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Interbike: Las Vegas

Oct 21 2003 / Tuesday

Siegfried and Roy Take A Bite Out Of Vegas
October 12-24, 2003

Interbike is the biggest bicycle trade show in the business, held annually (as of three years ago) in Las Vegas. Etnies is a supporter of BMX and has had a team for about eight years, so its just natural that we would have a booth here.

In theory, going to Interbike seems like a great idea when itҒs all being planned and put together beforehand. Getting to see your friends, hanging out in the evenings and enjoying Vegas, etc. But when you actually spend nine plus hours a day in your booth for three days straight, it really is like being at the dentist--just completely draining. You think it cant be that painful? Believe me, when you are trapped in the booth all day and forced to confont some of the craziest, spandex-clad, shaved-legged freaks you have ever seen in your life asking you dumb questions and thinking that just because they have wheels on what they consider to be a bike that they are going to be able to get hooked-up by Etnies, it just sucks. After accepting tape after tape, resume after resume and CD after CD, you just think, ғWhy havent they learned their lesson from last year?Ҕ.

I know its part of the job, but it really does kinda suck to be in a town blessed with some of the best skateparks around (with some of the most lenient bike rules), and you have to be stuck inside a fugginҒ trade show booth in the convention center full-time, bored off your ass while a bunch of your friends either sleep-in or go ride while you are still trying to get rid of a pretty killer headache at 8:00 a.m. after getting only three hours of sleep.

It is pretty cool, though, seeing all the new products from the core companies and other stuff people think is cool. Not to mention the next cutting-edge products from some of the big mountain bike companies cashing in on BMX who are basically clueless, but have some astro physicist sitting at an AutoCAD program drawing-up all kinds of wild crap. Its pretty amusing--it honestly has to be seen to be believed and to know exactly what you are NOT missing.

The evenings in Vegas are fun, though. This year, they premiered the Odyssey video at some wild cowboy bar with a mechanical bull smack dab in the middle of the place. I witnessed plenty of bad-ass bike riders get whipped to the floor after thinking they could ride this thing. The video was pretty awesome--quite original with some animation thrown in to make it different. A good friend of many bike riders, Wee Man was in the house and is a constant source of entertainment. The NORA CUP awards were also held one night, and in the street category, three out of the four nominees just happened to be Etnies riders Ruben, Rooftop and Edwin, but the winner for the third year in a row ended-up being Fit BikesҒ Van Homan. Taj was also up for the best ramp rider, but that title was eventually nabbed by the golden boy, Dave Mirra.

The night life is pretty good in Vegas, with celebrities sightings all over the place. I saw the guy from that 80s show, Benson. I also saw Kato Kaland--the dude who lived with O.J. Simpson when he killed his wife and her boyfriend. I know it was not really that funny, but someone made a cardboard cut-out of a life-size man and put it in the mouth of that huge bronze Tiger outside the MGM Grand like it was Roy from Siegfried and Roy.

Vegas is just Vegas and I guess Iђll never learn. I will probably end up there next year thinking the same thing I thought this year: What am I doing here? Never again!Ӕ Until till next time?

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