Coming Together in Business and Pleasure
By: Amber Vavrusa
Every year since 1982, Interbike has formed into the largest bike convention globally. Independent bike dealers (IBD), retailers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and others alike congregate under the heat of the sun and the vibrancy of the lights. 6 days of bikes, hikes, brew, and work friendships.
There were six of us, Scott, Steve, Roy L., Jake, Carla, and myself, a handful of the South Shore Cyclery crew. First day was a day of travel, as soon as we got to our hotel, we dropped off our bags, unable to check into our rooms; we left the Excalibur and headed downtown, walked the strip, had some lunch, and baked in the sun. Bumped into the Pawn Stars shop, from the reality television series on the History Channel, saw a couple getting married at the most popular wedding chapel known to the big screen, and contemplated daring the Stratosphere. Downtown Vegas has history, very different from the other side of town. A long day of travels put everyone at rest early.
Waking up before the temperature reached 100 degrees we took a shuttle outside of the city 25 miles to Boulder City, NV to Bootleg Canyon to demo the 2014 line of bikes. From mountain to road, to cargo & electric, the day was filled with lots of riding, resting, staying hydrated, and the warmth of the earth at our pedals. It was great to be in such a beautiful place test riding all the beautiful bikes we could get our hands on and enjoying one another’s company in the process.
The next few early mornings were filled with industry breakfasts and
influential guest speakers; followed by a day in the classroom learning and listening to professionals speak upon their experience. Hundreds of vendors display their product in the showroom, it’s easy to get side-tracked amongst all the incredible bikes, accessories, apparel, and people. Going to such an extravagant exhibit, you must go into it with purpose and a plan, thankfully Scott created a master schedule for us; individually tuned to our position within the company.
Our evenings brought us dinners, drinks, and bike races. One of the nights we watched fellow mountain bikers be inducted into the mountain bike hall of fame. It was rewarding to see fellow riders get choked up in remembrance of their past. Afterwards, we took a bus to the outskirts of the city to see Cross Vegas, a nationally recognized cyclocross race. It was awesome to be under stadium lights and standing on top of real grass (most of Vegas has faux grass along the strip). Horns and cowbells ignite the racers and bring smiles and laughs to the spectators. This wave of joy was transferred to the next day's activities, seminars, and happy hour amongst the showroom floor, followed by the Throwback 80's party and the USA Men’s & Women’s Crit races, which took place in the parking lot of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. This was our last night and it couldn’t be more suitable with the large harvest moon shining a bright deep golden hue. Reminding us to harvest all the experience and knowledge we accumulated in the past days, as well as the friendships we made amongst strangers and each other.