Night 1 - Wednesday
After work I jumped on a flight for Vegas. In the front row alone there was a BMC guy, the guy next to me who was headed to Interbike, and myself. I knew it was going to be a good weekend.
Once I landed I ran out and jumped in a cab. Fifty dollars later I was at CrossVegas. Yes, I probably could have raced it for that much, but when in Rome...
The place was electric. There were cross riders all over and eager fans everywhere else. Like all real cross races, there were beer and rednecks. I roamed the course for a while before finding a spot on the hill.
I started chatting with the guy next to me until I noticed Mike Creed (@Michael_Creed) was standing a few feet down from us. Mid-conversation I told the guy I had to go and went over to meet Creed.
We chatted for a bit. I told him I loved the Creed Feeds on Velocity Nation. He was super friendly and I had a good time chatting with him. After I asked him all the PRO questions I had, I peaced out and went for more Clif samples.
The PRO race started and I watched for about an hour.
The race action was pretty good. There was a break about twenty seconds up the road and the leaders were grumbling to chase. At this point J Bone (@jwbender) had landed and called about a baller bike party. In anticipation of a massive traffic jam, and even worse, missing the party, I jumped in a cab and headed to the Palms.
When I got there the front desk lady gave me an upgrade and twenty minutes later I was big pimpin'.
I showered and then we headed over to Jet for a party put on by Sinclair Imports, the largest bike distributor in North America. When we got there Jim's girlfriend, Racquel, gave us bracelets and we were ushered in past two decked out TT bikes on display. I had a feeling it was going to be a good night.
Inside there were Zipp posters up and Vuelta replays on the screens everywhere. Racquel took us over to a roped off area with a bunch of Québécoises. We chatted for a bit before noticing Ivan Dominguez (@Papadominguez) and Rory Sutherland.
The party was mostly dudes but the bike theme made it fun. Apparently it was the worst Vegas party Jim and Racquel had ever been to. As we were about to leave I spotted Dr. Allen Lim (@allencolim). I waited until he was free, then introduced myself. I had been wanting to know why he used white and not brown rice in his signature rice cakes. He said it was because brown rice has too much fiber. Bam!
Jim, Racquel, and I got in the Rolls and headed back to the hotel. Jim was tired so he went to bed but I decided to go check out the Playboy club. It was a Wednesday night so the place was dead. I headed back to my room and went to bed.
Day 1 - Thursday
The next morning I woke up and ran a bath. The tub in the suite was so big only my head stuck out the top. It wasn't long before Jim called though and said we needed to roll; Racquel was going to be working at the Sram booth. We headed over and within minutes I was in heaven.
We dropped Racquel at the Sram booth and then we were off. A few minutes later I ran into this guy:
Not long after we found Jens himself.
Some guy was asking him for a picture so Jim took a pic of them. After reviewing the pic the guy says, "You weren't smiling" to Jens.
"Smiling! How about give me five bucks for beer!"
They took another pic and then Jim and I introduced ourselves. I had read in a Velocity Nation interview with VDV a while back that you shouldn't get Jens started on religion. The interview didn't clarify why so I figured I'd go to the source.
Me: Hey, Jens, I read this interview that said not to talk to you about religion.
Me: Is that, you're very religious? You don't like it? You hate it?
Jens: Yes, I hate it! Look at all the wars, all wars started for the devil? No! All wars started for God!! I can't stand it. I mean, I had my kids baptised but that was for my wife...
We said goodbye and wandered on. There were killer bikes everywhere. We saw one of Contador's yellow Tour bikes, Sam Hill's bike, Levi's MTB from Leadville, and even Petacchi signing autographs! Then, we ran into Allen Lim again and I got a pic. He pointed over to Ben King so we went over and met him. He was roaming around munching Clif bars and checking out the bikes. We wished him luck on Worlds. He was totally cool and very down to earth.
There were so many amazing bikes I didn't even try to take pics of them all. By the time we left I had a backpack and a musette full of swag. I went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before cashing in one of my comped buffets. I think I got my money's worth. Just to be sure, I went back a few hours later.
That night I didn't do much. Jim was at a dinner for work and so I just relaxed in my room.
Day 2 - Friday
I woke up around 8, went down and cashed in one of my breakfast meals, then headed over to the pool. It was closed so I went back to the room and swam in my bathtub. We headed over to Interbike an hour later. We knew Friday at close was when all the deals happened so we were ready, well except for the part about bringing cash.
We hung around all day checking out the booths until around 4 the mania set in. We went from booth to booth, wait, I drug Jim from booth to booth scoping out deals with peeps and borrowing cash from Jim. Then, Jim got a call that his buddy, Kyle, was buying a Colnago so we headed over.
Sure enough, they were selling all the Colnagos. I asked around about what kind of deal he was getting. They were selling them at almost 50% off! Jim and I walked around for a while to mull in over. I knew there was no way I could buy a frame and make my 7 o'clock flight so I logged on and changed it to Saturday morning.
Then, we headed back to the booth. I asked which ones hadn't been sold and then picked a frameset. I told the guy to hold it while Kyle and I ran to get money.
We went to the casino first but they were going to charge me $120 to take out enough cash. Kyle got his money but I decided to run and cab it to a Bank of America. Forty-five minutes later I was back at the Colnago booth and they were wrapping her up, a brand new CX-1. Once it was boxed up we headed toward the exit.
I was still looking for deals though so I told them I'd cab it back to the hotel. I went by the Rotor booth and bought two more sets of chainrings and one of the new cranksets. Then, I walked around and found enough deals to fill my pack. After scouring the place for everything I had wanted, I left.
I headed back to the hotel and sorted out all my goods while Kyle tried to nap. Jim was kind enough to offer us his living room for the night. Kyle had dibs on the couch, so I was on the floor.
Around 7 it was time to roll. We headed to a Mexican restaurant and grubbed with one of Racquel's friends and her family. After that we headed back to the hotel. After Racquel changed we decided to check out the Playboy club. At first it looked like they weren't going to let us in. Fortunately, back in 2003, Jim won big at the Palms and they've hooked him up ever since. His host sent a text to the doorman and we headed up.
After checking out the place Jim sat down for some blackjack and the rest of us watched. A few minutes later Kyle got the itch so he sat down too; Racquel followed shortly thereafter. An hour later they all had a stack of chips so they got up and we headed to the next club.
We hung out and danced for an hour until Jim and Racquel went back to the room. Kyle and I gave them some space and headed to another club. Kyle is one of the founders of carbon wheel maker Mad Fiber so we had plenty to talk about. After a while he got tired and headed back to the room.
I checked out a few more clubs in the hotel before finding one with really good house music. Grand Master Flash even showed up. I "danced" for another hour then headed back to the room where I fell fast asleep.
Day 3 - Saturday
Kyle and I woke up and headed to airport.
Once I got home I sorted out all my swag.
Brake pads, mags, a bike stand, socks, Ag2r jersey, Amore e Vita bibs, hats, more socks, tons of Clif Bloks, Gu Chomps, Rotor chainrings, a Colnago, DZNuts chamois cream and embrocation, and lots more. If you are interested in any of this,
email me. Also, for readers outside my immediate friends and family (eg people I've never met), if you email me and tell me how you found my blog I'll put some stuff in the mail for you. That goes for the first five!
(The rest of my pics are here.)