Every year in late September, it's time for Interbike which is, for now, still the most important bicycle trade show and demo in the USA. For us at GovVelo, it’s a crucial time of year to gain as much product knowledge as possible and get hands-on experience. After all, the GovVelo staff is made up of real cyclists that live the cycling lifestyle not only in the riding but also in the engineering.
To do this properly we want to meet with the people who design and manufacture the bikes and equipment we sell in person, face-to-face, and build relationships that last. We wouldn't sell something that we haven't ridden, tested and looked at with our own eyes. We touch, feel, examine, and even try to torture test everything. If it’s a product we carry, you can rest assured we’ve put our hands on it.
Unlike many others, we take the time to meet with the manufacturer's face-to-face to ask many questions. But we don’t stop there, we want to know the story, what the passion is, and why that piece of gear should matter.
But enough about that though, and let’s talk about our trip to Interbike...
This year Interbike moved from Las Vegas to Reno / Tahoe. Being its first year in Reno many of the industry's leaders were apprehensive, to say the least. We went into the show with an open mind. Fortunately, the skies were clear and we had a good view flying into Reno with the plane going over several beautiful canyons and reservoirs and we already had a pretty good idea that we would have fun even if the show didn't pan out. Well, Reno didn't disappoint. Getting from the airport to the downtown area was surprisingly easy we noticed the Truckee River going right through the center of town and there were many bicycle and walking paths and plenty of great restaurants around this part of town.
I had visited Reno 15 years ago and didn't recognize it until I saw the famous Arch. I could not believe how much the town has changed and changed for the better. The city was clean the people were friendly and yes, we did find a good restaurant right away, it might not have been the fanciest restaurant in town but the food was locally-sourced and the cook staff knew how to prepare it well. Even the ketchup and mayonnaise was made in house and they even went as far to have a special filter on their tap water. It didn't look like any filter I’ve ever seen, but it sure made the water taste good, which was a good thing because I knew we needed to hydrate for the next day's demo ride at Northstar!
Later we found Reno had a share bike program called Lime Bike. The app was easy to use and before we knew it we're covering ground on these guys. At first, there were a few fit problems but what we got that figured out quickly. One of our crew even did a little adjusting to make the bikes ride so much better! I could just imagine the torture those bikes go through but even so, when you're used to riding a bicycle all the time, but then you don't have one with you it's nice to borrow one for a short while.
It's kind of funny we didn't realize it at first but they were two models one with a 3 speed internal hub the other just as single speed and boy the gearing was low on the one speed model, you can pedal at a really fast cadence and it just didn't seem to go very fast which is probably alright for many of the people who use these bikes but we were looking to get a little speed out of the ride (some things just never change). We used the Lime Bikes the whole time in Reno and let’s just say we went on some urban downhill and pushed the limits of those bikes while putting a smile on our faces.
In part two, you’ll get to hear about our experience at the NorthStar Resort where Interbike held their outdoor demo. To say the least, it was fantastic! Not only did we have a good time but it was extremely informative. But hey, I’m already spoiling it! Tune in to part two of our 2018 Interbike trip in the coming weeks and read more of our experiences from this fantastic event.