So this was pretty cool. We got our copies of the latest Bicycle Retailer (the first post-Interbike issue) at the end of last week and look who’s on the cover? It’s Interbike’s marketing manager hosting the Tour of Lake Mead ride at the OutDoor Demo. I’ll admit it: even though it should be old hat at this point, I still get a little excited when I’m quoted in the media. This is the photo they ended up using.
And there’s a funny story that goes along with it. Pull up a chair. Well, it won’t be that long a story.
So I hosted the Lake Mead ride this year. I made sure that my schedule would allow me to ride it this year since I missed last year’s edition. Lance here couldn’t make it this year (he was at the turn around at the lake handing out water, though) so he asked me to welcome everyone, say a few words and give out a few safety instructions about the road closures. I can handle that.
I roll down the hill to the start area and Lauren, Interbike’s Demo operations coordinator, hands me a megaphone and races off to handle other pressing tasks (no shortage of those at ODD). A police officer walks over and gives me some instructions about the roads and what they’ll be doing. We still have some time until the official start and people are still coasting down the hill from the demo area with their borrowed demo bikes, so we wait. I notice Lennard Zinn from VeloNews lined up on the front row so I roll my Masi 3VC over to him to say ‘hi’ and chat about his upcoming appearance in the Media Center and his custom long cranks (by his calculations I should be on 209′s, but that’s another post topic…).
Someone finally gives me the word that it’s time to go, so I fire up the megaphone. I don’t think that I’ve ever actually used a megaphone before and I couldn’t seem to find a button or trigger on this one. At this point everyone lined up for the ride is now looking at me. I finally figure out how to work the thing and I say my words. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you what it was I said. I sort of slip into an out-of-body mode in these un-prepared public speaking situations. Good thing it was just a group of 300 bikers – part of our extended family, right?
My monologue finished, I turn around to hand the megaphone off to someone. With my head spinning back and forth, I realize there’s no one within 15 feet of me and no one who’s there from the IB team. I must have looked dumb as my head spun back and forth around looking for someone who could help me out. Riders are starting to clip in and are getting antsy to start the ride. The nearest familiar face I see is James from Cycling.TV from the photo above. He had placed himself into the back of a station wagon to film the ride. I clumsily stumble over to him with one foot clipped in and megaphone in one hand and begin to toss it toward him.
As if that wouldn’t interrupt his cinematography duties enough, it turns out that the wriststrap is still on my wrist as I toss it and that said strap is attached to the megaphone via the battery compartment. With riders giving up on me and rolling off the line, the battery lid stays attached to my wrist as the megaphone heads toward James and his expensive camera. Unrestrained, the batteries decide to jump ship at this point and head toward the asphalt where they roll away in all directions trying to escape 300 bikers headed their way.
Confirming that they are, in fact, members of the family, riders laughed at me scrambling for batteries from the saddle of my bike (thanks, guys). James missed capturing some of the start as he caught the megaphone, but I guess he also missed catching my fumbling, so it’s all good.
The ride was awesome in the end – even though I got dropped by the lead group on descent near the start.Â If you haven’t seen it already, Carlton Reid of BikeBiz UK shot a video of the ride. He overlaid names of some industry people he came across on the ride so you can see us all in our natural habitat (on a bike). That’s something you don’t usually get a chance to see.
Back to the latest issue of BR&IN, I’m also in another shot inside on the photo gallery page. Here’s the shot below. Left to right, that’s me, Uwe Weissflog (our European agent), Carlton Reid and Ross Kerber of the Boston Globe with beautiful Lake Mead in the background.
I’m available for autographs at the next industry event (BLC?).
All photos were taken by Gary Newkirk.Â