It's been a fun, exhausting, successful, disgusting and an enlightening week in Las Vegas. Interbike 2008 is now behind us all. In my opinion, it was our best show ever. Now what? It's funny how the mind works. Immediately after finishing something, my mind often says those last two little words "Now What?". While I could list about a million things, I'm going to start this week off with a whole bunch of shout outs, observations and thank yous.
Thanks to the Salsa crew. Wow, what a crew. We all pitched in. We all got it done. Long, long hours. Special thanks to Bobby for his efforts with Dirt Demo. Also, a special thanks to Kid Riemer for the new booth and his tear down efforts where Mike stayed at the booth until late into the morning while the rest of us slept. Both Mike and Bobby put in extra credit hours.
Thanks to the readers here. Do you know that in the last month we hit a web traffic number that is almost 100% higher than January 2008? The blog went as high as #3 most viewed page of our site.
Thanks to our amigos. You may or may not realize it, but all the Salsa consumers, dealers, and amigos we've met or interacted with either in person or here on the blog, all contribute to our success and impact our direction. While we know we can't make everyone happy all the time, each of you contribute none the less.
Thank you all. It's been a fun year and IB 2008 was so much fun. Here are a few observations.
1) Our industry is filled with really good people. Sure there are a few not so great ones....Like the jerk who flatted on the El Kaboing. Thank you for stopping to remove the tire and tube before you rode the course back in on a naked rim completely ruining the rim. Nevermind the fact that every bike had replacement tubes in the seat bag. Honestly though, almost every person I came across and/or shook hands with was really sincere and nice. It was so much fun meeting new faces and catching up with old friends.
2) Our industry is changing. Folks are looking to bikes as transportation as opposed to recreation. Also, folks are talking of the economy and of rising raw material costs. Seems like these things come up in at least every other conversation. Thankfully, bikes are part of a solution.
3) Salsa's booth - It was 100% new and a show stopper for sure. For me, the booth was almost as fun to talk about as our new products. That is saying something as I am really proud of what we showed in the last month.
4) Graphics - Other brands are finally tuning into the fact that paying a little more attention to graphics can really say something about your brand.
5) Carbon - Holy cow, I say it every year, but carbon is everywhere. I know what doing carbon the right way costs and frankly, I'm shocked some of the brands have carbon at all. I don't know how they can do it?
Now...Onto the fun. Here are my highlights.
1) Riding out to the Dirt Demo with J.Meiser. We had a blast and mark my words, next year, we will find a way over and through the mountains and connect to the Boulder Canyon trails. This year, we rode the pavement, bike trail then double track. Sweet.
2) Party games are fun. While the arm wrestling with Sov from Surly was fun, few things compared to Bear - Ninja - Cowboy and Bloody Knuckles with Satoshi and the other fine Japanese dealers. I still cringe thinking about the sound of smashing knuckles. Now that was a fun night.
3) People. I've said it already, but the Salsa crew rocks and meeting both old and new friends was just a blast.
4) Business. Yeah, it was a good show. Highlights for Salsa include all our new stuff; Pistola, Podio, Fargo, Selma, Dos Niner, Mamasita and Clif Bar Chili Con Crosso. Our new bar tape with more colors and our new prototype stems were hits too. It's pretty fun doing web searches with these names and seeing page after page of coverage and comments.
Beyond the observations, here are few of my favorite quotes of the weekend.
1) Regarding bar end shifters on the Fargo - "It felt like a single speed you can shift!" Now that is a SS I like.
2) Regarding the Fargo's appearance - "The Fargo is the ugliest bike I have to own."
3) Regarding the Selma - "Man, that is gorgeous. I want one." Spoken from one of the Blue Man Group performers who was strangely attracted to the blue graphics and blue anodized bits on our show bike.
4) Regarding taking care of Salsa business - "You need to take care of your feathers so Salsa can fly."
With that, I'm going to put Interbike 2008 behind and move onto the follow up and the coming months. I assure you, more great stuff to come....we should have some new prototypes arriving soon.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.