Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bike Snob: Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling

From Chronicle Books:

Cycling is exploding—in a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC—cycling's most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous blogger—brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob treats readers to a laugh-out-loud rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, and offers a unique look at the ins and outs of cycling, from its history and hallmarks to its wide range of bizarre practitioners. Throughout, the author lampoons the missteps, pretensions, and absurdities of bike culture while maintaining a contagious enthusiasm for cycling itself. Bike Snob is an essential volume for anyone who knows, is, or wants to become a cyclist.

If you are a fan of BikeSnobNYC (aka Eben Weiss), you need to realign your expectations before opening Bike Snob Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling (2010, San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books). There ARE a few choice literary tidbits like "While some Roadies do ride off-road as well, many are put off by the presence of distasteful things like mud, rocks, fun, and a spirit of camaraderie" (comparing Roadies and Mountain Bikers). For the most part, however, the book is a serious look at cycling, though it has more breadth than depth. The writing is of good quality, pithy stories are intermingled with sound advice, and all in all it's a decent read. Not at all what I expected or wanted, I think a compendium of blog posts is warranted, to give Eben his due. Still a decent effort and worth searching out.


  1. Yeah, I am happy to see more people commuting using their legs as a source of power. We are actually considering moving within 20 miles of my job so that I can commute via bike year round and save considerable dough on gas.

  2. While some Roadies do ride off-road as well, many are put off by the presence of distasteful things like mud, rocks, fun, and a spirit of camaraderie"

    I love that qquote..mostly because I feel that way too. I even mentioned somethign similiar in an older post of mine.

  3. I've been looking for more running/cycling/tri books to read and this looks really interesting. Hope my library has it when I drop by today!

  4. That's a great quote, but I'll probably do without the book until my husband finds it at Goodwill like most of my other running/cycling books. :)

  5. Great title, and maybe his format isn't particularly amenable to 100+ pages of paper reading. Thanks so much for reviewing, Kovas. As always I feel like a smarter consumer for having read your posts

  6. Huh, not what I was expecting from that book.

    I love mud. I am a roadie but only because I don't have a mtn bike.

  7. I haven't heard of him! I am intrigued...will read his blog and perhaps the book. Sounds fun.

  8. I think I am more intrigued by the blog than the book. But I like your review :)


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