LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Hundreds of retailers and exhibitors paid a hot and sweaty goodbye to Bootleg Canyon, as Interbike hosted its last outdoor demo in the Nevada desert before it moves to southern California.
“I won’t miss the dust, that’s for sure,” said Bobby Dalhberg of Salsa. “I don’t know that I’ll necessarily miss anything, to be honest,” he added with a laugh.
Nearly 120 exhibitors set up shop at the demo, which ran Monday and Tuesday. Some exhibitors said traffic seemed to be comparable to previous years. Interbike officials said the demo attendance wouldn’t be available until this morning.
“If this is an indication that there’s going to be more people tomorrow, I think it’s going to be a really good day, Ellsworth CEO Michael Mulder said Monday. “We’ve done steady business all day.”
Giant’s An Le said the company had sent out 500 bikes before noon on Monday.
Interbike moves to Anaheim, California, beginning in 2011. And while few at Bootleg Canyon said they would miss the scorching heat and relentless dust, many will miss the world-class Bootleg Canyon terrain.
Mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze tipped his cap to the late Brent Thomson, who designed the Bootleg Canyon trail system.
“These are fantastic trails. The person who laid out these trails laid down nice lines,” said Breeze, who now oversees the Breezer brand for Advanced Sports, Inc. “It’s fun out here. That might be hard to find again.”
Thomson died last year at the age of 56 after suffering a heart attack while riding the trails.
“It will be interesting to see what the terrain is like in Anaheim,” Ellsworth’s Mulder said. “I think people like coming out to Bootleg Canyon because there’s a lot of diverse terrain that gives you the ability to try lots of different bikes.”
Andy Tompkins, Interbike’s show director, said the 2011 demo site—probably Irvine Regional Park—would provide some welcome changes from Bootleg Canyon, which has hosted the Interbike demo for eight years.
“What Irvine Regional Park will offer us is expanded singletrack mountain biking and definitely expanded road loops,” Tompkins said. “We will also be able to provide a downhill experience. I don’t want to go so far as to say it will eclipse Bootleg Canyon, because Bootleg is unique when it comes to downhilling.”
He added, “I think people will be pleasantly surprised by how good the riding is at Irvine Regional Park.” The park is 12 miles from the Anaheim Convention Center. Temperatures are typically in the mid-80s in early August, when the 2011 show is scheduled to take place.
Some exhibitors said the terrain at the Anaheim demo might be more like what people actually ride.
“The majority of customers that I see aren’t riding in the desert,” said Cecilia Potts of WTB. “I’m hoping that the riding conditions [in Anaheim] are going to be more representative of what people are actually doing.”