Interbike 2014

For the first time ever I finally visited Las Vegas for Interbike 2014. It was interesting, but now I see why I avoided Vegas for so long. The convention itself was a great experience and I met so many vibrant individuals from all over the world, but I’m not a fan of the whole Vegas scene. It really just isn’t me.

Bags are packed
Bags are packed
I'm ready to hit the road.
I’m ready to hit the road.
Road trips aren't the same without my Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma finger puppets.
Road trips aren’t the same without my Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma finger puppets.
Kombucha, my preferred road trip drink of choice.
Kombucha, my preferred road trip drink of choice.
Finally in Vegas
Finally in Vegas

Rafael and I stayed at the Rio, and it was quite nice. It’s not on the strip, but that was okay with me. The convention wasn’t far at all. How can I describe the smell of casino? Smoke everywhere with a hint of artificial air freshener that sort of has this forbidden scent you can’t help but love. That’s the scent of Vegas to me, and that’ one of the memories I left with.

Our hotel view on the 13th floor
Our hotel view on the 13th floor

Although I have no desire for gambling, I am still amazed at all the different types of slot machines they have available in Vegas! Of course I had to take a photo of The Walking Dead machine. I can’t remember if this was at the Rio or not.

Interbike Day 1 with Rafael
Interbike Day 1 with Rafael

It’s all thanks to Banker Supply Co. and Fiks: Reflective founder, Nick Drombosky that I was able to get into Interbike at all. At first I was having a problem with my pass, but his business savvy skills and quick thinking saved the day and I was able to join in on the fun! Fiks: Reflective is an awesome reflective accessories brand. Banker Supply Co. is located in Pittsburgh, PA and sells bike accessories. Judging from photos, the shop looks pretty nice.

Inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center
The Bromley for $399
The Bromley for $399

Our first stop at the convention was Pure City Cycles. They have really nice city bikes. Although I currently ride Fixed, I’ve always wanted a City/Dutch bike.

I also love baskets!

Nick Drombosky conversing with Pure City team member, Jason Rivera
Nick Drombosky conversing with Pure City team member, Jason Rivera

Above photo by Rafael Hernandez
Above photo by Rafael Hernandez

I also had the pleasure to meet several of the people from Bern Unlimited. They specialize in helmets not just for cyclists, but skateboarders, skaters, etc. They come in a variety of colors and are specialized to fit the size of your head.

Rafael with Cecilio Martinez of Bern Unlimited
Rafael with Cecilio Martinez of Bern Unlimited

I was finally able to meet the two founders of Hiplok, a bike lock company from the UK, John Abrahams and Ben Smith. They are awesome guys and I love their locks! I have the Hiplok Pop Cyan featured below. I also have a pink Hiplok Lite. It was great to be in their ad booklet featured at Interbike, and I was also in Momentum magazine’s Summer issue as part of a Hiplok advertisement. Photos were taken by Rafael of course.

Look, it's me riding my Leader 721, wearing the Hiplok lite.
Look, it’s me riding my Leader 721, wearing the Hiplok lite.

nutcasehelmets.com

We needed a lunch break of course, so we walked around the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino to try and find some grub. The food court area was packed, so we kept walking and eventually settled for an Irish Pub restaurant called, Ri Ra.

I really enjoyed the food and the interior was really nice. It reminded me of the late 1800s/ early 20th century.

I think because I don’t travel often, my body was already feeling pretty tired and I couldn’t tell if I was really hungry or not, so I just settled for a salad and lots of vegetables. The soda bread was really good too. Nick was nice enough to treat Rafael and I to lunch.

Nick with Leader Bikes representative, Alex Oleata.
Nick with Leader Bikes representative, Alex Oleata.

My first fixed gear bike was a Leader Bike. Rafael gave it to me as part of a Christmas present last year. I ride the white Leader 721 and it’s shown me some good times.

Pretty colors
Pretty colors

The Aventon booth
The Aventon booth

The new Aventon frame is so light, Rafael can pick it up with his pinkies.

