28 September 2008

Vegas Sucks:
Observations from Interbike

"Such a muddy line
Between the things you want,
and the things you have to do..."
- Sheryl Crow "Leaving Las Vegas" (1994)

1. Vegas Sucks.
I used to love Las Vegas. From the time I was 21 through about 27 or 28 years old. Now, not so much. I used to think Vegas was the epic party place (and it was/is) - 24 hours of debauchery: blackjack, roulette, craps, drinking all night, drinking all day, strip clubs, rock shows, no sleep, over-indulgence, etc. Now while I had a blast doing that, and I don't regret it, as I'm nearing 40, I find that it appeals to me less and less. Especially now that I've been to Las Vegas probably 11 or 12 times in the last decade and a half, five of those times just with Raleigh for Interbike. I can safely say I'm over it. The last four times I've visited the city I haven't gambled a penny, and I didn't have one hangover this entire trip - and there were plenty of opportunities. Walking through the casino on the way to the convention center every day, seeing the same sad, vacant people plugging money into the slot machines over and over left me with a depressed feeling. Because I live in Seattle I've gotten to where I take it for granted that there is no smoking inside. The smell and the smoke in the casinos and bars sucked. And don't get me started about the heat. 100 degrees at the end of September with no humidity - that sucks. You wince when you step outside, like you've been hit in the face with a hot cast-iron skillet. You have to use the air conditioner all the time, and that sucks too. 
Fake plastic city for fake plastic people.

2. Alaska Airlines Sucks.
They used to be a great airline, easily one of the best. I don't think I've flown on an Alaska Airlines flight in the last 5 years that has left on time - including both flights this jaunt. WTF?

3. Flying Sucks.
I don't like any of the other airlines either, and I have a special hatred for Southwest and their goofy, cattle-call boarding. Ridiculous. Flying gets you where you are going fast, but that is THE ONLY redeeming feature. I wish we had bullet trains in America. Please vote for that, California! (link)

4. Upper respiratory/Sinus Infections Suck.
Vegas hates me back. Not sure what it was, but from day one my sinuses were killing me, my nose was running, my throat felt like I had gargled broken glass, and I generally felt like shit all week. Friday night, the last night there, was really the only night I felt half-way decent. Was able to stay up till all hours and witness some extreme stupidity.

5. The Interbike Tradeshow went great for Raleigh. Our bikes rocked, our catalogs rocked, our graphics rocked, and everyone seemed pretty jazzed on all our stuff. The Raleigh Rainier Cross bike, with my graphics, really seemed to draw a lot of attention, even landing on the VeloNews website. (link)

6. I went to the CrossVegas Cyclo-cross race on Wednesday night, and that was a blast. Jeremy Trebon won, and Lance Armstrong raced. This was the second time I got to see him race live. (I was on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in 2000 when he won his second Tour de France.)

7. After the show wrapped up on Friday, our V.P. took about 20 of us out for a celebratory dinner at a restaurant called Rum Jungle in Mandalay Bay. The food was amazing - a full-on meat-o-rama. Unlimited skewers of spit-roasted meat carved right at the table. Marinated beef, bacon-wrapped chicken, chorizo sausage, habanero/mango-glazed turkey breast, roasted lamb chops, grilled jumbo prawns, bacon-wrapped scallops, and broiled salmon. The meal also came with a killer chop salad with a creamy mint-cilantro dressing, and Cuban rice, black beans and fried plantains. Epic feast.

8. More than ready to get back to my comfortable routine with Stacie and the dogs (just got back from a long walk with all of them).

9. After an entire week, I can't wait to get back on a bicycle.

10. I LOVE 64 degrees! Thank you, Seattle!
KJT - Las Vegas (2008) 
Lance photo: Kurt Jambretz/Action Images; Raleigh Rainier bike photos: Matt Pacocha.


Lara said...

One of the things I miss about England is the trains. I've ridden on Amtrak here on the East Coast. No match.

64 degrees ... yummy

Welcome back!


KJT said...

Thanks, very good to be back!

cae said...

I like Vegas as a movie setting - that's about it. I've always been a dull lad.

I wonder though: might the sinus infection be part of why you didn't get a hangover ... ?