The above video shot at Interbike in Vegas last week pretty much sums up the experience I had with Erin. It was exhilarating, fast, unexpected, a huge learning experience, and so much fun! Erin and I were innocently walking the floor and were stopped and asked it this handsome little daredevil could “jump” us. Who were we to say no?!
This trip came to me somewhat unexpectedly and is one of the main reasons I quit my “daytime” job. My friend Erin owns a cool company called Grease Monkey Wipes (individually wrapped degreasing cleaning wipes for you or your bike)…Can you tell I practiced our elevator pitch a few times? She was going out to meet with a couple of distributors and walk the show floor making potential partnerships, relationships and connections. Over breakfast a couple of weeks ago she asked if I wanted to go with her… Ya think???
Needless to say, with very little warning, I was off to Sin City with Erin for Interbike 2009! Can I just say we made a great team?! It wasn’t because we partied our little butts off…Quite the opposite in fact. The only money I spent gambling was one quarter that I found in the airport on our way home (I lost). We were a great pair because we were ultra BORING :-). Our exciting adventures involved eating at our hotel buffet and going to the crit races at Mandalay Bay. We watched the Women Pros and Industry Race, but left half-way through the Pro Male race. We did wait in line for one after-party…for all of two minutes…and then realized that our comfy beds sounded much more appealing than a free glass of bad champagne.
On Friday, we hit the EXPO floor again meeting new people with interesting (and not so interesting) products. There was the Hoo-Haa Ride Glide, Forze Power Bars, hybrid bikes that fold into your luggage, bamboo bikes, cruiser bikes, electric bikes, carbon bikes, and my new favorite nutrition product, Clif Rox. There were apparel companies, nutrition companies, bike companies, you name it. There were also cycling celebs–George Hincapie, Eddy Mercks, Floyd Landis, and tri studs walking around. Now, I’m definitely not a technical bike geek, but it was pretty fascinating getting to see and talk with the designers of Kestrel, Guru, Litespeed and so many more. Like the car industry, these engineers were there to justify and explain just how much sleeker and faster the 2010 bikes are compared to the 2009s. (as if the 2009s are now pieces of shit).
Erin and I had time to kill on Friday before our flight home and attempted to find a cheesy Vegas tour. Unfortunately, none were leaving in our narrow time window. What did we do instead? We rode the monorail from hotel to hotel like a couple of homeless train-hopping thugs 🙂 Look out Vegas…We are crazy!
Not only was it a blast and inspiring to hang out with the great mind of Erin, but it was a huge learning experience for me to learn a little more each day about how this industry works. In many ways, it’s a huge money making corporate industry, but the small companies (like Grease Monkey Wipes) are also there busting their asses trying to make an impression on distributors, reps, shops, etc. In many ways, it’s like the entertainment industry. You have to look good and make the biggest impression. It doesn’t necessarily matter how good your product is sometimes. For every major company with dozens of staff, there was a small one-person show trying to make it happen just the same…and those are the people I’m rooting for every time!
Passing out samples and generally being seen! Grease Monkey Wipes were very well received and several industry magazines have already raved about this product. I have a feeling more great things are coming for this company!
Riding the monorail around the Vegas hotels. Dork.
Be on the lookout for Clif Rox! They look and taste like malted milk balls. Yum!!
Erin took the Nuun Gorilla challenge and passed! By the way, their new banana flavor rocks!