For the past six years, German journalist Jan-Keno Janssen has been coming to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show and getting exasperated with the awful traffic. So last month, Janssen decided to cycle around instead. Warm coat, flat terrain — how bad could it be?
Pretty bad. The few bike-rental places Janssen found mainly had spendy mountain bikes for exploring the desert, not transportation. Even the MGM Grand concierge was useless:
Me [Janssen]: I don’t want to exercise. Just use the bicycle as a means of transportation. It is very practical, because at CES I have meetings all day in different hotels.
Concierge: <blank stare>
Me: It’s so easy to bicycle here. Everything is flat!
Concierge: You can rent a mobility scooter here in the hotel.
Me: Isn’t that intended for handicapped people?
Concierge: Well yeah, but anyone can use them.
Me: I would rather rent a bicycle.
Concierge: Please wait a moment.
After being warned by several people that biking around Vegas was too dangerous, Janssen finally rented a crossover Trek for $150 — not including lights, lock, or insurance. Biking around the first couple days was fine, except for the total lack of bike racks (he used hotel baggage rooms as a makeshift substitute). He took side streets and managed to shave off some 40 minutes compared to getting to his convention center by cab.
Check out his journey (he filmed it with Google Glass, of course):
This German’s daring gamble seems to have paid off!
Get Grist in your inbox