Thursday, September 24, 2009

Viva Pab Vegas

I am tired, so this post will be really short. The Las Vegas expedition was fun and successful. The Pablove message went out over the speakers at the SRAM village, as you can see in the above photo. Due to SRAM's coverage of Pablove Across America on their website and blogs, people already knew about Pablo and about the upcoming cross-country ride. When I hopped up on the bar, and SRAM publicist Michael Zellman (the man on the left side of the photo) introduced me, people put their hands together in rapid succession. Completely unexpected. I was so thrown off by this welcome, I temporarily dropped my planned intro and focused people on the Pablove beer cups they were drinking out of. Almost everyone looked down at their dominant hand. This is what they saw while I repositioned my brain and kicked out the Pablove jams:

Throughout the day, Piero Giramonti, Diarmuid Quinn and I walked through the convention center, working our way through the Babylonian maze of bike-filled booths. We met up with every single sponsor of PAA, like a bunch of gangsters in a Tarantino movie going after a bank heist. Here's who we saw: Gary Vasconi from CAPO—he made our kits in Italy; Michael Macedon from SRAM—he designed the kits in Chicago; Doug Martin from Felt, who signed off on the bikes and enlisted his marketing team, including publicist Kip Mikler, to help carry our message to the cycling industry. He introduced us to the man who runs the Tour of California, which benefits a bunch of cancer charities. The only person we didn't run into is the masterful and sweet Felt designer Bob Thomson, he who designed the Pablove bikes. I thanked all of these people—most of whom I was meeting in person for the first time—and let them know how their efforts allowed us to focus on the mission of the ride. I also had a chance to talk with one of the editors from Velo News, one of the web and mag bibles of the bike world.

In addition to all that, Hrach from Velo Pasadena took us around to a bunch of booths. He's working on getting me a couple saddles (that's a seat for you non-bike-obsessed people) I can ride across the nation. Not just any saddles—the coolest, newest ones that aren't even out yet. I'm a geek, and I like this stuff. We hung with Michael Ward at his 'Mike and the Bike' book showroom. Always great to see his smile.

At some point, we felt the ache in our feet and legs. We looked at our watches and realized it was time to head to the airport. Joe Scully grabbed his rental car and we headed outta town. 50 minutes after wheels up, we were back in Burbank. Which reminds me—I'm tired.

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