Bicycles were invented about 200 years ago, while the FAA certified its first drones for civilian use in 2013. The two may seem completely different—one is powered by human sweat, the other by circuits and microchips—but both will draw thousands of aficionados to Las Vegas this month.
When: Sept. 9-11
Where: The Rio
What: The inaugural gathering of engineers, builders, pilots, investors and other aficionados.
Keynote Speaker: Chris Anderson, the CEO of 3D Robotics, a company that designs and manufactures drones. He was previously editor-in-chief of Wired and author of the best-seller Makers: The New Industrial Revolution.
Sample Seminar: Drone-Captured Crowd Analytics Through Deep Learning-Based Facial Emotion Recognition will introduce “vision software that reads facial micro-expressions.” And the idea of a small aircraft using super-telephoto cameras to analyze the slightest raise of an eyebrow shouldn’t make you feel paranoid at all … should it?
What’s on the Convention Floor: Prebuilt drones, kits, batteries, software, cases, cameras, video and insurance. And, of course, devices for “controlling personal lower airspace” in case you want to keep all of that shit out of your yard.
Stay and Play: Show off that multirotor bad boy to your heart’s content in the “Yes-Fly Zone.” Beyond that, “you may not fly your drone outside permitted pre-arranged flying areas.” Those hoping to record some nudies through the hotel room windows are out of luck.
When: Sept. 16-18
Where: Mandalay Bay
What: The largest bicycle industry trade show in North America, in its 33rd year, attracts everyone from CEOs to bike messengers.
Keynote Speaker: John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado, who has advocated for bike trails, bike sharing and the Bike Health Initiative. His support of cycling caused one of his 2010 gubernatorial opponents to accuse him of being a United Nations agent out to overthrow our government.
Sample Seminar: Slowtwitch Cycling Power Coaching Certification is a two-day seminar that helps coaches use data, training and techniques to maximize triathletes’ performance. Sessions will teach attendees about “training stress scores” and “how to create a power file, analyze it and determine full threshold power.” Just thinking about it makes one crave a Double-Double, no?
What’s on the Convention Floor: Carbon mountain bikes and folding electric bikes, bikes with bamboo frames and “Dutch-style” bikes from Brooklyn. And, of course, accessories, including heart-rate monitors, wearable speakers and Viking horn covers for that prosaic plastic helmet.
Stay and Play: A multi-terrain indoor test track allows riders to try out electric bikes, fat bikes and other cycles; two days of outdoor demo events at Bootleg Canyon before the convention floor opens; and the biggest cyclocross race in America at Desert Breeze Park.