Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Interbike - Schwag

Back to some Interbike stuff. I promise a short story. Really. But first the schwag bit.

Interbike stuff. When I say "stuff", I mean stuff. Schwag stuff, free stuff, stuff stuff, the stuff you get at the show, gleeful until it's time to pack to go home. Then you wonder if you're going to make the 50 pound "no fee" limit on checked bags (we did, by a lot - next year I can collect 12 pounds more stuff).

I have two sections of schwag. One section is posters and such. The other is everything other than posters. And I've hidden a few things for later posts. That just means I put them in such secure spots that I couldn't find them while I had the camera in my hand.

You've seen a few items before - the Campy Trade Catalog, signed by one Valentino. The Dog in a Hat, signed by one Joe Parkin. But there are a lot of other things.

I'll start at the top left and work my way around the clock.

Holy crap that's a lot of stuff.

Since I was selective in picking things up, there are very few things that don't belong. In fact, I'd say one thing doesn't belong - a bottle I picked up just passing by a booth. I'll post on it later but I feel kind of guilty for picking it up because, frankly, I had no interest in the company. Since the bottles are all in the dishwasher, I don't have any in the picture.

Anyway, from the top left:

- SRAM T-shirt (I traded a ToPA shirt for it, and they donated my shirt to a local charity).
- SRAM stickers, couple sets. I have a SRAM something somewhere on some bike I think.
- Campy Trade Catalog, open to the signature page.
- Tiger. He's the cat.
- Another Campy catalog, this one a service one.
- Liquigas team shirt, gift of a friend who is a director of a team that is not Liquigas.
- Campagnolo T-shirt, for showing up at the tech seminar. This I had to earn.
- Krytonite band
- Livestrong band
- USPro Jersey - I brought it to Vegas but I got two more signatures - Tyler and Fred Rodriguez. Tyler is not quite accurate since it's a Philly jersey but Philly or not, Tyler is wearing the stars and stripes. I got the jersey from a friend of mine a long time ago and have been working on getting signatures on it.
- WTB sticker - I love one of their saddles and have contemplated putting it on my road bike.
- Card signed by Lemond. That rocks.
- Velonews - given out by VN.
- Dog in a Hat
- Pass holder neck things., Gore bike wear (IB issue), and Kryptonite lock. The Krypto one is the nicest, soft and comfy.
- Avid, SRAM, Rockshox - more SRAM stickers. I'm skipping the black stickers at the bottom for now.
- My IB pass.
- Mapei jersey. Another "I brung" jersey, but it had a crucial addition on the return flight - Johan Museeuw.
- Err, a postcard with a bike. It had meaning when I took it.
- A postcard with a painting of a naked woman in boots. Given to me by the owner of a women's clothing company that seemed very hip and with it. She loved the reactions when folks realized what was on the card.
- Card signed by Phil and Paul. Rocks.
- Interbike schedule.
- Industry Cup number. #11. I didn't make half that many laps. Doesn't rock.
- Black Sock Guy IB socks. I wore them shortly after I took this picture.
- Black Clif Bar t-shirt. They were handing them out and it looked like they really wanted to give one to me. I gave in and accepted one.
- Toilet paper. I'll explain later.
- The grey thing peeking around the corner is the Campy bag that all this stuff was in.

Tiger can't believe that all this fit in one bag. Any excuse to put him in pictures.

Toilet paper. I told you I'd explain. On Day One, at some point, I went into the bathrooms, and specifically went into a stall. I found the following:

Lemme see. Will it be a tractor?

Of course I wondered what it would be when it was all done. I guessed tractor. Then I wondered what color it would be - John Deere? Is some new company selling bikes? I checked the color chart.

#1 - Brown

Okay, I can handle that. The ground is brown. Let's see what number two is.

#2 - Brown


#3 - Brown

Can you guess the other colors?

I didn't have the guts to start snapping pictures in the stall (although someone did, and it made the daily Show magazine the next morning) so I took a few extra sheets for safe keeping.

Next up, posters. I only pulled out the significant ones. I actually did an inventory of posters along with their dimensions. With a bike room to hang such things, I want to, well, hang them. Framed, of course. I have more from prior Interbikes, but these new ones are pretty cool too.

The signed posters. Tiger is upstairs with the missus.

From the top right, going clockwise again:
- Eddy Merckx. I feel sort of sorry for him. I saw him after the signing, the next day, at the booth, in one of the little alcoves that acts like an office. He had a stack of posters about two inches tall in front of him, an agent type guy sitting next to him, and a Sharpie in his hand. As the two talked business he was signing autographs like a robot. I bet he didn't expect three decades of autograph signing when he retired. I mean, maybe he did, but I felt sorry for him for having to sign all these autographs. If I had one of his bikes, or sold them, or something, then I wouldn't feel too bad, but I don't, so I feel bad for having him sign my poster. However, I also feel like the missus missed out since she jumped out of line to get a shot of me and the Cannibal. She sacrificed her poster for me. Did I mention that we had our anniversary two days ago? She's a great person.
- George Hincapie. I raced against him way back when. I think he weighs about the same as he did then. I weigh about 70 pounds more than I did back then. I wonder if I got back to 102 pounds how I would do in races. He signed in silver.
- Garmin - Christian, Ryder (what a name for a rider.. haha), and Will. This came from the yarn story.
- The Rock Racing trio. More to come on them.
- Lance. Because he's Lance. It was right after that contentious press conference and he didn't look too happy.

Finally, a story, because I promised you a story.

I was deep in the forbidden zone called the media center when I met a guy (the guy?) from Dirt Rag. They were doing bits on the show. I noticed the guy had some stickers, and I could read "Interbike isn't about..." and that was it.

Although I don't follow mountain bikes, I don't know that particular guy from Peter and Paul, and I didn't have appropriate mountain bike scars on my legs, I was curious how the dirt folks viewed Interbike, at least compared to the asphalt folks. And if someone had the gaul to say that Interbike wasn't something, I wanted to know what it was. New technology? Dealers buying things? Official "intros" of things introduced months before? What wasn't Interbike about? Obviously it implies that lots of folks think Interbike is about something, and this guy is disagreeing.

I asked to see the sticker.

He held it out.

The second one is a bit harder to decipher, but apparently Bruce Dickinson is a rock band guy.

I laughed. "This is great!", I told him.

The guy smiled. He looked tired but he obviously liked the stickers and the reactions they garnered.

I couldn't resist a little dig.

"Hey, can I have like, um, ten more?"

He automatically started counting out a bunch of stickers.

"No, no, I was just kidding."

He handed what he'd counted over.

We sparred for a few words but I kept the stickers - five of them anyway. Maybe six.

Because, you know. Interbike isn't about scoring free sh*t.

But scoring free sh*t totally rocks.