Yeah, I have been a slow blogger lately. In fact, I have even been slacking on all the social media lately...no Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is freeing.
But I have been working hard on article writing, email writing, video editing, and picture tweaking for twentynineinches.com and thecyclistsite.com, so it is not like I have been hiding. I am pretty caught up now.
So, that said, let us talk about I Bike.
Vegas sucks. I think I have said that. And to get there to all that suckage, it is a 5 hour drive across the desert for me. I never did get around to getting the AC repaired on my family truckster, so I left at early evening with temps in the high 80s and the radio turned up. No worries. At 9:00 at night I rolled through Baker, CA, home of the world's tallest thermometer, and it was 100 degrees F. Ooofh! thanks goodness that did not last long
At the airport, I collected GT and we headed to the Strip to get to our 99 cent hotel room. It is amazing at 11:00 at night, just how many people are walking around the Strip in Vegas. Crazy.
The trails of Demo Days are held at Bootleg Cyn, a dedicated mtn bike area that rocks...and rocks of all sizes. Crashing here is a really, really bad idea. The heat this year was just killer. Temps into the low 100s, wind, dust, wind, dust, heat, etc. By the time you rode a few bikes, you were pretty done for the day. Tuesday afternoon the winds really cranked up and guys were hanging onto the pop-up shelters to keep them from flying away. Riders were actually crashing from being blown off line on the XC course. Nice.
I really enjoyed a few bikes this year, but my fav was the Giant Anthem X 29er. It really will be a contender in the 4" fast trailbike world.
One of the highlights of the show was talking for quite a while with Joe Breeze. The Joe Breeze as in Breezer bikes. He is all over 29ers right now and had just turned the fastest time ever on a Fuji 29er FS that is five pounds heavier then his 26" hardtail. Joe is getting pretty stoked on 29ers and his Cloud 9 Pro carbon 29er hardtail was a unique ride. I liked it. It is not a me-too bike. I am expecting a test ride on an aluminum version soon. Looking forward to that.
Overall the show for me was a lot of work. Riding, walking, talking, filming, networking, etc. It really is a chore to review things in that you hardly ever can just relax and ride. You are always thinking about how this is working (or not working) and why or why not. Only on long term tests can ya just lay back and let time leave an impression on ya. 30 minutes per ride is just a quick peek.
But, the work is balanced out by the great people you meet. Bike people are most always cool. Hanging with GT, the Salsa Guys, Joe Breeze....and all the guys and gals that took the time to meet and greet and talk. It was all good and it buffers the pain and sore legs and feet.
- Finding the best bakery in the known world (or at least on Tropicana Ave) on the way out to Demo Days. The health nut cookies and the raspberry tarts were unreal. Thank you, kind bakery ladies.
- Getting back on a bike...ANY bike...after surgery recovery at Bootleg was tenuous at best, but it was still a great feeling. Man I missed riding bikes. Thank you, God.
- Seeing people like Joe Breeze that, after all these years, are still unashamed bike nuts. I hope to make that mark as well.
- Seeing my editor and international man of mystery, Guitar Ted, again. It is always so weird and surreal at I Bike. We talk all the time, then see each other once a year for a couple of days, then back to a thousand miles of separation. I sure wish we could just go for a ride some day. Make it gravel, OK?
- Getting a lot of bikes and equipment set up for the next year to review and talk about. New stuff is always neat to play with.
- Finding out that we are well thought of in the industry as fair minded, honest reviewers. That speaks of not only skill and knowledge, but integrity and consistency. That means a lot to me.
So now I am back to the life at home. Back to work and family and riding bikes. It is good to be home.