I’m sat in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for a four hour layover with Rich, our ‘fitness editor’ ready for this year’s Eurobike Show. To say the the show is an enormous, and enormously important show for the bike industry would still be an understatement.
Taking place in nearly a dozen huge show halls (including a whole Zeppelin hanger!), with plenty more going on outside too, the great and good (and the small and cool) of the bike industry gathers at the end of August every year. When I first went to Eurobike, probably back in 1994 or 1995, it was much smaller and mostly mountain-bike based. The bike show was Interbike, but gradually, due to the rise of the European markets and the show’s handy, earlier date, the show slowly snowballed into the monster it is today.
There are very few places to stay nearby, forcing many show-goers to drive an hour or more to get there in the morning, the cuisine mostly consists of pork-derivatives, washed down with German lager, and yet everyone flocks to the show to see what’s new, to introduce their new products and to talk about, yes, 2015… 2014 is already planned and in production.
I’ve been coming to the show for nearly 20 years now and I still get lost trying to find my way around. Or navigating from a meeting in Hall A1 to B6 without either getting lost or getting sidetracked by an industry colleague met along the way. It’s virtually impossible to see the whole show in the three public days, so everyone has been badgering me for appointments, starting at 10am and stretching through until 8pm dinner presentations. And somewhere in the middle of all this, we still have to find time to not only try to see as much of the show as possible, but to write about it as well. Technology has helped my show reporting a great deal with the advent of laptops, wifi and digital cameras, but it also means that instead of going home with your exposed slide film and rushing to write up a story for your print magazine, the world wants to know what’s new and they want it now.
Hopefully Dave, Rich and I can keep up with what’s new and let you see it as quickly as we can rush it from show floor to press room.
And then, two weeks after we get back from this, it’s time for the Interbike show and it all starts again.