Bikes Bikes Bikes

It’s been a while, but it has also been a lot of bike races, bike shows, and…bike stuff.

We started at Eurobike, which is the biggest bike show in the world. It’s amazing, crazy, and really fun. We had a team of four of us which included Shane and myself, and we tag teamed to meet with professional teams, other product engineers, journalists and potential customers. It was completely exhausting (10 hours on the floor every day, not including set up and pack down) and dinner with the team every evening.

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Set up was done in a quick ten hours. Ugh. We wrote down the names of companies who do the set up for next year…

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When I look at the photo above, I remember sitting by Lake Constance in Germany, eating Thai food with my husband, our Italian boss, and our brilliant ex-Formula 1 engineer. Drinking camparis. Talking about bikes. How did I end up here again?

The best quote of the week definitely goes to Shane. We had an engineer with a few patents for seat posts come by to talk business. He kept saying to Shane that he looked really familiar. Were you here last year? Was it this event? No, no – you’ve never met me. You just look so familiar. To which Shane said “I used to be an underwear model.” Our new boss could hardly believe his ears, and I had to walk away to control my laughter. The guy with the patents shrugged it off. Long days on the booth make you go a bit crazy.

But I loved being surrounded by a booth created by friends – amazing photographers and designers. We learnt a LOT for next year, and are excited the put on an amazing display next year. We might even start planning it with more than one months notice! Crazy.175A2196

To add a little more excitement to our lives, Shane and I left Eurobike a few hours early and raced to the airport to get on a flight from Munich to Slovenia to watch our team race the World Championships. I couldn’t help but laugh in our hotel in Slovenia at this cup infected with des.

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First thing the next morning Shane found his way out to the course to get our guys water on top of the mountain climb, and I made my way to the finish line to get the winning shot. Beppe, our Italian rider, won overall and we celebrated with a really fun dinner all together to close out a great season.

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Beppe has officially doubled the number of times Shane has given me flowers this year. Two – Nil. It serves to be supporting the race winner!

But seriously, Shane and I didn’t expect to make such good friends with our riders this year, especially ones who speak such little English. We enjoy our time together with our riders and we were a little sad to say goodbyes until Christmas. At the same time, we yearned to be with our other riders in Austria, one who won a huge race there just minutes after Beppe won in Slovenia. These races mean such a lot to these guys, and we only wish we could be there with all of them for their big moments. If only Europe was that little bit smaller…

But I guess it is pretty small really. Within 48 hours, we were back on a plane to Germany and then back on the road home. Up early in the morning in Slovenia, and before midday we’d flown to Germany and driven to Austria. The higher-ups at Verve followed us home and we started a week of “Strategy” meetings. Complete, of course, with bike rides for the addicted and afternoon campari spritzers for the rest of us.

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Before the week was out, Shane and I caught the train to Switzerland and stayed in a really gorgeous hotel in Zurich, ready to catch our flight early the next morning.

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We were sad it was such a short stay at Hotel City in Zurich. If you’re there to check out the downtown, this hotel is five minutes walk from the train and has really comfy rooms. The design is beautiful.

http://www.hotelcity.ch/en/home.html

I couldn’t have been more excited to arrive at Heathrow and find beautiful salads with beetroot, hummus and beans and fresh juices. Before we knew it, we were back in sunny Chicago in the arms of our loves, cuddling their newest addition. We spent a beautiful sunny day in Chicago, then jumped on the next flight out to the rainy desert.

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The next big bike show was hosted in one of the massive casinos of Vegas. Shane had caught a cold at the last bike show and passed it onto me, so I don’t remember much other than the hotel bed on our first night in Vegas. I remember him asking me if I wanted room service, and next thing was a delivery and I signed for $110 worth of three sandwiches and water. This place is over the top in so many ways.

2014-09-09 06.50.14-1For the next five days straight I never stepped outside. Literally didn’t take a breath of fresh desert air from Monday until Friday. There’s restaurants in the casinos that offer “outdoor” seating, under the awning. Inside the casino. I’m pretty sure there’s no exit signs (or clocks) so that you can’t actually find your way out of the casino and just give up and go back to the poker table.

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We stayed at the pyramid casino, the Luxor. Just look up.

I wore sandals and got flea bites from the carpets all over my feet, and our whole team got crazy sick. We all struggled to really see the appeal of Vegas.

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Even though most of us were sick all week, it was rejuvenating to have my dear friend Sabine’s photo of the Karri forrest down south on our booth backdrop.

Andie and his lovely one joined us as extra hands for the week. It was Kerrene’s birthday, so we went to see the dance show Jabawokeez. Pretty fun! We booked at a really great restaurant afterwards and enjoyed some good cocktails and Kerrene’s company. The restaurant is called RX Boiler Room, and is steam punk inspired. The decor was done really well, and so were the meals. Our favourite meal in Vegas by far.

http://rxboilerroom.com/

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Finally, we took our first steps outside in nearly a week. It was hot.
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We drove our rockin’ family van down the strip to see what the town was all about. The scene once you pass all the flashing lights is pretty sad. Lots of homeless, decrepit old buildings, slum looking areas. It’s a crazy juxtaposition. We turned around and parked at the Bellagio to watch the water show then ate dinner at a American French restaurant in France. After realising that every casino was the same as the last (with a different theme of course) we went back to the pyramid to sleep off our Vegas experience.

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Shane and I couldn’t be happier to fly out and head to the mountains of Canada for two weeks of fresh air, beautiful friends, and recuperation.

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