Interbike is over for this year – and next year it won’t be held in Las Vegas, it’ll be in Anaheim, California (just next door to Disneyland)
Now, I’ve been doing this long enough that I remember when Interbike was at Anaheim the last time. My first Interbike was in 1994 when, as a fresh-faced first year bike journo I went to Anaheim with Steve Worland and Steve Behr. Wow, that was a while ago…
Then in 1999 I think it was, the show moved to Las Vegas. It initially seemed a silly place to have a bike show – after all, it’s wicked hot here, the whole countryside is made of gravel and scorpions and the city itself is about as genuine as a film-set. However, there are many places to stay, many places to eat and drink and bike people don’t look too out of place.
Next year the show moves back to Anaheim, and the date moves from late September to early August. The reason for this is primarily because Eurobike has become so important a show and, because it’s at the beginning of September, everyone was going there first and doing deals and reporting on new stuff, so that Interbike was lagging behind. The trouble with the date move is that in early August, no one is going to have anything ready to show (small firms like Orange are usually still building still-warm show bikes the week of the show) and don’t Italy and France take all of August off anyway?
The trouble with moving the location is that, well, it’s not Las Vegas. For all its down points, most places are within walking distance and its very easy to meet up with colleagues and customers after the show for a beer or a meal. Anaheim is far more spread out and it’s likely that you won’t see anyone once the show finishes.
My biggest regret with the show moving is that I’ve always maintained that Las Vegas is an ideal place for a bike show. Even though it’s not the surroundings that bike-industry types would choose, after spending a week here in the scorching heat of the day, or the rarified air conditioned rooms, or the sunless gloom of the sodium-lit show hall, it certainly makes you appreciate where you live. I’m now fired up to get back to the chill of autumn, get wet on the bike once again and breathe in the heady air of the green land in which we live.
I guess my biggest concern is that next year’s Interbike isn’t going to be the same. Many people won’t be going due to the dates, or the location, and it’ll probably become more like a US national show, rather than an international one. There won’t be the same crowds, the same venues and the same gatherings of like-minded people. It’ll still happen to an extent at the Sea Otter, but the thing that Eurobike doesn’t have is the social scene of Interbike. We could have seen the end of the big parties of the bike industry. It’ll all carry on, but a chapter has ended.
On that note, I feel that I should head to the bar before I fly out tomorrow and order a drink with an umbrella in it, served to me by someone who looks like Elvis.