I’ve Never Had a Bad Time In Vegas…

…and some of the best times were at Interbike. Sadly, I am not there this year. Not so sadly, I am here:

 

Okay, so I’m not there right now, but I was there this morning. The weather’s perfect here in CO…

My first Interbike was in ’05. A good vintage…the year the Orleans hotel shut down the bowling party because a few of us decided to experiment with bowling across the lanes rather than down them. The year Jonny posted this succinct and heartwrenching recap of the day’s proceedings:

 

Sometime Thursday morning on the way to the show someone tells me, “That’s how the fucking football needs to be fucked.”

I still have no idea what that means.

It is also the year I met Floyd Landis and snapped a photo that foretold my mood regarding this man only a few years later:

 

Floyd Landis...a drunkcyclist?

Floyd Landis…and me making a face. These are the faces my mother warned me about making.

It could be the worst photo ever taken of me. I am proud of it.

While I was riding this morning, I was getting a bit jealous that I didn’t get to go to the show this year. While the show itself is usually filled with schwag seekers and dealers looking to score unreasonable preseason orders, the events and debauchery surrounding the show are usually good fun with good folks. The reason I did not go this year had nothing to do with not getting a pass; it wasn’t because I couldn’t get into the show. It was more of a money issue. Plane tickets aren’t cheap, and Denver isn’t as close to Vegas as Flagstaff was.

On the bicycle, things tend to make more sense. I rode up a long climb today and thought about why I do any of the things I do. Why do I get up and search for a new job? Why do I spend hours working on my classes? Why do I write books? Why do I take photos? Why do I spin wheels? In an existential way, none of these things make sense…except for that last one.

The spinning wheels part.

Humans are meant to move. It is one of our most natural inclinations, to move forward, to push on. To flex muscles and bend joints. It’s no wonder most of us experience some sort of euphoria when riding our bicycles. When I sit on the couch, I get depressed, bored, angry, lazy. When I ride, I feel strong, motivated, healthy, smart. It is a natural movement, it is a natural process. I am being human by riding a bicycle. By contrast, I am inhuman when I sit on a couch and do nothing.

While many dog on Interbike—for good reason, I might add—I will say this about it: it is the biggest celebration of being human that I have ever attended. Riding a bicycle makes us better as people, and celebrating that is good. As a capitalist pursuit, Interbike is essentially a business meeting; but goddamn if I’ve ever seen a business meeting like that.

Here’s to being human…go turn a pedal.

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

13 thoughts on “I’ve Never Had a Bad Time In Vegas…

  1. It’s one of the great mysteries of life:

    “That’s how the fucking football needs to be fucked.”

    I’ve often pondered this deep philosophical question myself. Along with a few others like “Today, can I fart with impunity? or Will I just shit my pants?”

    But you answered this great riddle of the fucking football with the following observation:

    “Humans are meant to move. It is one of our most natural inclinations, to move forward, to push on. To flex muscles and bend joints. It’s no wonder most of us experience some sort of euphoria when riding our bicycles.”

    Keep moving, dudes and dudettes.

  2. …floyd always speaks highly of you…

    …& ya, i’ve never not (double negative) had fun at interbling but that’s more to do with seeing old pals & the gatherings beyond the hoopla on the floor…

    …i actually enjoy seeing a lotta the products, it’s the sales pitches that get insulting…

    …time to go spin my wheels for a bit ‘cuz your right about the motion…

    …human, inhuman, i dunno…i kinda feel like a shark, i just gotta keep moving…

  3. If I remember right, the bowling balks were being chucked as high in the air as possible. Something akin to an underhanded shot put.

  4. When I examine my feelings on this issue, I find myself centered and peaceful about the 200 miles and a mountain climb I’ve bagged in the last week.

  5. Having been a poor industry glum working a trade show booth at Interbikes I can assure you it is not the greatest time. It usually involves 15 hour work days leading up to the event, and during the event. Not peeing enough because your too damn busy and not drinking enough water because you’ll have to pee.

    D2. Remember your drawing a few weeks ago? Imagine a gillion of them guys all coming to you at once. That is Interbike for the industry people. It’s not all bad and not all good. If you can hack a week of that and still manage to get out and see the cool folks you have met in the biz — then I believe you have correctly fucked the football.

    I have had fun at Interbike, and I’ll reckon I managed to correctly fuck a football there once as well. Pretty sure Dirty provided a good deal of liquid instruction that last time I was there. Very glad to have this year off.

    Speaking of moving? any luck?

  6. Mr Buddhist: moving to Denver at the end of this month, officially. Let’s get some trails underneath us in October.

  7. holy crap i think i was there in the bowling alley it was off the hook bad the DJ pinched one of my nipples so damn hard for some reason it was bleeding. the police were called. someone threw a large heavy object down the bowling lane. it took out chunks of wood. it was lane 69 if i remember correctly? i lost some part of my virginity that night…. or was that a different night??

  8. It was, indeed, lane 69, and yes, bowling balls were hurled into the air. Jesus. I had no idea there were so many witnesses to the shit show. Then again, I was wasted, so no surprise there.

  9. I remember that bowling alley. Wasn’t that the year the Livewrong t-shirts were revealed to the bike world? Good times.

  10. my brother is at interbike for the week, always kind of an exciting time as i get to hear exciting tales of business this, and party that; but i do completely agree with D2s’ take on the “celebration of humanity, and the bicycle” part of it. i never really thought about the nomadic tendencies of bicycles, but i do now. Long live the great pedaling machine!

  11. This makes me simultaneously jealous and relieved that I have not been to Interbike.

    At least you weren’t playing a version of paintball with the bowling balls. That’s how someone loses a _____.