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Janna's Word: Interbike Odyssey Part One
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 10/15/2003
Janna's Word: Interbike Odyssey Part One
 

If you were hoping for a complete Interbike new product review, this is not the article you are looking for. But if think you'd be wide-eyed by the sights and the personalities at North America's bike industry show, the Bike Retailer and Industry News' Interbike International Bike Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada - this is the place...

Prologue

On Saturday evening Jaime Nichols, Dave Towle, Vaughn Trevi and I set out driving to Las Vegas from Los Angeles. We decided to grab some dinner after we had gotten some miles behind us, and after about an hour we stopped at a Mexican restaurant. The only place we could be seated without a long wait was in the bar, which was fine with us. We were ushered to the one remaining, tall table with tall stools, smack in the middle of the bar area, having no idea what was in store. The other bar-goers seemed to be waiting, and peering at each other... Music was blaring while what became the long wait for our food began.

A few minutes after the waitress came by to apologize for the delay in our food orders, the TV monitors mounted to the ceiling transformed into lyrics prompters, the crowd got restless and we realized...we had stepped into The Karoake Twilight Zone! Out came the karoake host, Gary, and after setting things off with a rousing rendition of Margaritaville, he consulted his "reservation" list and began calling up the brave souls sitting nervously in the bar, ready to make their mark.

We were treated to such classics as Daddy's Home, I Got You Babe (by a husband and wife duet), Blueberry Hill, Spirit in the Sky, My Way, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lucille (the Kenny Rogers song, not Little Richard's) and Machinehead (complete with air guitar). I can't quite remember when our dinners arrived, but unable to hear each other, even shouting, we ate, applauded each of the performers (and we sang a little bit, too). While we really hated to leave, we still had four hours of driving through the barren San Bernardino desert. But we figured stumbling into karaoke world had to be a good omen for the weekend.

"The" landmark in the California desert on the way to Las Vegas is the world's biggest thermometer in Baker. Baker is usually hotter than hell (it also has the distinction of being "the gateway to Death Valley") and the town is situated between two very long and steep grades, basically in the middle of nowhere. At night you can see the illuminated thermometer from at least five miles away, though you cannot read the temperature from that far. So, getting into the "Vegas" mood, the four of us bet on the temperature (the closest to the temperature without going over would be the winner). We stopped in Baker to shake out our legs but the temperature reading was partially obstructed from where we were. Just as we got back on our way and were approaching the thermometer, it shut off for the night and we were denied. Luckily, Jaime had spied a thermometer where we had stopped - Dave Towle's guess was the closest. Here is a 360 degree view of daytime Baker in case you wanted to see it.

We arrived in Las Vegas after midnight, but it pretty much still looked like daylight there (did you know that the laser that shoots straight up from the top of the Luxor pyramid can be seen from the space station?). A short night's sleep and we were ready to go.

Interbike - Interactive!

The Daily Peloton teamed up with Glenn Stilwell and Dave Towle of AdventureSports Radio for Interbike Interactive, three hours of interviews live from Interbike daily, and we were off to a running start after our pre-production breakfast meeting Sunday.

We had great guests and visitors over the three days  - retired pro Jamie Paolinetti of The Hard Road fame, two time US road champion Marty Jemison, Patrick Brady of Asphalt Magazine, Gork from Redline Bikes, Threshold Sports, John Dixon of SRAM, Jacob Fetty of the Bon Jovi Team, Massimo Fregonese of Fi'z:ik, Joe Breeze, Adventure Sports magazine, Shimano, Micah Rice and Cesar Grajales (Mr. KOM) of Jittery Joe's, and more. Here are shots of some of our other guests. (Click for larger images.)


Team Dirty Girls

 


Gary Fisher and Jeff Corbett, 7-Up Team Director


Giana Roberge
Team Saturn, Team Sports
(Read more about Giana here)

 


Gary Fisher, Mr. Mountain Bike himself

Kevin Monahan
(2002 and 2003 US Pro Crit Champ)

 


Saturn's Nathan O'Neill (who is happily back on his bike) and Karen Ewing of The Kokomotion Group

 


Mike Reinhardt of the Nicole Reinhardt Developmental Team (formerly the Saturn Development Team) and Brett Meinke (Saturn Development Team Director) talking to Dave Towle, with Mike Aisner, Giana Roberge and John Wordin standing nearby

Garrett Lai and John Peters of Bicycletest.com

 


Rich Hincapie, Hincapie Sports

 


Steve Baker, Hincapie Sports

 


Glenn Stilwell runs the show

Dave Towle zeroes in

 


The show "floor" - and notice the helpful "You are here" on the show legend kiosk...

The Show

First off, this place is huge. How huge? Check this link - 535,000 square feet (almost 50,000 square meters) of exhibit hall. It is almost impossible to describe the displays and design ingenuity of some of the exhibitors' displays, so a few pictures will have to suffice. (Click for larger images.)


