When we last parted ways I was regaling you with fuzzy recollections of Deer Valley’s Dealer Camp and I may have mentioned I was going to give you a virtual walk through of some of what the expo area had to offer;
Firstly I crossed paths with Chris, Karen, and Rick (plus a guy in a grey shirt whose reputation will assuredly be sullied with an appearance on this site) of Mercury Cycling where I was treated to a full run down of some of their fine wares;
Besides their huge array of impossibly cool stuff, they have some tricks up their sleeves which promises to turn the world (or at least the bicycle world) on its ear.
Then I made my way over to see my old chum Sean at the Ritchey Logic tent. We actually spent the better part of an hour or more discussing their line, the pros and cons of getting older, marital bliss, buying furniture, Tom’s moustache, planned obsolescence in the bike industry, and how riding cross bikes is awesome.
And then he pulled out their new 650b killing machine;
I tried without success to convince Sean that 650b was already obsolete, when taking into consideration the 665.5b revolution that I’m trying to start.
From there I met up with the crew at Volagi and took a look at their forthcoming steel gravel grinder. (My name, not theirs);
It was mentioned that at some point I might get my grubby paws on one to try out on my own. Rest assured, if that should come to pass, I will drop whatever knowledge I have to spare here.
Then I sauntered over to see KY at the Clément Cycling booth where I spied something that is just about all the way up my alley and through to the other side;
Do you see what I see?
Heeelllo babies. One way, one day, you will be mine.
Besides seeing the product smorgasbord, there of course were friend’s faces to rub up on as well. Cases in point? One Tim ‘Used To Be Masiguy’ Jackson;
And Duncan ‘Freak Magnet’ Davidson;
And Brian ‘Where In The World Is Brian Worthy’ Worthy;
And Jonny ‘You Just Date Raped a High Five Out Of Me’ Sundt;
And Dr. Jon and Kim ‘Ride And Smile’ Kolon;
But enough with the fraternizing. We had the Midsummer Night’s Cyclocross race to witness, and with it, ample opportunity to scream bloody murder in the ears of anyone who would have it. As it turned out, their numbers were high, whether they wanted it or not;
Of course the meat of the race (aside from that which was provided by Sally) was a full blown pro contract with Raleigh-Clément that was to be offered to the top place finishers in the men’s and women’s elite race. The battle lines were drawn and every one of the contenders had blood in their eyes;
(The young woman depicted above registered late, and ended up competing in the elite woman’s race. After helping her pin on her number and telling her to ‘come home a winner or to not come home at all’, I found out this was her third race ever. Her balls are bigger than most.)
Then, if all of this excitement weren’t enough, there was some guy named Tim Johnson flying the flag;
When the dust finally settled, Nicole Duke took the win for the women and Ryan Trebon took top honors for the men, who defaulted to second place Tim Johnson, who defaulted to third place Jonathan Page, who defaulted to fourth place Ben Berden, who already races for Raleigh-Clément, so it then finally defaulted to Allen Krughoff;
After the race I hooked up with Sarai from Girl Bike Love and we commenced to having a mini-summit of sorts regarding all things relating to women who ride bikes, her burgeoning empire, the state of the industry, and hot tubs. There was a plan hatched to go find some pizza, which got catastrophically derailed by a bottle of bourbon.
From her domain we meandered back to the condo in which I was staying where the celebration was already in full swing;
As you can plainly see in the above photo, Craig T. Etheridge was in the house, as was his messenger bag;
Since it has been a number of years since I have been gainfully employed as a bike messenger, I wanted to do an inventory of his bag’s contents to see just what it is that makes the world’s fastest messenger tick.
Clearly Craig is doing it all correctly;
At this point in the evening, things got silly and I needed to find a place to momentarily rest;
But night time was burning and Billy and I had to commence with a game of ‘punch the apple off the counter and across the kitchen in an attempt at hitting the coffee pot.’;
After the apple was reduced to smithereens, I treated those left standing to a dance recital;
The time had come for me to pack, and for all of us to rest our weary heads. As the sun rose a few hours later, I skedaddled back to the H.Q. to get a few more shots of the new fancy bikes my hosts had on display;
It was at this point when I took my leave of Deer Valley first on a bus, then on a plane, and then on another bus, to a train, to a bus, and then another bus before finally arriving at home.
I want to extend my most sincere thanks to the good people of Raleigh Bicycles for their hospitality and their generosity. I am honored and endlessly grateful to have been included in this, their international unveil and celebration of the line of product which I can now fully appreciate the tireless dedication it took to assemble.
I hope that my inclusion was worth their time and remain optimistic that one day, we can do it all over again.