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Interbike CycloFest opens today in Charlotte

Published October 20, 2016
More than 1,150 retail buyers pre-registered for new Southeast festival’s opening trade days.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (BRAIN) — Some 115 exhibitors have come to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte for Interbike’s inaugural CycloFest Southeast trade and consumer festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.

The first two days of CycloFest have been reserved for the trade with a mix of demos, a series of retail seminars by Mann University and the National Bicycle Dealers Association, plus tech clinics from Campagnolo, SRAM, Shimano and Fox Racing. Interbike has pre-registered more than 1,150 retail buyers from about 600 stores.

Around 20 bicycle companies will be on hand, including e-bike and e-mountain bike suppliers, for dealers and staff to demo on 25 miles of trails surrounding the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The center is about 7 miles from Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport.

Companies bringing bikes to the festival include Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Haibike, Focus, KHS, Litespeed, Niner, Ibis, Pivot, Pinarello, Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz and Devinci.

Following the two trade days, CycloFest will open to public for consumer days Saturday and Sunday. Interbike expects the weekend consumer festival to attract upwards of 5,000 to 7,000 visitors.

To get the word out in the region, Interbike has been using a set of databases from Performance Bicycle, which has offices in Chapel Hill; the Whitewater Center; IMBA; PeopleForBikes; and other sources. Interbike has also advertised in several regional outdoor lifestyle magazines and has distributed fliers and posters at a number of IBDs within a 200-mile radius, said Pat Hus, Interbike’s show director.

CycloFest will have what Hus calls the three essentials for a successful event — bikes, beer and great music. DeFeet’s Shane Cooper and his band The Downtube Shifters will play Thursday night. Cooper will play again Saturday afternoon with another group, Graffiti.

Friday night the Center will host a series of short films at its outdoor amphitheater where attendees can spread out on the grass and relax.

Saturday night’s concert features Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a hard-edged jazz band that’s the opening act for the Hall & Oats’ current national tour. “They’re an upbeat jazz band, and when they get cooking it’s fun,” Hus said.

As for beer, Oskar Blues Brewery is the Center’s official brewer for October. The iconic craft brewer that got its start in Lyons, Colorado, has a satellite brewery in Brevard, North Carolina, about a two-hour drive from the Whitewater Center. Hus said there will be some 40 craft brews on hand to quench thirsty festival attendees.

To launch CycloFest, Interbike organized a volunteer service project to help build a new singletrack trail at the Whitewater Center on Wednesday before the festival opens. “It’s a 1.5-mile trail that links up two different trail systems to make a loop,” Hus said.

About 100 people were expected to show up including members from the industry and supporters from the Tarheel Trailblazers, a local nonprofit affiliated with IMBA.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to launch our new event than by gathering volunteers from the bicycle industry and local organizations to help expand the trail system used by local residents every day,” Hus said.

 

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