I'm back in Vegas for the first time since leaving for a new Florida job in February. I eagerly walked with a quick gait to the new arena that opened on the Strip behind New York-New York after I left the local Vegas paper where I covered the making of this arena.
It had opened back in April and on this late Saturday morning the plaza in front of the $375 million arena built by MGM Resorts International and Anschutz Entertainment Group was empty as I approached the building.
When I reported on this building, I chatted many times with MGM's arena pointman Rick Arpin, who used to humor me by listening to my rants about making sure the venue was bicycle friendly.
I urged him to install nice bike racks and he joked -- I thought -- about putting up a plaque with my name ay the bike racks.
I thought it was a friendly goof.
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So I was shocked when a friend posted a photo of a plaque bolted to the parking garage closest to the arena on Facebook a few months.
But it was today when I was pleasantly surprised to see how close the bike racks were to the arena, It's the perfect location and I appreciate Rick and his staff for stepping up for bicyclists and bicycling.
When I reached the arena, I met a super cool guy named Jerry who was in engineering and helped install the plaque.
He was nice enough to do an impromptu interview.
Threaded bolts. Love that comment by Jerry.
Jerry is a plaque pro. Not only does he install them he used to make them.
And the cool thing is that now he's thinking of taking the bus to work with a bicycle and biking over from the closest bus stop to the arena. It's all about spreading the bikey gospel.
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I miss this place. I used to live near here -- Red Rock Canyon.
People come from all over the world to see this amazing natural beauty.
One of the best people to bike with among my many bike pals is my old New York buddy Anthony Rossi, who owns Broadway Pizzeria on Rancho Road where he draws an amazing diverse client base -- from the ultra-rich who eat the best pizza and Italian food next to the Las Vegas commoner and poor.
His pizzeria is in a shopping center on Rancho near Charleston Boukevard, and its crossroads location attracts pizza lovers who enjoy great food at a great price.
After visiting the arena, I drove to see Anthony who had his cook Dave prepare a mighy feast of chicken soup with pasta and vegetables, tasty garlic bread and a mountain of ziti smothered with red sauce, spinach and sauteed onion. It covered every square inch of the dish.
Anthony just celebrated his store's 20th anniversary in Vegas, tasty testimony to the loyalty of his customers.
Anthony will be biking with me Sunday morning from Summerlin to the Red Rock Scenic Loop, so I happily intoxicated myself with the carb loading of this scrumptious food.
Fellow pedaling yentas Scott and Ben will be joining us along with special guest Paul, who I'm sure will be happy to be representing Kevin Cannon -- a founding member of the pedaling yentas.
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I arrived in Vegas in Friday and I was dumb enough to try and bike in the middle of the day with blazing 95-degree heat with no food and water in my system. A big, stupid mistake
But by the end of the day, I was back in action and joined these fellow nutty bicyclists for a late-night 10 pm bike ride.
Under a full moon, we pedaled through the south Vegas valley into Henderson and took this team photo with Jared and Heather Fisher and friend Dave.
And now I'm prepping for Interbike -- the High Holy Days of bicycling in September that start Sunday with registration and then the Boulder City demos Monday and Tuesday and the show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday to Friday.
I'll be blogging and reporting from Interbike so look for posts on Bicycle Stories.