Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show in North America, was held September 18 - 20 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, their first year at this venue. BikeSGV was in attendance for the first time thanks to good friends at REI in Arcadia. As the organization's Project Coordinator and long-time volunteer, I met with industry representatives, picked up some swag, and hung out with other cyclists and lovers of all things bike.
Let me begin by saying that Interbike has always been a dream of mine, and when REI and BikeSGV asked me to go, I was floored! My first Interbike experience was awesome. Here's why. We're not alone!
People For Bikes, a national bike advocacy group, was well-represented, with a booth front-and-center. Interbike contributes a part of its proceeds to bike advocacy organizations, including People For Bikes and IMBA, each of which hosted a breakfast to attendees. During Wednesday's breakfast, hosted by PFB, a video was shown, which moved me by its ability to capture the feel of why we ride. Honestly, it made my skin tingle a bit, in a good way.
Other local advocacy groups were also in attendance, LACBC, Inland Empire Biking Alliance, the Bicycle Collective of Salt Lake City, amongst other advocacy and non-profit groups. Planet Bike hosted a Bike Advocacy Meet & Greet on Thursday afternoon, allowing many of us to chat with other people doing the same thing in their neighborhoods and communities. We all agree that while we're seeing better bike infrastructure and legislation in recent times, there's still a lot to be done, at home, in Sacramento, and in DC.
Of course I got to check out some cool bikes and see the latest gadgets in the industry, but I'm not really about flash at all. It was more about talking to supporters, like Dahon, a local San Gabriel Valley business based in Duarte. I even got to meet the founder of the company, Dr. Hon! I also met with many other company representatives that we hope to foster partnerships with in the future.
Thanks to REI and BikeSGV for my first Interbike. Let's keep up the good work!
On a more personal note, congratulations to my buddy Alvin for taking 1st place at the drag race. This was AFTER he rode from Echo Park to Las Vegas. Great job, bud.