So, it went down like this, part one.

Before were get into anything, I offer the following;

Not that jumping on someone else’s train is necessarily applicable to the bike industry as a whole, unless you see where it might be, in which case I’ll let you make that judgement.

From my perspective, it operates in a vacuum. It generates annually roughly the same dollar amount year after year, and based on this, seems to be run in a very formulaic fashion. Were the attendance numbers greater this year, or are more people buying bikes today than they were five days ago? I have no answers, but I get the idea that because it has plodded along as it has for so long, the idea of making any drastic changes is a risky one as best, and a potentially damaging one at worst. So as it is, it maintains the course, never varying too much, and maintaining the same one that it always has.

Whatever the case, I returned to the debacle in the desert to see what’s new, what’s old, and to document some of it with one eye closed.

Just like last year, as I trudged around in sorta-circles through the vastness of the show hall, my brain-meat recognized that while there were certainly some neat things to look at and lust over, above nearly everything else, the thing that matters most to me about the bike world are the people who are invested in it. So besides attempting to take photos of whatever new bell and whistle was premiered, (which the world has already seen on Bike Rumor anyway), I opted to simply document of some of what I came across that made a specific impression, regardless of the reason.

Wednesday we arrived to the show only to see a number of people who already looked like a war had been waged on their persons. My golden rule for trade shows has always to never go too big too soon, and have imparted that wisdom on anyone who would hear it. Unfortunately for a fair number of folks, that advice wasn’t heeded, and they were paying the price. So with everyone already engaging in the thousand yard stare, I headed into the show, only to get cut off at the pass by these three;
It’s not even 1:00 and the wheels have begun to come off.

Undaunted, and with a full belly, I continued my hunt for stuff, while actively avoiding eye contact with all who passed. However one person I didn’t purposefully avoid eye contact with, but only did due to vast differences in our respective heights was this guy. You know…. ‘Cause he’s tall and stuff;
Once inside the hall, which I’m convinced morphs like the Disneyland Haunted House making doors appear where before there were none and vice versa, always leaving me in a confounded state of being lost, I’m pretty sure I saw this;
I was pretty excited to go by the Twin Six booth to see what was cracking. There have been random teases happening with some frequency on the internets that they had some cool, metal things premiering at the show, and cool, metal things they indeed had in abundance;
Why, I do believe that those boys have launched themselves their own bike company.

From there, I continued on, and found this guy;
And saw first hand the new hotness that’s he’s been working endless hours to complete;
He may have made mention of what retail on these numbers are, but I must have forgotten, because the only digits that immediately jump out at me are 674-4677, which was my phone number when I was small.

Leaving Paul’s company, I found more people, and more stuff;
I like this image below here. This is Damon, and along with his collection of exotic snakes, he and I used to live together about ten or eleven years ago in a big storefront I’d renovated in Oakland. Technically I suppose we could have called his part of the flat ‘Zone D’.
Around this time, the day’s events were wrapping up and everyone was all a titter about Cross Vegas, which I’m still boycotting because of this. So my plan was to enjoy Cross Vegas, but from across Vegas. Can you dig it? It turns out a bunch of dicks showed up, threw beer on people, were then defended by some other dicks because ‘that’s how cross is in America‘ and ‘it’s a sign of respect‘, and now everybody is mad at everybody.

Let me be perfectly clear- I learned from some of the finest hecklers in this region’s history, and have been doing it for far longer than some of the aforementioned dicks have been riding bikes. Rule number one is to never, under any circumstances interfere with the race. You wanna throw beer on somebody? Throw beer on your friends at your local event. Or save it for a guy in an orange jumpsuit. Beyond that, if you don’t know the difference between a creative and funny heckle and a bald faced insult, keep for stupid mouth shut. It’s so painfully simple, yet clearly piles of people don’t get it.

And I should note… Screw anybody’s “well, I wouldn’t mind if someone threw a beer in my face” response. Say for example that someone who is racing is a recovering alcoholic. Say for example that they hate the smell. Say for example, that they just simply don’t want anything thrown on them. That’s all there is to it. In this regard, the whole ‘Keep Cross Weird‘ defense is total bullshit and a concept that was come up with people who just learned of its existence a couple of years ago.

As I said elsewhere- Heckling used to be sweet. Now it’s just amateur hour. It’s like St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve revelers have taken over an aspect of spectating that used to be solely populated by drunks who actually cared about racing. And that is the god’s honest fact.

I was interviewed by The Bicycle Story some years ago, and clarified the act in such a way I had hoped it might in some way assist in seeing the end of sideline nonsense, but clearly that’s not the case.

And for those who click on the The Bicycle Story piece and see this image, but don’t read any of the fine print, this is Brad;
He is one of the founders of the dfL, someone who we’ve been friends with for decades, someone we’ve raced bikes along side, someone we’ve stood by as he was pronounced dead of a brain aneurism, someone we’ve seen recover, have a kid, get married, and continue to live as a unique and amazing compatriot.

And in the end, it all came back around;
Photo by Will Matthews
Photo by Skotty Pawz
In short, he is one of us, which is what makes face beers appropriate.

