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Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling Hardcover – May 5, 2010


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Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling + The Enlightened Cyclist: Commuter Angst, Dangerous Drivers, and Other Obstacles on the Path to Two-Wheeled Trancendence + Bike Snob Abroad: Strange Customs, Incredible Fiets, and the Quest for Cycling Paradise
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (May 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811869989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811869980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

BILL STRICKLAND, EDITOR-AT-LARGE OF BICYCLING
Bike Snob should be lovingly gifted to all new cyclers - and forcefully smacked against the heads of all the jaded know-it-alls who take the sport way too seriously.

ROBERT LANHAM, AUTHOR OF THE HIPSTER HANDBOOK
As any avid biker will attest, cycling isn't just a form of transportation. It's a complicated culture with its own slang, taxonomy, and preferred tat styles. If you haven't read Bike Snob, you should consider reattaching those training wheels to your overpriced fixie.

LANCE ARMSTRONG
I like to think I know a thing or two (or three) about being ruthless and relentless - either trying to win the Tour or fighting cancer. The Snob knows it too. Keeping us dorks in line is tough work. I take pleasure in getting picked on by the Snob, slightly more pleasure in reading his writing, but take the most pleasure punishing his ass (my payback) on the bike either in Central Park or on 9W/River Road. Long live the Snob.

ELDEN "FATTY" NELSON, FATCYCLIST.COM
First you'll think the Snob is funny. Then you'll think he's smart. Eventually you'll probably think that he's seen far too many movies for his own good. At some point during this book, however, you re going to say to yourself: Holy crap. He is right. Believe me, that is one disconcerting moment.

CHRISTIAN LANDER, AUTHOR OF STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE
After reading Bike Snob I put a brake on my fixie, started wearing a helmet, then punched myself in the stomach for spending so much time as a stupid hipster. This is a social manual that should be bundled with every bike shipped in America.

About the Author

BikeSnobNYC is a frequent racer, daily commuter, and former bike messenger himself. He has been published and profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Outside, and Bicycling Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to the cyclist and non-cyclist.
michael
This is a really enjoyable little book, great to read on rainy days when you don't feel like getting out on your bike.
Doctor Moss
Until I read this book (and the author's blog), I was not aware that "urban bicycle humor" was a book genre.
Rex Hammock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Steve Frazier on May 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Bike Snob writes a wickedly funny blog poking holes in practically every pretension in the cycling world. His blog careens unexpectedly between the worlds of pro cycling, hipsters, fixed gear bikes, Craigslist ads and the indignity of bike commuting (especially in New York). He never runs out of targets -- the studied poses of various cycling subcultures has given him an unending stream of targets.

In print -- both in his columns in Bicycling Magazine, and now in this book -- he's a bit toned done. In order to reach a broader audience, his writing is a little more accessible, with fewer self-referential, super-inside jokes that propel the humor in his blog. In print, the satire is still there, but the very sharpest edges have been softened a bit.

What's left is a still-funny survey of the world of bicycling in America -- from a brief history of cycling, to a tour of the various cycling subcultures, to some guidance on how to perform basic bike maintenance tasks. The Snob also addresses the "real world" of urban cycling today: what it's like to try to control your temper when a car nearly kills you in traffic, or how to stay warm and dry in a winter rain. And although The Snob avoids organized "bicycle advocacy" efforts (and explains why in his book), he manages to deliver some solid pro-bicycle messages of his own: "Telling cyclists to get out of the road is like telling women to get of the voting booth and go back into the kitchen, or telling Japanese-American people to 'Go back to China.' The ignorance inherent in the statement is almost more offensive than the sentiment behind it.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John W. Komdat on May 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't read BikeSnobNYC's blog, and the few times I've checked it out it was a little too all over the place for me to really get into.

The Bike Snob book, on the other hand, is nearly as much fun as riding itself. It's relatively brief but will leave you satisfied with a solid little knowledge of the history of bicycles and bicycle-related subcultures, why to do certain things and not other things on/with your bike, and how to maximize the fun (and utility) of cycling.

BikeSnobNYC is enormously clever, makes plenty of fun similes ranging from spot-on ("In a lot of ways, being a cyclist is like being a vampire. ... Both cyclists and vampires are cultural outcasts with cult followings who clumsily walk the line between cool and dorky.") to a hilarious stretch ("The Urban Cyclist is one of the very few groups of cyclists among whom cigarette smoking is not only acceptable but considered "cool," which is sort of like being really into performance cars but driving around with rags shoved up your tailpipe."), and overall just seems like a good guy. He has clearly thought about every in and out of cycling more than pretty much anyone, and really does make some strong arguments for being conscientious about your life with a bicycle, as well as life in general.

The author isn't out to make you feel stupid, or to give you a step-by-step on how to become a bike snob. He doesn't have any brands or particular types of bikes to push (although you've got some explaining to do if you ride with handlebars chopped more narrow than your own hips). He seems genuinely interested in getting more people on bikes, and the people who are already on bikes to be on their bikes more often. Overall it's just a very enjoyable read, and will encourage you to bike more and to think more.

My only complaint is that the included stickers are not very waterproof. Where would I stick one but on my down tube?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Enthusiast on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of his blog, but this was a real surprise to me. Very funny of course, but much , much more. A real love letter to cycling, with an historical perspective and just a fun read from beginning to end. You'll end up loving the Snob and being more motivated than ever before to just ride. The Bikesnob uses cycling as a metaphor for life, and his view of life is witty, funny and profound.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By hj on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is not a reprisal of BikeSnobNYC's blog. It is a book that is made possible by the blog, and it is a book that many people have tried to write, but few have succeeded in riding the thin line between advocacy and obnoxiousness.

In his blog BikeSnobNYC, has poked fun at all aspects of bicycling subculture for many years. This has earned him a broad and somewhat eclectic following. His writing on the blog is rapier-sharp, but it far toned-down in the book, which is apparently aimed at a wider audience.

This book basically tells why BikeSnob thinks cycling is great; what cycling is all about; and a little bit about how to enjoy life and not get killed on the street.

As a cyclist myself, and a semi-regular reader of BikeSnob's blog, I enjoyed the book immensely. But beyond, that, this is the type of book I would give to my non-cycling friends who just need a little nudge to get them on a two-wheeler of their own.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Vernon Forbes on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A humor book offering social commentary on the opinions & attitudes of different groups of cyclists (Roadie, Mountain Biker, etc). The author makes clever observations on human kind he expresses in colorful & memorable characterizations ("If you're unfamiliar with the newspaper, it's something people used to read before the internet. Basically it was like reading a giant tablecloth . . ."). While lewd comments are a tradition in humor going back to Chaucer the author mentions pornography, sex and genitals a little more frequently than is necessary. After reading the introduction a woman I know was put off and did not read further. At the very least this is a book for guys.
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