Sunday, May 24, 2015

Covering Lots Of Vegas Ground And Streets Thanks To The Mighty Pugsley

Saturday afternoon was busy. Five places in Vegas, some on the Strip, one in downtown. . How to connect them all?

The bicycle, of course.

The Surley Pugsley fattie was the vehicle that tied it all together. I broke out my Kryponite U-lock and enjoyed great parking at each place -- a very underrated part of functional biking. In the end, I biked 21 miles, had fun going place to place and even burned a few calories.

Let's check in on this mini-tour.

Stop 1: UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center for the Las Vegas Outlaws Arena Football Game

I drove with my Pugsley to a side street across from UNLV and pedaled less than a mile to the Thomas & Mack to check out the arena team. Well-known rocker Vince Neil is a partner, so the team has received some publcity just for that. As a business of sports reporter, I like to check in at games to meet team partners, see the venue and scout for biz stories.

I locked the bike on a gate next to a parking attendant who also watched the bike.

I also met another partner Bob Hewko, who used to own an AFL franchise in Miami in the early 1990s.

And by biking to the arena, I saw the Thomas & Mack rehab work.

OK, let's bike to our next stop. The Neonopolos building courtyard for the Banger Brewing beer festival. It was a five-mile ride from campus to downtown Fremont Street Experience, where Banger and the Neonopolis are located.

Along the way, I even pedaled through an alley and saw the new container park-like commercial development next to the Pawn Stars site.

I like to take the lane on Las Vegas Boulevard, as I am allowed to, because, the width is too narrow for me to bike on the edge and have a car pass me in the lane.

Stop 2: Banger Brewing's Local Brewers Festival at Neonopolis' Courtyard.

Banger Brewing is a great business success story -- five guys in their 30s pooling resources and opening a micro craft brewery on the Fremont Street Experience. I reported on Gov. Sandoval even visiting the place: Sandoval loved a peppery beer.

The Boys of Banger set up a festival for fellow local brewers such as Craft Haus, Old School, Big Dog's, Joseph James, Sin City, Ellis Island, Chicago, Bad Beat and Hop Nuts to offer their samples. There's Mr. Banger, himself.

I locked up the Pugsley on the post of the Old School tent. The Pugsley drew a lot of bemused glances.

I met my beer pal Liz for a few samples and we even met two international visitors -- Glenda from Australia and her friend from South Korea. Both are studying at New Mexico State and decided to take a sojourn to Las Vegas, staying at the hostel and popping over for the festival.

Then, it was back down Las Vegas Boulevard and Maryland Parkway for a visit for our next stop. Again, no edge riding. Narrow lane? Take the lane.

Stop 3: UFC 187 Fight Event at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Ultimate Fighting Championship functions like Vegas' home pro sports team. Lorenzo Fertitta has created a money-making fight organization with President Dana White as the front man. I don't know another sports organization better at putting together its events, and then marketing, packaging and selling it UFC events are important for me to attend, because it's a good place to touch base with guys like White and scout for business stories. You have to be in the field and not at your desk if you want to mine a beat for stories.

This is where I locked up the bike at the MGM Grand. Don't worry -- I had already removed my U-lock.

Practically next-door on the south side of Tropicana Avenue is MGM's outdoor festival site, which hosted my next stop.

Stop 4: Professional Bull Riders Last Cowboy Standing Spring Break Event

Las Vegas is also a cowboy town. And even though PBR holds its World Finals in Vegas in the fall, it also has a smaller even in May. So,this year it marketed the May event with a spring break theme, including pools and beach volleyball to attract fans who otherwise might not attend. I reported on this strategy last week.

I pedaled over to the PBR tent, and Jordan Johnson the PR woman was nice enough to allow me to park Pugsley right in the media tent.

Then it was off to check out the site.

Of course, there was bull riding.

But also flying dogs into a pool.

And this being spring break, cowboy style, gals in the pool.

But, it's still about people who love country-western lifestyle and good ol' fashion bull riding.

And now off to the final stop of the day. LaGasse's Stadium mega-sports restaurant/tavern over at the Venetian, a couple of miles down the Strip. Again, narrow lanes -- take the lane, even if it's the Strip. When you bike on the edge, you put yourself into a position to be struck. CyclingSavvy in Orlando explains better than anyone.

Stop 5: LaGasse's Stadium For A New Restaurant Program At Venetian

Oops, my bad! This event is next Saturday. Oh, well, I did get to pedal a few extra miles and complete an amazing bicycle day, which demonstrated how efficient, fun, healthy and money-saving using bicycles can be when running multiple errands.

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