This image of two boys staring at a Kazimir Malevich painting entitled interestingly enough, ‘Black Square’ is representative of the hole in my heart that is left by the trade show each and every year.
For those that come here who don’t have much more than a passing interest in bikes, let me first say thank you and that you are the wind beneath my wings.
While I truly love bikes, and all things related to them, I certainly understand that the technology and the culture surrounding it can be a bit much to take.
I understand that extra, super well right now, because after returning from three days in Las Vegas Nevada, and the annual Interbike Bicycle and Bicycle Stuff Trade Show, I am more inclined to never return than ever.
But let’s start from the top, and with news not related to that at all.
Back in March, Demonika and I took a short trip to Las Vegas to see a renowned blood specialist known for successfully treating everything from Autism to HIV with nothing more than supplements and dietary adjustments. Understandably, he’s not endeared by the medical or pharmaceutical industries, so he works quietly from a small office in Henderson, healing people of a number of afflictions in relative anonymity. Our visit with him six months ago was Demonika’s follow up appointment, and my first.
While she was there to address a number of food allergy issues she has, I just wanted to go for what was more or less a check up.
In my blood pannel, I learned that while my white blood cells were that of someone who would ‘live into their early hundreds‘ and surprisingly, my liver functions were off the chart good, I had a number of blood parasites present (not terribly abnormal, but too many can be bad), my red blood cells were immature, and most dangerously, there was an overwhelming abundance of uric acid crystals and cholesterol plaque that as the doctor said could very probably lead to bypass surgery in the next ten years.
Now that last bit of news, as sobering as it was, was remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because I’m healthy, I eat well, and I’d had my cholesterol checked within a year previous to this appointment.
I learned that cholesterol itself is a very good thing to have in one’s body, but it’s the plaque that causes the issue, and that’s not something that a standard test would note.
Anyhow, after following his prescribed regiment to the letter for the last six months, my return visit showed all parasitic activity gone, my red blood cells looked healthy, and 98% of the crystals and plaque were completely wiped out;
On the concluding report, and upon my request, he even had a star sticker to adhere to it;
As I’m sure you all might imagine, after working diligently on improving the prognosis in the time since our first visit, hearing that was very good news indeed, and if I had a skateboard I would have had a celebratory session in the ditch next to his office;
Besides finding out if my heart was going to soon explode in a flash of agonizing pain or not, of course the other reason we were in town was to go to the bike show, which we eventually did in spits and spurts.
Again, for those who don’t know, in ’98 or ’99 the bike show moved from Anaheim to Las Vegas. The Anaheim show was fun, but it was exciting to come to Las Vegas and eat 50 cent hot dogs and walk around with open containers.
Since the show landed in Vegas, we have had a home at The Sands Convention Center and this year was the first in a new venue at the Mandalay Bay, which I found to be utterly confusing.
It perhaps should be noted that I’m a Virgo and my people are not super keen on change, but the room seemed far less conducive to hosting 500,000 people all walking around and not paying attention to where they were going.
My experience could best be described as having ADHD in a room full of blaring televisions all the while attempting to swim in mud.
Trying to have conversations with people I wanted to, and to not have conversations with people I didn’t, both proved equally difficult.
But for at least a small portion of two days of actually setting foot into the hall, I did see stuff, some of which I took a few photos of;
Oh snap. Paul Component skewers?
I think all of my Salsas are about to get traded in.
Anyway, moving on, we bumped into Greg and he offered to show us a large portion of the Giro New Road women’s line;
During our time together, there was lots of talk regarding women’s response to an initial line being released for men only. The general consensus was that they had every right to be pissed off, but Giro was committed to the idea that if they were going to do it at all, they would do it right. This meant a lag time in a release, hiring a female designer, and making sure that every i was dotted and every t was crossed. Based on the catalog, as well as the response of the women who came through the booth while we were there, Giro has knocked the new line completely out of the ball park.
Demonika and I thanked Greg for his time and continued on when we ran into Antonio Columbo and he took some time to show us photos of some new art projects he has brewing;
Which I think made her swoon;
While catching up with Antonio, I realized I don’t go to the show to see parts and things and bells and whistles and doodads and googahs as much as I enjoy attending to see friends, so at that point and for the remaining slice of time I braved the chaos, I just took photos of some of those individuals;
Feeling somewhat recharged, and generally happy to be alive, before I knew it, it was time to get on my skanking shoes and get to what has rapidly become my primary motivator for coming to Interbike at all, the Ritte Van Vlaanderen/Paul Component Engeneering/All Hale The Black Marker Underbike Industry Mixer.
We snagged a limo, and piled in like the discombobulated train wreck we were;
Arriving fashionably late, I found that a good number of people had already shown up and bailed out, which lead me to reckon that for future parties, a hard time for arrival should be given;
Eventually folks began filing in and with amps plugged in and knobs turned to eleven, the featured act for the evening kicked things off and blew the doors off the bar;
It was about this time that Roy accidentally kicked the monitor off the stage, but luckily Demonika’s toe broke its fall.
She turned and grabbed Sally in a death grip, where only half as many tears fell, as gallons of vodka were poured down her throat to subdue the pain;
Better than almost anyone, she knows that this is just one of the many perils of rock and roll, and the show concluded to the appreciation of a very receptive audience.
We milled around for another couple of hours and slapped hands with celebrity attendees;
-before melting into the darkness to find some semblance of sustenance;
With full bellies, we hit the pillows at a billion miles an hour with full intention to not spend one more second walking the hall, so for the final day, I woke up early and did this with these guys;
and then we did this with these guys;
Finally, upon leaving town I saw one last thing that was awesome, which was one giant shitty drawing;
comprised of thousands of tiny equally shitty drawings;
Though it’s clearly not as good as a painting of a black square.
It’s with that, now that I have a new lease on life, I can guarantee that next year’s Underbike party will be even better than the first five.