of foot traffic coming by. It was a great opportunity for us to continue to promote our new products Her’ Chamois Butt’r (the first ever chamois cream pH balanced specifically for women) & Sports Kit Wash (for hand washing technical apparel). And of course we were excited to see many of our sponsored athletes – thanks again to Geoff Kabush and our hometown hero Brad Huff for stopping by our booth to say hello and sign their new life size images on our booth backdrop.

For any company that attends Interbike, it takes  a lot of resources and is a lot of work. Every year the run up to the event is somewhat stressful and takes a lot time to put together. It’s funny though, because that is not what sticks with me after the event, it’s all the great people, companies and events. The bike industry is a good place to be, and we are happy to call it home.

Brad Huff Geoff Kabush cropped

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