LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Each year everyone from the bicycle community congregate in the halls of the Sands Convention Center to get a look at what’s new for next year.
For three days dealers and their staff frantically scurry from booth to booth trying to keep appointments in order to see, touch and hear about the latest product and why they should bring them to the sales floor.
One company absent from the convention halls this year was Cannondale, largely due to the fact that the company showed its dealers the new 2008 line months ago in Morgantown, WV.
During the presentation dealers interacted with engineers, product managers and graphic designers. At the conclusion of each day dealers were able to ride the product with Cannondale staffers as well as the athletes they support. This way they could feel how the product performed while encouraging them to ask questions.
Putting a huge emphasis on test rides Cannondale participated in the Outdoor demo in Bootleg Canyon for the first two days of the show with close to 200 test bikes.
Then, in an effort to allow dealers and even general public a chance to ride the new line, Cannondale took its entire fleet of demo bikes to the beautiful Red Rock Resort for the final three days of the show.
Organized road rides left the resort on an incredibly scenic 28 mile loop through Red Rock Canyon. The ride offered around 1000 feet of climbing on top of a double wide asphalt road that is one-way, where you can dive into corners without worrying about running into anything unexpected.
Cannondale hosted organized rides Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning starting at 7 a.m. and finishing up at 9 a.m. Two 15 passenger vans shuttles were run each morning down the Las Vegas strip doing pick ups as well as returning riders back to the strip in time for a quick shower and into the show feeling fresh. Each of the three morning rides left with close to 40 riders and their choice to ride the new SuperSix, SystemSix, Synapse SL or Slice Tri bikes.
Test rides didn’t end there as Cannondale also organized night rides Wednesday and Thursday through Blue Diamond Park lead by 2007 24 Hour Solo World Champion Tinker Juarez. Again shuttle rides were provided while the good folks from NiteRider outfitted the all new full carbon Scalpels, Rush Carbons, Taurines and 29’ers on hand with systems lighting up the trails.
Garmin also got involved supplying bikes with GPS systems to insure nobody got lost while SoBe provided hydration for all. With all sorts of nightly activities going on in Sin City Cannondale had tremendous turnouts for these rides, hosting 55 riders on Wednesday night's ride and nearly 40 riders on the Thursday night ride. Each night was followed up with a pizza party.
“Of course there are going to be cancellations and no shows for rides but I was pleased that for every one who didn’t make it someone else showed up unannounced who heard about the rides through word of mouth," said Bill Rudell, marketing manager for Cannondale.
“For a first year event I couldn’t be any happier. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face during the morning road rides made it all worth while," Rudell said. "Let’s face it, Vegas has a lot to offer but we’re cyclists and never before during the show have you been able to experience riding a brand new bike in such an incredible setting. After each ride I was continually asked: 'is Cannondale going to do this every year? This was the best way to start/finish my day during the show that I have ever had.'”
For a first hand look at the road ride check out http://www.testrider.com/fly.aspx?layout=player&video=2.