Since the mad, bad terrorist attacks on US targets on 11th September there’s been an upsurge in patriotic fervour in America. Everywhere you go there are US flags, including on half the population. But this fervour is understandable when America is just so brilliant at stuff. And that includes staging a bicycle trade show.

INTERBIKE: God Bless America

The real thing starts tomorrow but today an expected 3000 people rode their little socks off on the dusty, desert singletrack of Blue Diamond Village, 25 miles from Las Vegas.

Suppliers actively encourage IBD show visitors to try out their bikes. Interbike’s Outdoor Demo is a trade show in its own right, with canopied booths to keep off the worst (best?) of the Nevada sunshine.

It was nearly 100 degrees in the shade today, but got here early and did two 4-mile circuits of the designated trails before the sun’s UV quotient made riding too uncomfortable.

And what US superbeasts did try out in the homeland of the mountain bike? Er, an Orange Patriot and a Whyte PRST-1…

It was wise to grab these British bikes early, they were later in high demand from US IBD staffers who wanted to ride the bikes they’ve read so much about.

For Michael Bonney, Cumbrian-based marketing manager of Orange, the Las Vegas sunshine was welcome: at Eurobike, Friedrichshafen, Orange also had an outdoors stand, but the canopy didn’t protect from UV radiation, it was a shelter from driving rain.

The European trade shows may have been the first launchpads for the leading bike brands but Interbike is a whole lot more fun. Brilliant weather; fabulous scenery (at the Outdoor Demo at least, Las Vegas itself is a baublised concrete jungle); a huge hall packed with all the top US brands; all the major US biking celebs; cheap flights and hotel rooms; everybody speaks English; and a selection of great parties. Add all that to the superbly organised Outdoor Demo – where the desert singletrack re-enthuses your love for MTBing – and you have the makings of a stonking trade show.

If you want to visit an international trade show next Autumn, forget damp and dreary Europe, head for the sun!


TOP: Top marks to the Interbike organisers for first rate trails, signage and singletrack…and glorious weather!

BELOW: The Outdoor Demo was quiet at first but was soon buzzing. Only trade show attendees could get in the compound, based in a sleepy village of just 200 inhabitants. You handed in a ticket and were free to ride away on some brilliant bikes, mostly MTBs but there were recumbents, BMX and mountain boards too

…And no round and round an indoor test track, the show organisers had waymarked five beautiful desert trails, some with sweet, snaking singletrack.

The headshot below is of Orange’s Michael Bonney.

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