FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (MDM) — Two and a half days of Interbike is just about right. Eyeball some bling, catch a bit of face time with industry cronies, drink some adult beverages and then be on your way.
Vegas is the only place I know of where one can arise in the morning without drinking heavily the night before and still feel like hammered shit. It’s a contact hangover, the parched ghosts of a billion debaucheries. That the show will move from the Sands to Mandalay Bay is only like shifting the ball-peen hammer to your left hand so you can smack yourself upside the left temple for a change of pace.
There seemed to be fewer actual bicycles at the show this year. Plenty of appetizers, side dishes and desserts, but a tad light on the main course. I wasn’t the only one who noticed this, either, though most attendees would’ve walked right past a pretty bike, eyes locked as they were onto their smartphones.
But it was encouraging to see more companies serving up transportation rather than toys — Yuba was showing some particularly interesting bikes — and more companies are offering racks, bags and other accoutrements that say “transportation” rather than “toy.”
Outside the Sands I encountered plenty of Obama supporters. You know the type: shiftless, smelly ragamuffins living on the streets, begging for alms outside shops and on street corners while awaiting the splendiferous bounty of the welfare state.
The Wal-Mart across the street from my Motel 6 in Flag’ has a scattering of folks camped in their rides despite prominent signs forbidding overnight camping. Others find nearby convenience-store/gas stations whose parking lots are big enough for a brief bivouac before pressing on.
The motel itself shelters the next step up — working-poor families packed into one room, taking the evening air with lawn chairs and coolers, enjoying a smoke. At least one room has a plant in its window. This does not bespeak a casual visitor passing through.
For me, it’s only temporary. In a few minutes I’ll be burning up the road at four smacks per gallon, bound for Bibleburg. This is a good deal easier than hoofing it like the young dude I saw as I walked back to the motel from breakfast. Equipped with haversack and dog, he asked directions to Route 66, and I provided same, warning it was a ways down the road.
“Well, it’s not like I’m not used to walking,” he said with a grin, then moved on.
Tags: Interbike 2012