im - 8/01/2006 12:42:00 PM
Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Interbike "B" Sample, Epilogue
Ridin' down the highway
Goin' to a show
Stop in all the byways
Playin' rock 'n' roll
Gettin' beat up
I tell you folks
It's harder than it looks
It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll
O.k., so no update 'next day' as I had aimed for in the last post, unless you count days in Las Vegas like you count the distance. Everything is farther away than it seems like it should be. A city block is 4 times as long as usual.
Each year the show is exactly the same as every other, except for all the details. It starts with dread and ends with exhaustion, but in the middle you get to see people with whom you feel kinship and things that satisfy your inner (and outer) bike-geek.
We walked home from dinner one night. Blake suggested it and it was a great idea. Get some excercise...actual excercise, not just walking in crowds, standing in lines, or whiskey sour arm curls...and see the seamy and gritty (and substantially boring) underbelly of the Armpit of The High Desert. It was confusing in a way, as the walk felt great, but LV is not a good city for walking, as most streets are at least four lanes wide and everybody drives like a cabbie. And there's no shortage of actual cabbies, the LV version of bicycle messengers, doing battle on the streets every day with a hardness born of necessity-turned-impatience that makes veteran pros terrifying drivers, and in whose hands you are cradled safely but not delicately. Walking is an antidote for the otherworldly car-ness, but it comes with some cautionary realities. Gotta watch yourself at intersections. And the sidewalks -and there are sidewalks- are narrow and just sort of stop every once in a while, usually due to construction. And LV is a dirty city from top to bottom, so the sidewalks are gray and occasionally sticky.
Random highlights from the week include but are not limited to:
Found in the CD player of the Town&Country&Western rental when we picked it up was "Kyle's Music Mix, Volume 1", portions of which helped us to rock, and other parts of which had to be skipped due their extreme lame-itude. Loverboy? Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. You'll get there buddy, whoever you are.
LL TeeJ got hisself tossed, Cap'n Jon got hisself cash-broke, Rubena tires knew their tequila, & Dave's still-healing leg was so packed with fluid after 4 days that you could press your finger into it and the dent stayed. Freaky. Hurl was crippled, Cheever was mellow, and the mood seemed generally reversed from the usual. Can't really explain that. Holt is a rock star but the D.D. Saloon seemed... different. Overrun by people trying too hard to be drunk.
The feeling remains even after the glitter fades.
Where the eagle glides ascending
There's an ancient river bending
Through the timeless gorge of changes
Where sleeplessness awaits
I searched out my companions,
Who were lost in crystal canyons
When the aimless blade of science
Slashed the pearly gates.
It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
How I lost my friends I still don't understand.
-Neil Young, "Thrasher"