In the course of snapping photos and gathering details, itâ€™s inevitable that weâ€™d also have some interesting conversations with the people behind the products. Itâ€™s sometimes tough to capture such talk, but really, thatâ€™s a big reason we come to Interbike â€“ to exchange ideas and get fired up all over again about bike riding.
– Itâ€™s a small world… Jackie of WTB was one of the experts showing us how itâ€™s done at the Dirt Rag Womenâ€™s Weekend at Rayâ€™s MTB back in February. She can sling some facts as well as huck a bike. We also saw Ray himself walking around, testing bikes and working on sponsorships, taking a break from building more stunts at his place.
– Craig at Jamis and I talked about the role of 650B wheel size, after he showed us their new B2 full-suspension bike that uses the â€˜tweener wheels. Iâ€™m currently testing a Carver KillerB that also has 650Bâ€™s. Two different styles of bike, but we agreed that 650Bâ€™s are a nice middle option that allows you to sling the bike around more than with 29â€ wheels, but that still has more rolling-over capability and grip than 26â€. It will be interesting to see who else makes use of this size, and for what. Craig said it best: â€œItâ€™s not a new standard, itâ€™s an option.â€
– Sanyo, the electronics company, is debuting a new electric-assist bike on Wednesday at the indoor show. But whatâ€™s really cool is that they are working on a solar recharging station for electric bikes.
– We tried several electric-assist bikes today, doing research for future Bicycle Times coverage. It seems that their batteries and motors are getting smaller and more powerful â€“ these bikes arenâ€™t the hulking beasts of ten years ago. They definitely have a place in getting people to try riding who arenâ€™t as fit as us mountain bikers.
– Hans Rey was hanging out at the GT booth, passing out flyers for his Wheels 4 Life charity program, which is one of several groups working to get bicycles in the hands of people who really need them. He also told us about a new concept heâ€™s working on he calls â€œFlow Countryâ€: itâ€™s a designation, in a similar fashion to IMBAâ€™s Epics, that would mean those sweet trails that are a mix freeriding and cross country â€“ flowy, fast, with berms and jumps that could be hit with a big travel bike or rolled with a hardtail for equal fun. Heâ€™s first trying out the concept in Livigno, Italy.
– Celebrity sightings (besides No Way Rey) included Cristina Begy (from that famous cover of issue #105), Chris Currie from Speedgoat in the same Dirt Rag jersey he always wears, Joe Breeze helping prep demo bikes, and Jay Petervary â€“Â who described his recent tandem running of the grueling Tour Divide with his wife Tracy as â€œa lot of fun.â€ There are only a very few people who would call it that.