100 degrees fahrenheit, 11 percent humidity and the same scorching sun that brought Icarus crashing to earth trapped in an amalgum of feathers and molten wax blazes on the desert below. The Interbike 2005 Outdoor Demo opens on a day when no matter where, or who we were, we all flew too bit close to the sun. The shuttle bus, expertly piloted by a quiet gentleman with greying nappy hair, arrived at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City at roughly noon. Wide eyed passengers disembarked and strode up Yucca Street to be greated by glare, heat, dry motionless air and several high-end bicycle manufacturers. The first in Vendors row was Veltec's offering, Look bicycles.
Christope Jouffret was eager to answer questions about the various Look bikes that were present. As we tweaked the fit of the Look 555 I chose, preparing it for my demo run, Joufrett took a few moments to explain, through a thick French accent, where the 555 sits in the Look line. The 555 seemed to be a Mid to Lower end model in the Look line of bikes. Spec'd up with Dura Ace components and Easton wheels the 555 was feathery light even if others models in the line are lighter. Responsiveness was excellent, almost skitish under a hard out of the saddle effort. The agile front end is none the less very controllable and balanced through the application of offsetting pressure to the handlebars.
Next bike I test rode was the Cervelo P3 Carbon Time Trial bike. While setting up the P3, the crew at Cervelo took turns explaining different aspects of the P3 experience. One fact they proudly lauded was that David Zabriske set a new Tour de France Time Trial speed record on this very model bike. Another member of the youthful crew talked up the UCI legal frame design and Cervelo's co-development of this bike with Team CSC. Cervelo is proud of their ability to respond to racer's needs to fit a bike around the competitor's specific racing style. Indeed the P3 gets This Editor's Pick for a stable mellow ride, bullet-like speed, and being a general overall performer. Braking was a bit dull, while acceleration was ferocious. The aerobar was a tad soggy for such a stiff lively frame.
When I spied the nude carbon fiber with arrow head accents, it made the Raleigh Team Issue beckon to be ridden. Eye catching with its silvery head badge and classicly styled logo the Team Issue backs up its looks with solid performance. The mating of the Dura Ace running gear with the Mavic Ksyrium SSL's gives this ride an explosive punch and even braking that pulls back on the reins nicely. The Team is fast and handles like a dream. One gets the impression that you could spend all day in the saddle without paying a hefty physical price.
After having demo'd several carbon fiber confections it was time to exploit some vendors with canopied booths to escape the skin scorching sun. Seeking out some booth where salt and sugar laden beverages would be flowing and shade was a'plenty was the next course of action. The desert had taken its toll on this nomad and like Icarus I was crashing and soon to burn... We sampled heavily from each of the beverage booths that were present, including Powerbar's offering, Cytomax, GU20 and Accelerade; then it was back into the fray nicely stoked and buzzing.