Thursday, May 6, 2010

BIKE SNOB by BikeSnobNYC - Book

Bike Snob
By BikeSnobNYC
Chronicle Books - www.chroniclebooks.com
8 out of 10

Such is the world we live in that bloggers now even get their own publishing deals. Pounding the keyboard every day, expounding on whatever it was that occupied their time worked out just fine for Diablo Cody and Julia Powell, so why not someone who is passionate about bicycle riding? Enter BikeSnobNYC, the highly opinionated, entertaining and hilarious scribe behind the aptly named blog, bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com.

For those unfamiliar with The Bike Snobs daily reports, BikeSnobNYC (whose real identity , thanks to the need to promote this book, has recently been revealed) serves-up a daily dose of face-slapping reality on a bike culture that has become regrettably full of wall-to-wall cheek (of the face and ass variety, especially). No quadrant of the bike universe, from the gray-haired recumbent slacker to the post-ironic hipster zombie, is safe from the Snob's pointed and clever jabs. The Bike Snob's main mission in life seems to be demystifying the simple act of bicycling itself, wrestling it from the hands of exclusive and pretentious bike jocks, and making it accessible to all.

Well, with a wink and a nod, of course.

This Snobbie does with aplomb. Each of his entries reads like a hilarious dis-assembly of a culture that has become so self-serious and self-aggrandizing, that it's almost a parody of bicycling culture. From the asshole clerk behind the counter of your local bike shop, to the messenger bag-wearing none-courier, to the podium-standing pro racer with asinine hand gestures, how could a lifestyle built upon the foundation of simply moving one's legs around and around one of the best machines designed by man not expect a bitingly-clever blogger's ridicule when said lifestyle has become, well, ridiculous?

Bike Snob, much like Bike Snob's online journal, manages to condense the blogger's thoughts and feelings about bicycling into 240 pages of equal parts clever satire, brutal honesty and a genuine love of the two wheeled beast. Within these pages we find a cornucopia of bicycling factoids, New York-based bicycling history (naturally), definitions and designations of different riders, riding tips and several excellent reasons to plant your ass in the saddle and ride like there's no tomorrow. When you stop from laughing out-loud long enough (The Snob is quite a gifted comedic writer, so this will be difficult to do), it become quite evident that this man loves riding his bicycle and just wants to share that love of bicycling with you.

"A lot of people - including me - will tell you what to do with and on your bike," writes the Snob, directly to the neglected.  "...but in the end it all comes down to what works for you. And if someone else doesn't like it, just tell them what they can do. AYHSMB." Below this statement is a picture of the rear wheel of a fixed gear conversion with the phrase "ALL YOU HATERS SUCK MY BALLS" affixed in sticker-letters along the bike's rim. And that just about sums-up the intention of this book perfectly.

Bike riding may be just about one of the absolute best activities a human being can do.  The Snob knows this. Besides entertaining his readers week-in and week-out - and now, in book form - he wants you, the average, lowly mortal curious about all things bike-related to realize that riding a bike is not the sole property of elite spandex-clad cube drones who seem to use bicycling as an excuse to uncork their pent-up assholish-ness "...on the trail." Nor is it the domain of pierced and be-tatted sneering hipsters who treat their bikes more like cafe accessories than a mode of transportation. And it certainly doesn't belong to beer bong-huffing douchebag and his douchette entourage when they awkwardly navigate the sidewalks of urban avenues on their Cadillac cruisers.

Nope. Bicycling belongs to you. To everyone, really. When the day comes that "serious" pedal pushers stop taking themselves so seriously, the Bike Snob may put down his reflecting mirror and computer (maybe). Until then, let's hope the sales from this book can afford him a beefier Macbook Pro and new mirror. A bigger mirror. I mean, one of those really big suckers.

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