Well, Interbike. It’s Sunday. I’ve been back for a day. I’m starting to recover.
I’m beginning to understand the cycling industry. A bit. And I know I’ve got two masters now: Publishing and Cycling. They’re both gonna want their particular pounds of flesh. Happily, they’ll be from different parts of my body.
Being at BEA (Book Expo America) earlier this year with Anna’s book in hand was super-instructive. Suddenly all the booths seemed irrelevant. Unless the goal was snagging free merch. The actual blood of the convention was flowing at a bunch of nondescript tables tucked away on the top floor of the Javits Center. That’s where folks made deals. And that’s what makes publishing go. Confusing the display booths with the industry would be like confusing someone’s ass with their face. Which I’ve been guilty of.
The same holds true, ish, at Interbike. There, the booths ARE important. That’s the stuff that’s gonna be for sale next year. And everyone cruising around is trying to figger what magic combination of stuff they can stock that’ll lead to some meagre profit, keeping them afloat for one more year. But the deals are happening in a room I only heard about.
Now, I just need something more than a great idea and a nice shirt.
It’s gonna be a rough birth, Sportybooks is. I can’t wait to spank this baby’s ass.
Here’s how I looked after flying to LV and spending the day on the floor on Day One. (I’m one on the right, Mario Cipollini is the other guy.) Slightly less like someone used a badger to beat up Jack Klugman. There’s a direct correlation between how out of one’s depth one feels and the amount of beer used to tamp down the desire to run screaming out into the street.
Cross Vegas was a whole different, wonderful animal. We’re still not very good at CX in the states, by Euro standards. But the niche that cycling, and CX, occupy over there is filled with ball-sports here. We’re too big and car-y a country to give a shit about cycling as anything other than exercise. And yet, Cross Vegas was a blast. Those few of us who give a shit had a great time, and everyone THREW DOWN.
Also, I met Ellen Van Loy. (It’s a crap pic. I was pretty nervous.)