Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bike Snob NYC - The Book

If you've done any bike blogging poking around, you've no doubt have heard of Bike Snob NYC. He sort of a rock star in the bike blogging world. Almost every bike related blog in Internet Land seems to have a link to his site. Everyone of his posts gets a crazy amount of comments. I can only imagine what his stats are, he must get thousands of hits a day.

There's a reason why the dude is so popular - he's damn good at what he does. And just what does he do? Pokes fun at the bike world or culture if you will, without coming across as a jerk. Why is that? Because he's one of us, and gets this bicycle related goofy world we all live in - well, people that ride anyway. I don't check out his blog daily, but do a fair amount - he's great - and if you've never checked out his blog, I suggest you give it a shot. He also writes a slightly watered down version of his humor for Bicycling magazine, as well as articles for Outside and other publications.

Who's he? Part of the schtick was nobody knew his real identity - face never photographed and nothing signed - he was just Bike Snob NYC. With the increased popularity, that cover has been blown. Bike Snob's real name is Eben Weiss. So there you have it.

Besides his blog with almost daily posts, he recently came out with a book, called strangely enough - Bike Snob. Well, the full title is Bike Snob, Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning The World Of Cycling. Yeah, that's a mouthful - try saying it three times fast with a mouthful of Clif Bar. Good luck.

I planned to buy a copy or bug my local library in scoring a few copies to loan. However, lucky for me, my coworker and fellow riding pal, Brian, had already scored a copy and loaned me his to peruse. And peruse I did.

First off, right off the bat, this is the best bike book I've ever read. The chase has now been cut. Bike Snob's style of humor and writing, his knowledge of bike and pop culture, all work for me. Maybe it's my east coast roots that dig it, or I've been riding so long that I get everything he's talking about - or making fun of. In any case, I got a kick out the book - the whole deal.

In the book, he varies from the history of the bicycle, his own background in cycling, to describing all the various subsets of bicyclists - messengers, roadies, mountain bikers, commuters, and of course his favorite crowd to pick on - hipster fixie riders. Some of this goes behind bikes and he has great eye to dissect the human condition and how it creates it's own rules and uniforms for various subcultures - with a funny bend on everything. All with an easy to read style, like you and some friends making fun of stuff. And that kind of goofy fun pushes all my mental buttons the right way.

As you can obviously tell, I dug this book a lot. Not many books actually make me smile or laugh out loud while reading - this one did. Would a non-cyclist enjoy this book? Maybe not. If you're a cyclist that knows the culture a bit, appreciates sarcastic humor, and can poke fun at yourself at being a cyclist - you'll dig it as well.

I give it a two fingerless bike gloves thumbs up.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the book report. YOu just made it a must read. Yes I have often visited the "snob"

    Such a humourous satire slant he puts on bicycling addicts.