Rip Off the Strip — FOX Nevada Desert Offroad Adventure
Before the start of Interbike this past September we took over 30 of our industry friends — including media, product managers, and bike dealers — out for a rip off the Las Vegas strip, exposing them to our development of ride dynamics systems for vehicles beyond bikes, including some very serious offroad trucks and cars.
Intimately familiar with the mountain bike side of our business, we sought to give the group a taste of our heart-pumping, adrenaline driven offroad capabilities, a big part of what makes FOX the most innovative and high-performance ride dynamics company in the industry.
Check out the invitation we sent to get guests fired up for the event, photo galleries of each day, and individual spotlight videos showing their reactions captured by in-dash cameras. Here's how the whole thing unfolded.
September 11, 2011
Course Marking, Filming, and Photo Shoot
John Marking had planned on using his Weitzel Prerunner for the entire event, but an engine fire on Day 1 made things interesting. John arrived in the desert about 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas with our film crew and photographer in tow to mark out a course and get some footage in the can. The best laid plans … During his first run, John's truck started spewing oil. Not one to give up, he checked the damage and decided on persevering to get the job done for the day. On run number three, disaster struck.
That's the nail in the coffin not just for the day, but for using his machine at all during the event. Fortunately, John works with the world's top offroad teams. Las Vegas local, Bryce Menzies, lent us his prerunner to pilot our guests across the grueling desert terrain.
September 12, 2011
Rip Off the Strip Kicks Off
Back on the strip at Treasure Island, our first group loaded the bus at high noon for the journey to Sandy Valley MX to hotlap a 3.2 mile course in a high-performance vehicle, purpose-built to cover extreme terrain at high speeds. Our friends at Zero One Odysseys provided the vehicles, guides, and carved out the course. We huddled the group together and got all of the waivers out of the way, as well as a briefing on the cars, guides, and how the day would run in preparation for some serious offroad action. The first lap was just a feeler to familiarize oneself with how these high-performance cars handle; these bad boys are equipped with 18" of travel — quite a different experience from your daily drive. Laps two and three saw these guys getting faster and faster, and with the additional speed came bigger and bigger grins.
Next up, a proper rip in a $450k prerunner provided by Bryce Menzies with our resident pro trophy truck driver, John Marking. Staged groups were then shuttled to the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, NV — let's just say this place and its patrons have quite a bit of character. Built in 1913 and one of the nation's oldest stamped-metal buildings still standing, the Pioneer Saloon awards "Certified Asshole" certificates on the spot, and served as our base camp for the rest of the day. With food and beverages flowing freely at the bar, everyone cycled through rides in the Menzies prerunner. John took two at a time for a 10-mile rip across rocky desert roads at speeds of up to 90mph. When you're looking at the conditions if front of you and the speed at which you're traveling, you wonder how you'll make it out alive. Everyone was blown away at how this prerunner soaked up the terrain. So much so, you could drink a soda during a run if you wanted to — there were actual cup holders in this thing.
At the end of their desert adventure, we retired in the Pioneer Saloon. Over a BBQ and drinks, we unveiled our Smart Suspension Setup Pump concept, designed to help set up bike suspension using a smartphone application that talks to a prototype pump we developed in our R&D labs. After a few beverages and discussions about the possibilities a device like this opens up for getting the masses educated on proper suspension setup, we all bussed it back to Treasure Island.
September 13, 2011
Rip Off the Strip Part II
Our second group departed at 8am from Treasure Island under a pretty harsh thunderstorm. We certainly didn't factor rain into the equation given the time of year, and Vegas being a desert. Fortunately, by the time we got to our destination, the weather had cleared. With the exception of starting and ending earlier, the event played out the same as the day before.
With our guests heading back to Treasure Island, we loaded up the prerunner and made our way to the Sands Expo Convention Center. Watch from the passenger's seat »
The next stop was a prime parking spot smack dab in the Interbike registration area. Believe it or not, this thing is actually street legal — we parked a few blocks away in a staging lot, then drove it through the streets of Las Vegas and straight onto the Interbike show floor. The truck stood there as a spectacle for the duration of the show in the exact desert-beaten shape it was in after the last rip off the strip.
Click to view individual videos of each of our guests.
September 14, 2011
Sharing Our Adventure with Interbike
The first day of Interbike came way too fast. We feverishly worked to produce a video spot to share our experience with the Interbike crowd on our flat screens. At 3:30am, we completed the final cut and took in a nice 3-hour nap before making final booth preparations for the show.
At 4pm, we tapped six kegs for our happy hour and drew six lucky contestants by raffle to compete in the 15QR Challenge. (Not all of us were ripping off the strip on the 12th and 13th — we had our normal presence at Outdoor Demo. At our tuning tent on the hill, the guys were handing out free t-shirts and a raffle ticket to everyone they setup.)
To be entered in the drawing, you had to show up to our happy hour wearing the shirt, and we hosted approximately 500+ people — a sea of black FOX logo tees. By the end of it, winner Pat Terry beat out the competition and took the 15QR Challenge with a final combined time of 20.66. His prize? A one-day Mojave adventure for two with Zero One Odysseys and the FOX fork of his choice. To say he was stoked is an understatement.
Thanks to everyone who ripped with us, and for stopping by during Outdoor Demo and Interbike 2011.