Jim, my bike and wheel guy, and I went to The Sea Otter last Saturday. It’s a two hour drive so we went up and back in a day. To be honest, when I go to any bike event, I am mostly looking to reconnect with old friends more than look at bike parts. We did our fair share of both.
As luck would have it, I met a lot of old friends – or more accurately industry people. Toward the end of the day, Jim said “Looking at these guys, you would never know.”
It wasn’t until I got back that, that I realized that’s one of the things I cherish most about the industry. For the most part, the high rollers, big wigs, and newbie consumers mix together in a seamless mass. Cycling (except for Lance) has the benefit of being off the radar – even big egos pretend they don’t have one.
The heads of many big companies, hall of famers, publishers, and editors all walk the aisles and stand in booths appearing no different than anyone else.
Stealth is the official dress code, but it’s really more than that. While companies are competitive, there is a bond that says our sport is really more important than we are. You read it in everyone’s advertising “We are driven by our love for the sport.” In some Disneyland kind of way, it’s really true.
And that is a wonderful thing.
Thanks for reading – John Neugent
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