I like to say that Bicycles are like shoes. Everyone needs them and they all do different jobs for different situations. I’d never go to an office job in trail running shoes or do errands around the city in high heels. I love classic city bikes, elite road, mountain, cyclocross, track, cruisers and novelty bikes. All of them.

And all of their accessories…

It’s true, I have a problem. But so do an awful lot of people and no where is that more celebrated than in the wild September madness that is Eurobike in Frankfurt, DE followed almost immediately by Interbike in Las Vegas, USA.

Open only to the trade, the press and really dedicated groupies – Interbike has become famous in recent years for parties, races & events outside of the convention floor. It starts off with ‘Dirt Demo’ out in the Nevada desert where tents alongside small paved and dirt tracks allow attendees to try out the hottest new bikes. It’s how I fell in LOVE with my ladies carbon fiber road bike, cycling the ‘Tour de Lake Mead’ in 2010.

This year Dirt Demo had some rain, but this is a pretty good 3 minute slideshow on the bikes, helmets, components and general scene out there:

Watch more video of Interbike 2011 on cyclingdirt.org

Yep, it’s pretty awesome if you’re a serious bike nerd. For most people the gems of the convention floor and some of the fancier parties are the highlights.

Here’s 2 quick video highlights from Wednesday & Thursday from the convention floor.

Thursday was the big City Style Fashion Show organized by Momentum Magazine. @LovelyBicycle did the best recap:

Now in its 4th year, the Interbike City Style Fashion Show, presented by Momentum Magazine, was a production in true Las Vegas style. The models – all real bicyclists with healthy body mass indices and mischievous grins – didn’t just cycle down the runway. They pranced, twirled, froze in fetching tableaux, and performed choreographed little dance numbers worthy of a small scale musical – against an ever-changing backdrop representing North American cities.
Interbike Fashion Show, Polka Dot Scarf, Cruiser
model: Susi Wunsch of VeloJoy, dress: Nona Varnado, bicycle: unknown

Each model would begin with the standard runway walk, then, seemingly spontaneously strike an outrageous pose or break out into a full on dance routine. Could this have been inspired by Glee?

Interbike Fashion Show, Sun Atlas
bicycle: Sun Atlas, outfit and model: unkno

Whatever the inspiration, it was a great display of showmanship, keeping the audience entertained and energized.

Interbike Fashion Show, Bella Ciao Superba, Basil Pannier
bicycle: Bella Ciao Superba; panniers: Basil, outfit and model: unknown

After doing their thing on the stage, the models would ride down a ramp and proceed along a cycle path marked with sharrow decals that wound through the spectators’ area, adding an interactive element to the show and creating multiple focal points. The DJ did an excellent job keeping the energy levels high, and even while taking photos I found myself moving and snapping to the beat. It was all great theater, though on a critical note I am not sure how well it worked as a fashion show per se.

I found it surprising that the designers were not named and the pieces worn by the models were not vividly described. If the point of the fashion show was to exhibit new lines of cycling-specific apparel and introduce the audience to new designers, I did not really feel that happening. It’s possible there was a brochure I missed where this information was provided [edited to add: yup, there was –  posted here], but even then I feel that it should have been a prominently vocalised part of the show itself.

Interbike Fashion Show, Will of Boxcycles on E-Bike

model: Will of BoxCycles, bicycle: Styriette Pedelec,  outfit: unknown

In general, I would have loved to learn more about the clothing, and to know what exactly makes each outfit conducive to cycling – especially since some of the designers must have worked hard on that aspect.

All in all, I think the show was more about fostering a positive, even romantic image of the bicycling lifestyle than about displaying specific pieces of apparel – which I don’t have a problem with in the least, but which I don’t believe is technically a fashion show. Then again, who wants to be technical about it if the audience is having a good time.

One concept that the show brought across quite successfully, I thought, was the possibility for variety. Some pieces did seem to be bicycle-specific designs, while others appeared to be just regular clothing. Some models were wearing helmets and others were not.

It seems that many manufacturers are trying their hand at cycling-specific street apparel nowadays: everything from jeans and dressy trousers to button down shirts and blazers. And while some believe that to ride for transportation one need only look in their closet, others welcome these bicycle-specific inventions. The Interbike Fashion Show seemed to embrace both views – encouraging cyclists to wear whatever makes them comfortable and to have fun with it.

editors note: @LovelyBicycle has also posted several interesting articles on handmade, dutch & other Interbike goodies on her blog.
 
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