Rookies have taken over the heckle zone, and as one who has committed many, many years to the craft, I’m pretty tired of it.

Just one more reason to stay the hell away. When given the chance, people will always do their best to ruin everything cool.

However then again;
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 6.19.15 PM
Or for that matter, care.

So wrapping up day one, I met with an assortment of peeps, and headed off to a ridiculously fantastic meal, where I celebrated somebody’s 49th birthday, though it was most certainly not mine;

From there I wound up finding at least four hours of sleep somewhere, and one entirely ‘nother day of bikes, people, and of course Underbike, which we’ll detail in detail on Wednesday.

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19 Responses to “So, it went down like this, part one.”

  1. John September 15, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    The dark skinned gentleman in the 7th picture, if I zoom in to his badge I believe his name is Corey, can I just say that I love every single thing about his style? The suit, the orange tie, the haircut… this guy is outclassing the room at a bike show. Love it.

    • Stevil September 15, 2014 at 6:44 am #

      Yep- That’s Corey The Courier. The dude is a straight up beam of sunshine.

      • Case September 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

        I almost had a heart attack when I saw him in a suit. Don’t worry though, it was only an aneurysm.

  2. Largo September 15, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    I like bikes. Always have. So I get all excited when I see a fresh new bike company. Twin Six you say? Well, I checked out the link, and I kinda stalled out at “engineered an designed in……” All I hear is made in (insert fav Asian country). Here is hoping they are in fact made locally, cause it’s hard to get all excited about more bikes from offshore. Sure, it makes the business plan a touch more difficult, but buying locally is just the right thing to do.
    Of course, maybe they are, and now I’m just ranting like an idiot…..

  3. Adam C. September 15, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Did ya get any stickers?

  4. Velorambling September 15, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    Thanks for the interweb love. I have a fine picture of you I will be posting.
    I watched the beer throwing from the other side of the fence and commented that if I was giving it all and they did to me I would be pissed, and I am a back of the pack masters “racer”. If someone I knew well or you did that I could laugh it off. Doing this to top level pro’s going at 111% is out of line. If Ben Berden had cold-cocked one of the guys I don’t think there would have been anything but cheers.

  5. peter L September 15, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Nice hat.
    Happy birthday.
    I expected more drool.

  6. Loudass, Esq. September 15, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Well, I wouldn’t mind if someone threw a beer in my face…

  7. Murph September 15, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Next year will be 50!

  8. endo-king September 15, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    You got a problem with a 49th birthday? Or even later than that?

  9. mac September 15, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    ” That’s all there is to it. In this regard, the whole ‘Keep Cross Weird‘ defense is total bullshit and a concept that was come up with people who just learned of its existence a couple of years ago.
    As I said elsewhere- Heckling used to be sweet. Now it’s just amateur hour. It’s like St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve revelers have taken over an aspect of spectating that used to be solely populated by drunks who actually cared about racing. And that is the god’s honest fact.”
    thank you for that- nail hit squarely on the head.

  10. Ben September 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    It would seem that pro heckling is a thing of the past. So sad. The truly prime jeers are always reserved for those that you know personally. Of course, that is a bit hard to accomplish for most at the larger venues. I would attest that it has gone farther than just St Patrick’s Day. It’s more like if there were a Jimmy Buffet show ON St Patrick’s Day, and that same evening there was a bike race in a format that no one knew about.

    PS, we’ve got your plastic bag full of red and white barley pops. Maybe I’ll ship them to you next time I’ve got something coming your way. Or maybe I’ll save them for the next time you are in a bike race and I happen to be around. Sucka.

  11. scooper September 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Cross Vegas went down like this……white Metal shorts, black BC Paul jersey, two beer hand ups, $4 (two 1’s,one $2 bill), 6 Tarik buttons and DFL.

  12. Dirty September 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I think you single handedly put the cross vegas drama to bed. Word.

    #1 rule of getting rowdy:
    Don’t ruin anyone else’s good time.

    Sometimes shit happens… then you say sorry and go sit in the corner and drink your beer quietly

  13. beetarded September 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    ——-” say for example that someone who is racing is a recovering alcoholic. say for example that they hate the smell.” ———– i told you that Brue-at-downieville story right? Where he crested the climb, asked for a water hand-out and someone put a water-bottle full of beer in his hand? Aww Brue, well he took a giant chug of what he thought was water only to become Hulk-level enraged at said heckler, restrained from punching, puked then rode on. Irony aside, I could sympathize…

  14. sinnfein September 16, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Never a shortage of white people’s problems here.

  15. velocidal_tendencies September 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    I recognize the gentleman with the handlebar moustache (you can tell he is a gentleman because of aforementioned moustache)! Tyler was an instructor at UBI when i attended several years ago. Amazing dude, total weirdo. Miss the hell outta him.

  16. Crank September 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Helping women stay out of CX, ruining it for everyone, and teaching us all to appreciate the tennis ball. Interbike is like a whore you only screw once every three years. Otherwise, you just don’t notice the missing teeth and general malaise.

  17. scooper September 16, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    oh ya……wearing Giro shoes on a SSCX