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Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling Hardcover – May 5, 2010
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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?
As a long time reader of Bikesnob, I ordered the book not sure what to expect, the hyperlinked format of a blog does not intuitively translate well in printed form. I was pleasantly surprised.
This book is essential reading for the loved ones of every bike-nerd. It helps explain why we ride to an audience that doesn't.
Although slightly NY-centric, the book has mass-appeal and is easy to read (in a good, readable way, not in a special-ed way).
I actually think that several chapters should be required reading for all learner drivers and driver's ed students.
If you can actually get your wife/girlfriend/partner/helper-monkey to read it, you will not regret it..
For some reason she did not think I would like this book; was unsure if I would like the writing style or content. She could not have been more wrong. On a plane heading to London, I was conscious of laughing out loud at page after page. The Bike Snob is very funny. Whether discussing the history of biking or classifying various types of urban cyclist, his relaxed and humorous style really works. Throughout however the Bike Snob's passion for cycling ties together his often wandering stream of consciousness narratives. I read Bicyling magazine, but in the Bike Snob I recognized myself, a shared love of cycling around Manhattan and Brooklyn for no other reason than to be out on a bike (Bike Snob is a New Yorker), and someone who is not above being honest about something so simple, cheap and easily accessible.
A superbly written, funny book.
(I now read the Bike Snob's blog religiously too).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All bike riders will find someone they recognize in this outrageous little book. A fun read for those of us who ride and those who fail to understand why we ride. Read morePublished 19 days ago by David L Howard
This was a gift for a hardcore cyclist. He really enjoyed it. We were happy to be able to find something that he could enjoy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MommyH
Awesome book! I now know I am a confirmed "Bike Snob" and this book gave me a great belly laugh at myself and other cyclists I hang around with.Published 1 month ago by P. Halderman
Great book! Looked forward everyday coming home from work to read it. well written and funny.Published 2 months ago by Dawn Wysocki
I was looking forward to reading this book. However, I found it to be only slightly amusing and helpful. Read morePublished 4 months ago by H. B. P.
LOVED this book! Well written, humorous, and insightful. Gives good info on a variety of riding styles. I highly recommend it.Published 6 months ago by Gary S. Brown
The bike snob provided a great history on the early days of cycling in NYC along with any and all of the stereotypes and trends in cycling since then. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Pg