To paraphrase the song: He’s got legs. He knows how to use them.
He’s Billy F. Gibbons, proud friend of Eric Clapton (that’s an inside reference) and frontman of legendary rock band ZZ Top. Gibbons happens to be a recent bicycling aficionado. His wife, Gilligan Stillwater Gibbons, also has a fairly new “two-wheeler.” That’s what Gibbons calls the couple’s Giant bicycles.
Gibbons’ is burnt orange with his name and the ZZ Top logo in Western script painted on the frame. A cycle befitting a legend, for sure.
Gibbons has been eager to get out and play two-wheel tourist, so our pedaling trio hit the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening. I was the third wheel. Gibbons didn’t mind. He’s thrives in a three-person lineup.
We meet at the base of The Strat, with Gibbons and Gilligan biking all the way over from the couple’s home in the Rat Pack neighborhood. Gibbons beamed behind his famous beard at the opportunity to see the Strip from a bike as opposed to a car. Say, a ’33 Ford Coupe.
“We will not have the chance to do this much longer,” Gibbons says as I meet the legendary guitarist at The Strat. “It’s amazing how much you see when you’re biking, as opposed to driving. I’m glad I’m doing it now.”
Understand that one does not just wake up one day and decide to ride bikes on the Strip with Billy Gibbons. This trip materialized unexpectedly, organically and quickly.
It started Saturday afternoon, as I was at Fashion Show mall waiting to ride with Wayne Newton. That also was a random trip. Mr. Las Vegas himself has taken an interest in bicycling Las Vegas Boulevard as its resorts are in COVID-19 shutdown.
As I waited outside Stripburger, facing Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, it occurred to me to text Gibbons and ask if he had any photos of himself with a face mask. Why I thought to ask him that, at that moment, is inexplicable. Maybe the burger place had played “Sharp Dressed Man” on its loudspeakers and I was subliminally inspired.
A few moments later, Gibbons sent a selfie while wearing his trademark cheap sunglasses, beanie cap and a bandana around his face. I also mentioned that I was about to ride the Strip with Mr. Las Vegas. Gibbons thought that was pretty cool, so afterward we connected again, and decided sometime this week we’d ride the Strip.