Rafael with Don from Wolfpack Hustle
Rafael with Don from Wolfpack Hustle
More Aventon bikes
More Aventon bikes

Knog lights are pretty awesome. Rafael and I were once riding with our friend, and both our non-Knog lights went out at the same time. Rafael’s really bright Knog light saved the night and lit our way, because boy, were we riding on some dark bike paths.

They even have lights to attach to your camera for photo and video!

Rafael tested out the Qudos Action High-Powered Video light. You can also set it on a tripod of course.

State Bicycle Co.
State Bicycle Co.

This State Bike is so pretty. I currently ride one of their aluminum frames. This is the LaFleur 2.0, priced at $449

Towards the end of our first day, we made friends with a marketing director of Gama Bikes, Zik Lu. They specialize in cruisers and city bikes. Once again I can’t help but feel really attracted to city bikes. My favorite of theirs is the City Avenue in Turquoise. It has polka dots on the side.

They are currently not available in the US, but are distributed in Chile, Peru, and China, and are available in certain parts of Europe.

Trying to hang in there after a long first day. We did not plan to wear stripes together.
Trying to hang in there after a long first day. We did not plan to wear stripes together.

Towards the end of the day we stopped at the Excalibur before heading to dinner.

So many ridiculous slot machines.
So many ridiculous slot machines.

Go figure my first time at Hooter’s would be with six guys. We ate at the Hooter’s hotel and casino for dinner the first night of Interbike. I had no idea they even had a Hooter’s hotel in Vegas. I should have known. The food was okay of course. The cheese on my grilled cheese could have been melted better. I tried the Red’s Apple Cider for the first time and that wasn’t bad.

Funny guys Nick Drombosky, and Julius Brenninkmeijer of Fietsklik after dinner
Funny guys Nick Drombosky, and Julius Brenninkmeijer of Fietsklik after dinner

We had to settle for a smoking room, so of course I had to get the Donald Draper shot.

Enjoying the King size bed
Enjoying the King size bed
Interbike Day 2
Interbike Day 2
Interbike Day 2 all geared up
Interbike Day 2 all geared up

By the second day I was feeling pretty groggy and I was starting to suffer from a spider bite I had gotten before leaving California, not to mention my feet were killing me. Because of all this I actually didn’t get any more photos on my dslr of Interbike on the second day. By the afternoon, my left foot was starting to swell and I had to borrow Rafael’s Nike’s. As I’m sitting here right now, typing this, three days later my left foot/ankle is just barely recovering, it was that bad.

The Invader by Quay Australia
The Invader by Quay Australia

On a more positive note, I am in love with my new Quay Australia sunglasses I was able to find at Top Shop in one the malls in Vegas. I’ve had my eyes on their eyeware for the longest time, so I’m glad I finally treated myself.

Because it’s Vegas and I was feeling kind of wonky, I gave myself an excuse to get a drink before heading back to Interbike after lunch on the second day. I stopped at Evening Call and got the Vegas Lai drink which has Mai Tai Island Punch and 151 Rum. I’m not a fan of fruity drinks, but this wasn’t bad.

Taking a break outside the convention on Day 2.
Taking a break outside the convention on Day 2.

It was time for us to head back before the sun started to set on Thursday. We stopped at the Las Vegas sign to take a few photos, but only took photos from the back of the sign since we were leaving and the front line was too crowded. Are there really that many tourists that visit Vegas? I guess so.

Goodbye Vegas
Goodbye Vegas
Interbike 2014 Swag
Interbike 2014 Swag

I wish I could have taken more photos, and despite my horrible spider bite, the whole experience was quite memorable and I’ll never forget the cool people I met those two days. Yes, Las Vegas can be fun if you want it to be, but Interbike is what really made the trip worth while with all the connections I made and the fun moments I had. If I’m fortunate enough to go again, I’m already looking forward to Interbike 2015!

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