At Interbike Las Vegas, Eric Mah of Tern kindly let me borrow his top-of-the-line Tern folding bike. He didn't warn me about the comments.
I rode back to the Platinum hotel from the Sands Expo Center and, on the hotel steps, got my first unsolicited comment.
"Cool bike. What is it?"
The asker was more than likely in town for the trade show so was hard-wired to be interested in bikes. I answered and disappeared to my room to get ready for that evening's Cross Vegas cyclo cross race.
I rode the few miles to the venue and didn't get any comments on the way. But when I arrived at the Desert Breeze soccer complex and made myself known to the Kona team truck (I was borrowing a Kona Major Jake carbon CX bike for the 'Wheelers and Dealers' race), the pro riders and the Kona mechanic were all over the Tern, handling it, loving it.
This is a bike that gets noticed.
Again, the pro riders and the mechanic are hard-wired to be keen on bicycles so maybe no surprise they showed an interest.
But after the race, and almost back in Vegas, an SUV with a male driver and a female passenger pulled up to me. A window was wound down and something was said. I couldn't quite hear, and assumed it was standard cyclist-baiting abuse, but it turned out to be enquiries about the bike.
"What's that you're riding? It looks really cool. I've never seen one like that before."
At the filling station in front of my hotel I pulled in to buy recovery food (chocolate milk and blueberry danish) and another motorist said "Cool bike, man."
Ride a Tern, enjoy the build quality and the ride, and get used to being a roving brand ambassador.