Riders who borrowed road bikes for Outdoor Demo's Tour de Lake Mead took them back caked not in dust - the usual after-ride sheen from Bootleg Canyon - but dripping with water. A two-hour storm dumped nearly an inch of rain on the Nevada desert, with Lake Mead park rangers cutting short the Outdoor Demo's now traditional road bike ride.
An inch of rain doesn't sound a lot but it's a lot for Las Vegas, and it's a lot when you're riding high-end carbon road bikes up a storm drain. While some of the 100 or so Tour de Lake Mead riders rode back on the I-93, a hardcore few braved the bike path. A bike path that doubles as a storm drain.
Camelbak's Seth Beiden rode a $9000 aero road bike with deep rim wheels. And rode it through rushing water that made for an interesting ascent back to the Outdoor Demo in Boulder City. "We're bike salmon," he said, as he pushed against the pulsing waves of storm water.
Back in Bootleg Canyon, the rain didn't stop. This was no brief but fierce desert storm, it was a sustained desert storm, with lightning. Interbike staffers raided hardware stores for emergency ponchos and bin bags, fashioning make-do rain coats for show attendees who hadn't thought to bring Gore-Tex jackets to Las Vegas at the tail-end of summer.
The storm brought rain to southern California and Nevada and was caused by a low-pressure area in the Eastern Pacific sending moist air northeastward over the desert.
Many would-be attendees stayed in their Las Vegas hotels, making the 45 minute journey once the storm cleared.
If it wasn't part of Interbike, Outdoor Demo would be a sizable trade show in its own right.
Andrew Juskaitis, global product marketing manager at Giant, said:
"OutDoor Demo is the event that allows us to tie up any loose ends with our top dealers and show our very best to new dealers.
"It's also a great barometer to gauge how and where our competitors are allocating marketing dollars. Everyone's got more bikes and a more professional presence then ever before. It's a big deal."
Even when it's wet.
More BikeBiz pix here.
Official Interbike pix here.