If you don’t have to go to places like Eurobike for a living and you’re a bike nut, I guess you could be envious of myself and Chipps. The reality though really isn’t that much fun – Eurobike is massive!! 13 halls, all the size that you could easily have an entire 5 a side football tournament in each one including seating and cheerleaders – my diet consists of salty pork – salty potatoes – salty salt, washed down with Coke or, and all kept moving with copious amounts of coffee.
To be near the show and to get there early for maximum aisle pounding we camp at the local football club – which is friendly and close but it’s cold at night (beautiful clear skies!) and sleeping on a mat for a week in not the best way to recuperate from the day before’s efforts of carrying 30lbs of magazines and laptop round the halls.
Finally getting here is crazy. There’s no easy way to get to Freidrichshafen either – My Journey conisted of a drive from the valley to Luton then a plane to Zurich, followed by a train and ferry and a bus..
Anyway that’s the deal and here are my hot tips for survival.
1) Eat or drink anything green that’s offered to you* – side salads, mangy lettuce in your sandwich -smoothies at booths, those trimmings that you get on plates to make it look nice – These will be the only chance to get nutrients not derived from pork, potatoes or energy drinks- Take them while you can.
2) Old people’s shoes- Don’t steal them of course, but anything you’ve ever sneered at because they look comfy, take care of your insteps or come with a fleece liner – grab some – below my ankle I seem to have elephant size plates this week crushed flat with a steak hammer – I’ve even considered asking one of the high tech inner sole manufacturers if they could custom mould me an orthopedic insole to glue into my Berkenstocks (I so wish I has some Dr Scholl sandals with the rubbery spikes on the insole)
3) Antiperspirant – preferably industrial strength and tested on animals, even better the stuff that they spray in bowling shoes – all that salt and pork and combination of arclights plus dragging a pack full of press releases makes you hum quickly – a second t-shirt for the afternoon is pleasant after a day of yomping as well.
3) try and decline offers of drinks – Manufacturers are obsessed with damaging livers.Eurobike unlike lots of shows is happy to let people on stands offer beer , spirits in fact anything that gets people smashed, this I think is to take your mind off your aching back and the shinsplints your developing.
4) headphones and sunglasses. Between meetings you need a space to take stock, in this case inner space – earphones and sunglasses are a great way to not make eye contact or be able to hear people’s desperate pleading to come and look at their new octagonal wheel that is going to revolutionise cycling as we know it.
5) Sharpen elbows. Manners are for the weak. Unless you can stand your ground you are doomed – learn the art of the push the elbow dig and the left -right feint before plowing on straight ahead, people on Segways roaming the aisles are fair sport to be pushed off.
6) Remember that you do love bikes – In your core you need to keep the log fire of bike love burning, being able to touch and squeeze the newest shiniest things in the world in the atmosphere of a giant warehouse full of other swollen footed sweaty people can be a little… Jading -Remember why you are there!
Tomorrow I’m on my way home (6am start – taxi-ferry- train – car this time) and will be able to reflect a little more clearly on the week just gone, and appreciate how lucky I am – in the mean time I’m going to go and rub some salve in my soles see if i can find some salad dressing and get out in to the halls.
See you next week
*Absinthe doesn’t count.
Posted on: September 3, 2010 by singletrackmatt