Las Vegas is weird.
Trade shows can be overwhelming and not a ton of fun. Mix that with the bizarre nature of Vegas and the only way to survive is to go in with an open mind and pretend that you're from rural Germany and it's your first time to the US.
Here's a couple of pointers we gathered from our trip, take them - they're free!
1. Don't go straight to Vegas.
Why go to Vegas and pay out the nose for a "fancy" room that smells like cleaning fluid and has walls thinner than your spandex? One hour outside Sin City, there is a wonderful, and somewhat untrodden natural reserve called Mojave.
The Mojave has many excellent spots to pitch a tent. Whats more, its free, and totally does not smell like cleaning fluid, and there's not a thin wall in sight. It might rain while you're camping in the desert, Ornot. Either way, the desert is great.
It looks like quite a few people take shelter in the desert before heading into the cement jungle of Vegas. It's the prefect little breather before diving into the debauchery. We recommend you give it a try.
2. Definitely race Cross Vegas.
We had a few goals for Interbike, but the biggest one was to have fun at Cross Vegas. Justin and Matt lined up on Wednesday night in the wheelers and dealers, prepared to take on the best in the industry on a certified UCI World Cup course. Long story short - there were 160 people and we managed to pass lots of people and have even more fun.
Of course, the best part of the evening was yet to come. In recent years, the love of cyclocross in the US has been steadily rising. CrossVegas is now the first UCI World Cup race, and it draws the best in the world. We smuggled snacks in, drank some free beer, and prepared to watch the pros take on the course.
What a race! It was great watching the pros ride through the sand pit that had all the elite racers walking. Wout turned on the afterburners shortly after falling, and we watched as he hauled ass all the way to the finish. Absolutely ridiculous.
3. Plan Your After Parties
Vegas is all about parties.
The Rapha gang had a swinging party with DJPows on the decks. We were so close to going but parking a van full of bikes and gear on a dark sketchy street in Vegas seemed a bit irresponsible. So we circled, hoping for rockstar parking, but eventually left. Bummer for sure. We've recreated the scenerio in gif form for you to enjoy, below.
We did, however, make it to the infamous Underbike which was interesting, but not nearly as interesting as some people had told us it was. We had some beers and talked to a few new friends. Eventually we gave up on the low energy vibe and boarded an app taxi home to get our gamble on.
4. Come with an open mind.
Interbike has a lot of new ideas advertised. Some are pretty logical, others get a bit weird. It's important to keep your mind open to new ideas and see what happens. You just might find your new favorite saddle, or cuddly blanket, or maybe a new bathtub for your bike?
5. "A new take on Mexican" is code speak for "overpriced tacos".
Everything in Vegas is over the top, as you may well know, but it still comes as a surprise. We stayed in a pyramid, gambled money in a cigarette-smoke filled room the size of San Francisco, payed absurd amounts of money for tacos and stood forever in 50 person long lines for Starbucks coffee because that is what you do in Vegas. After only two days in the city, and one spent inside a convention center, we were more than ready to hit the road.
6. Leave as soon as you can.
Get out of sin city at the first opportunity. If you stay too long you might just start smoking, go to a party with the Blue Man Group and turn into Bob Ross, or attend Chris Angel shows for the hell of it. It's not worth it - just leave.
We can't wait to go back next year, Ornot.