Unless you work in one of the resort-corridor casinos or have to travel along Paradise Road, the myriad conventions that invade Las Vegas rarely impact you. That’s because most conventioneers tend to stick to their own well-trod Strip hotel turf. Not so with Interbike, the gathering of cycling aficionados that casts a far wider net. The convention itself draws about 25,000 attendees to its Mandalay Bay headquarters, but related events see many of those bike lovers take to their wheels, pedaling from Downtown to Boulder City—really, all across the Valley.
The convention proper is preceded by two days of outdoor demos in Bootleg Canyon, where the newest bikes will be road tested. Back at Mandalay, there’s a “university” for manufacturers and retailers, charity rides for Special Olympics and veterans, as well as the inaugural Interbike Awards.
But, of course, most people come to gawk at the toys on the convention floor: racing bikes, mountain bikes, bamboo bikes, electric cargo bikes, recumbent bikes. Going beyond two wheels, there are accessories from light-up turn-signal gloves to a pair of those tinsel streamers you had on your handlebars as a kid, plus tools, organic power bars and Rosie the Riveter cycling jerseys.
Interbike also offers opportunities for bike lovers who don’t have convention passes to get involved. For those into jumps, ramps and dirt, Desert Breeze Park on September 10 hosts CrossVegas, one of the nation’s biggest cyclocross events that attracts racers from around the world. On September 11, the Las Vegas Pedal PaLooza hits Downtown, with criterium races around Fremont Street, stationary bike speed trials and a kids’ bike rodeo. (No, that’s not some kind of “running of the bulls” involving a herd of third-graders on Huffys.) Finally, there’s Customer Appreciation Day on September 12, when non-conventioneers can buy a ticket to access the show floor and check out all the cool stuff.
None of this sound appealing to you? Well, then at least consider this a heads-up to watch out for a few thousand extra cyclists navigating our not-so-bike-friendly streets. Interbike.com