Chris Coccia: Interbike 2007
So itâ€™s finally here and frankly I am a little nervous walking down the Vegas strip on the way to the first day of Inter-bike. Not scared nervous but high school reunion nervous. Like are the cool kids going to remember me and am I the one that got fat, nervous? I knew a lot of these people when I was riding hours a day and even racing now I am lucky to squeeze in a casual ride 2-3 times a week and racing is limited to trying to beat my daughter home from school so sheâ€™s not locked out waiting for her dad to come huffing up the driveway. The feeling out of shape issue was exacerbated by having lunch yesterday with Joe Saling and his wife Dottie, both of whom were a part of my introduction to road racing and both of whom continue to race and win on a regular basis. It has been close to 5 years since I have last seen them, and I spent our time together sucking in my gut and making references to how little free time I have.
Walking into the main hall I forget my trepidation, I am hit with the giddy feeling of a kid walking into a candy store. Imagine every product that falls under the heading, bike stuff, and its here. Not only here, but here and on display in the most flattering way possible. Frames are buffed to a glassy sheen, wheels are light like movie stars and components spin on turntables like alloy cakes in a bakery window. I have to remind myself that I am very happy with the bike I have and my wife is very happy with having money in the bank.
I walk around for hours trying to soak it in. Not just the stuff but also the people that go with the stuff, Greg LeMond is here so are Phil Ligget and Matt Hoffman. I met Tom Danielson formerly of team Discovery after badgering him for information about where he got his Fat Tire Ale. (It wasnâ€™t his and he didnâ€™t know) I also get to catch up with friends I havenâ€™t seen in years; Joe and Dottie, Paul, Roger and Chris and if the rumors are true Jose lurks these very halls. And thatâ€™s the best part of being here, is that Interbike creates a false reality, a world where everything and everyone is about bikes and bicycling. You can talk to strangers and have an immediate bond, or you can reconnect with lost friends and reminisce about the bonds you created together once upon a time. It also lights a fire under my ass. It makes me want to get back in the circle. I donâ€™t want to see these people once a year, I want to see them every weekend at a race or every Tuesday at a club ride. I want to show up on my new bike, the one that glistened like a showgirl, the one that cost more than college. And I want it because Iâ€™m going to need it because I am getting back in shape and I am going to start racing again. And I want someone to call my wife and explain that itâ€™s not my fault, that Interbike, like Vegas, creates optimists of us all.