The Arrow - Juan Antonio Flecha

 


The Giro pavilion

Hincapie Sportswear

 


A Burley tandem (thinking of you, Marianne...)

R2D2 would be jealous...

 


That is one big jersey - Robbie Ventura and Floyd Landis are at the table

 


This is kind of a big jersey too...

 


The lovely Gina Montoya at the Maxxis booth

 


Hmm, we need one more of Gina...

The always post-nuclear Oakley

Putting Faces to Names

It's funny to think that you can develop friendships over email - but never meeting someone in person. Interbike was the place to remedy that, and I had folks I wanted to meet. I tracked down "Chairman Bill" McGann of Torelli.com in the Italian Pavilion - if you have not been to his website, go there right now. Bill and Carol were just as great in person as Bill has been via email.

Another of my "objectives" was to meet Alessandro (Alex) Colnago, with whom I have been corresponding the past year. I was delighted when he introduced me to his uncle, Mr. Ernesto Colnago. Mr. Colnago shook my hand and had one question: Why is the Daily Peloton so interested in Yaroslav Popovych? Alex told me some team secrets (well, maybe) and he was surprised to learn that US cycling fans were interested in the Landbouwkrediet team. I insisted that they are and so we made some plans for the coming months.

This was Colnago's 50th anniversary, and their 50th anniversary bike was on display. They gave a formal presentation on their company, which included an incredible book on the history of Colnago, packed with color photographs of all the great riders who have graced their bikes (and vice versa) and the enormous number of luminaries who are Colnago fans. Colnago's history is indeed illustrious - 100 pro teams, 2000 pro racers and 5000 victories over thirty years. The book is an absolute treasure.


The Colnago 50th Anniversary

 


The Colnago 50th Anniversary

I was also looking forward to meeting Greg Wheeler, director sportif of the Colavita Bolla team, and I also met his bike sponsor, Edwin Bull of Van Dessel Sports. Bull's mother, Yoka Van Dessel, after whom his company is named, spoke to us on Interbike Interactive and is a very lovely woman. Colavita Bolla had bread, wine and olive oil samples at the Van Dessel booth (all good, by the way!) and Van Dessel has some beautiful bikes, including the Campitello. While there I also chatted with triathlete Ray Campeau of Team Excel and hope to find out more about that team in the near future.

The Sights

The GITA pavilion (Merckx/Pinarello/Pegoretti) definitely needed some photos - Robert Poage of GITA pointed out a great Merckx, and told me to make sure to get a shot of the Pegoretti Luigino.

And then there was the "baby" Pinarello - definitely a photo of that. As I was kneeled down, ready to take my shot, a pair of legs crossed in front of my viewfinder - the person was holding some packages of pink jerseys that were obstructing my view. Not looking up, I reached out my hand and said, "Could you move, please?" He did, I took my shot, and then stood up. A woman standing next to me said, "Do you know who just told to move???" Since I hadn't seen more than his legs, I said no, and she said, "That was Fausto Pinarello!!"

Wanting to make things right, I approached him and asked if I could take his picture near one of his displays. He said jokingly, "Oh no, that would break the camera!" I told him it was the least I could do since I had told him to get out of the way, and he graciously posed for me. Click on the images below for the full size picture.


A trick Eddy Merckx

 


The trick Pegoretti Luigino

 


The Luigino

 


The Pinarello Chrono

 


The Pinarello Dogma

 


The "baby" Pinarello

 


Mr. Fausto Pinarello

Here are a few more shots from the exhibit hall. Click for larger images.


The Draisine, courtesy of The Bicycle Museum of America

 


The Dexter, courtesy of The Bicycle Museum of America

 


The Spaceliner, courtesy of The Bicycle Museum of America

 


The Topolino carbon/Kevlar full wheelspan spoke wheel

 


And only in Las Vegas...Elvis spotted at Verge Sports
(For all you Eurosport listeners - get your collection now!)

 

Part of our Interbike Interactive daily show called for one of us to be in the Daily Peloton chatroom to take questions the chatters had for those being interviewed on the radio show. One of the chatters (who likes to tease me - mercilessly - and who will remain nameless) said he did not believe that we were in Las Vegas. So I told him I would get a poster signed for him.

I knew just where to go - the Maxxis booth where Gina Montoya was autographing posters. I told her I had an overseas reader who did not believe I was at Interbike, and would she be so kind as to personalize an autograph for him. She said of course, and while she was writing I joked that he would probably think I had forged the signature. She said, "Well then, you should take a picture of me signing it!" I did, and if you look closely, you will see whose name she wrote...


I like the look on that guy's face...Click for larger image

Stay tuned for Part Two...more sights, the pros, the Sinclair Imports party, and very sore feet...


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