American retailers - and global media types - slung their legs over loads of new bikes in the desert close to Las Vegas today

Interbike kicks off with hot and green Outdoor Demo

The 2008 Interbike has officially started with the opening of the Outdoor Demo in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, a 35-minute shuttle ride from Las Vegas.

There’s precious little greenery in the scrub desert but Interbike, and many of the show exhibitors, have ramped up their efforts to be green this year.

There are recycling bins dotted around; there are more shuttle buses so people need not drive to the out-of-town venue (people still do, the car park was choked with traffic); and Outdoor Demo’s freebie water bottle is made from recycled plastic and can itself be recycled.

Interbike show literature is printed on eco-friendly stock, with soy inks. There will be bins at the end of the show to collect, and recycle, show badges.

And while monster trucks are still order of the day for some exhibitors (Oakley, natch, had two of the biggest); others wanted to promote their eco-consciousness. Dahon booked a DJ hooked up to solar power. Pedros washed bikes with eco-gloop.

There are close to 150 exhibitors at the Outdoor Demo, a far bigger affair than the demo day at Eurobike. A lot of the key Euro brands were at the Outdoor Demo (Wilier, Colnago, Storck and so on) as well as Brit brands Pashley and Moulton.

Visitors to the demo get to test the bikes in perfect conditions. As well as smooth asphalt on a closed road loop for testing skinny tyred bikes and recumbents and a noticeably increased number of electric bikes, there’s a DH course, four MTB courses, a BMX course and – new for this year – a CX course built by the organisers of CrossVegas.

Also new for 2008 is the slightly worrying fluffy vulture, seen in the pic at the top. He’s right at the start of the MTB loops and belongs to the first-aiders on the IMBA booth.

More pix from the first day – including more of the vulture, a quick pic of the IsoTruss MTB, shots of the Manitou Dorado fork, and a guy who’s eaten too much of the free Fizik geleto – can be found here.

Mark Alker and Chipps from Singletrack magazine have also been quick off the mark with a YouTube video of the first day; and David Bernstein of the Fredcast has an audio podcast, interviewing five of the expo exhibitors.

Wanna know how hot it was today? So hot that the glue on Alex Trimnell’s cycle shoes came unstuck: "Guess I’d better stick to muddy fields," quipped the X-Lite boss, meaning not a word of it… Let’s face it, glueless shoes in the desert is better than properly-stuck shoes in 12 weeks solid of British rain.

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