With so much action, packing all that occurred this past week in such little space proved to be a difficult task, so I broke it up in two sections. Go ahead and catch up. I’m happy to wait.
Catch up and ketchup… See what I did there?
The short version is I arrived on Wednesday, had a meeting, a panic attack and a drink of beer, and shot a few crappy photos of stuff I wanted to shoot some crappy photos of, (not necessarily in that order) and then descended downstairs to emcee the Paved Magazine/PDW Circulus event with California DiStefano.
Needless to say I ran short on time every day I was walking the floor, though due to the fact that I was also splitting my time keeping the Soulcraft Bicycles booth from rolling away, I did get some shots of their new line of stems, which I will just substitute with one of their own;
Considering that fact that Captain Sporty Pirate has welded probably tens of thousands of Salsa stems at this point in his career, I’d say he knows a thing or two about what he’s doing. As a matter of fact, during a few hazy conversations on the matter, he disclosed that with every degree and length option they have available, there are nearly 5000 different options one could choose from.
Just next door to the Soulcraft booth (where I had been enlisted to help out, but mostly just stood around and uttered things like “why am I so sweaty?” and “who ate my sandwich?”) were my friends from Ritte Van Vlaanderingham.
Upon initially asking Lanolin how he was, his shoulders fell as he began to describe a litany of dismal events ranging from his pre-show bout with food poisoning, to his newest, personal bike’s rear derailleur getting torn off during a mis-shift, to his chain breaking just after his start in Cross Vegas, to actually running their new carbon and stainless cross bike into a parking garage.
His was the look of a man who had just experienced several cosmic stomach punches in succession, but despite this fact, their bikes were all present and accounted for, and looked just as awesome as you’d expect;
Besides the Red Bull trophy truck, Ritte’s line of bikes was one of the most pants-smallingly things I saw at this year’s show.
Beyond that, Interbike 2011 had meetings in display cars;
Enlarged magazine articles;
Brodowns with legends;
Which is the same as high fives with rarely seen friends;
And a bunch of detailed bullet points from people who are way smarter than me;
Towards the end of the day I noted that the time was drawing near for my annual Bike Industry Bottom Dweller Extravaganza®, so as I do every year, I met up with the Paul Component team, broke bread, lined my stomach with a decent absorbent foundation and jumped in with both feet.
After walking into the bar I bought a beer, posted up in one spot, and with the exception of going to the bathroom (where at one point I asked a sheriff officer if he’d like to buy some coke), I never moved more than a few feet in any direction.
When we arrived at 10:30 or so, there was a few folks milling about. By the time I was into my third cocktail, we were well over what the fire martial would have deemed appropriate.
The following is what I think saw;
Had it not been for the gentlemen pictured above, my sobriety would have remained intact, so to him I say ‘thank you, good sir.’
It was about this time that someone ordered me a cocktail. I’ve been down this road before, and approached it with reserved caution;
And then the staring contest happened;
A short time later the human inner tube came in and put a stop to those shenanigans;
But then we continued;
On this evening a number of the The Wolfpack Hustlers joined us after the conclusion of their King of Vegas Alley Cat for drinks and nachos;
All in all, I’d probably say the evening was a fiasco if I could remember any of it;
Finally buttoning things up between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning, I bid my few remaining compatriots a good day and wandered into the darkness with thoughts of fizzy drinks and Canadian temptresses. After a restless couple hours sleep what should I awake to but this;
Interestingly this shot is blurry, and hazy and exactly as I remember it, which is probably a good thing.
There is already talk of what might transpire next year, if anything transpires at all. It will take most of us at least that long to recover anyway.
Back at the show I made a few final passes to say my goodbyes and attempt at getting a photo or two more which was worth a damn, which I did not. Thankfully Interbike 2011 is in the rearview mirror and other tasks can now be focused on.
Like, for example this weekend’s Oregon Manifest, and their Constructor’s Challenge;
I’ve been piling up on the vitamins and yin chao and milk thistle and exorcisms in preparation for this weekend, but even despite my best efforts, I can’t help but think I might be in over my head.
If you are out and about in Minneapolis West this weekend, make an effort to check out the happenings. I will be looking dashing in my new Levi’s Commuter Jacket and bloodshot eyes. Assuming I don’t get swooped into the underground Russian arms trading and beef distribution, I should be back here with a regular post on Wednesday, September 28th.
Should we cross paths in the meantime however, do me a favor though and speak in hushed tones and don’t move to quickly.
It’s been a rough few days.