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A Bike Snob Abroad [Hardcover]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2013
Bike Snob is all grown up! After two books and thousands of miles under his tires, Bike Snob is back with a book that takes his family on the road - 2 year old son in tow - on an international cycling adventure into the wild and tweedy bike-share lanes of London, the Bakfiet equipped cycling utopia of Amsterdam and the back roads of Switzerland and Italy. But all roads lead home eventually, and the Snob takes a close look at the state of American cycling after a decade of advocacy, infrastructure development and backlash have frankensteined us into some semblance of a bike-friendly nation. But is it working? With humorous anecdotes and his trademark biting wit and wisdom, Bike Snob takes us on his most personal narrative journey yet and ultimately shines a light on the growing-pains that exist in any culture that asks the two-wheeled, four-wheeled and smartphone-text-happy pedestrians to share the road.

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A Bike Snob Abroad + The Enlightened Cyclist: Finding the Path to Two-wheeled Transcendence + Bike Snob
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle (1 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452105251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452105253
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Eben Weiss, aka BikeSnobNYC, is a previously anonymous and massively popular cycling blogger. His platform has grown since writing the first Bike Snob book. His blog keeps growing - now getting over 400,000 visits a month. He also has a monthly column in Bicycling magazine and covers professional cycling for NBC Universal sports network.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The incomparable Bike Snob 26 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i love Bike Snob's writing on cycling. He's everything the blurb always says - wry, cynical, funny but most of all I feel I would like to get together and talk bikes with him. It was interesting (as a London bike commuter) to get his take on cycling in London (shared lanes for buses, bikes and taxis - it could only work in a city where everyone is really, really polite - really? wow!) and Amsterdam. I loved his previous books and this was not a disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the button 14 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The bike snob has hit all the right buttons. Why is cycling seen as a dangerous activity? The bike snob addresses this and many othe thorny subject that affect us cyclists. Brilliant must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great style, tone and pace... 6 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first Bike Snob book (I'd never read the blog or heard of it) and I loved it. It was an impulse buy on my Kindle and I'm pleased I got it (I've since gone on to buy his other two books). The style is really friendly - it's as if your listening to a very literate friend tell you his tales of (almost) adventure... I'd recommend this to anyone who has even a casual interest in cycling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 17 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not as good as the first one and shows the American view on Europe fewdays in Holland and London to not make a europhile but a good read nonetheless
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Toned Down Version of his Blog 9 April 2013
By Asa C. Martin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of the Bike Snob NYC blog, so I eagerly awaited this book. The tone and style, while still distinctive Bike Snob, is noticeably different than the blog, and maybe that makes sense, as the audience is probably a little different. The book is less crude, less irreverent, and more politically correct. And therefore less funny. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, but on some level I kept waiting for the book to get to the funny parts. This is a more serious book about the state of cycling in America. It's still extremely opinionated and represents his unique take on cycling, especially on how things have changed for him now that he has a kid. Also, I could have used more locations for a book called Bike Snob Abroad. He goes to Portland, London, Amsterdam, Sweden and Italy. He mentions trips to India, but only in passing. I guess, my three star review is mostly because I had such high expectations for the book based on how much I liked his blog. But, on the flip side, as a gentle introduction to the Bike Snob this is perfect for someone for whom his normal humor is too crude. And, being a new father myself, I look forward to riding my bike with my daughter when she gets old enough as he mentions repeatedly how enjoyable riding with his son is.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensible approach to bicycles 6 May 2013
By citybeagle - Published on
Great book! I am not a huge fan of the Bike Snob blog or his first book, both of which are a disconnected series of rants. But I was interested to see his take on cycling in other cities and, while still filled with the kind of acid observations Bike Snob is known for, this turned out to be a much more thoughtful, thematic book.

And I agree wholeheartedly with his theme: why can't we just have a normal relationship with bicycles in this country? Riding a bicycle here so often identifies you as part of a specific subculture: the spandex-clad weekend warriors on $5,000 carbon-frame bikes; the hipsters on their fixies; the bicycle-as-fashion statement or bicycle-as-environmental-statement crowds. Why can't we just see bicycles as a sensible form of getting from A to B in a densely-packed but relatively small and flat urban environment? Even in bike-friendly Portland we can't seem to get it right.

What I love about places like the Netherlands and Copenhagen is that riding a bike isn't something you do; it's just second nature. Nobody thinks about it and no one is doing it to make a statement about anything. You'll see families, blue-collar workers, girls in dresses and 5-inch heels, and professionals with briefcases, all on bicycles just because it's a reasonable way to get around town.

It could happen here and I hope it will happen here. We're not trying to turn New York into Amsterdam by saying it would be nice if bicycles and pedestrians could make safe use of the streets, too. But the recent addition of bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, and the coming bike share system have all been hot political issues because many people still believe that every transportation decision should put cars first, and that every square inch of roadbed should be dedicated solely to the use and parking of cars. This is indeed a fragile, watershed moment and I hope we don't fall back to where we came from.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read but not as good as his earlier books 9 Jun 2013
By C. Cole - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
BikeSnobNYC is a talented and entertaining author, and while this latest effort is certainly worth reading, it smacks a little of the "We have an established fan base now so we can toss together something fairly mediocre and still sell enough copies to make it worthwhile" syndrome, to which many successful authors and franchises seem to fall victim.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, but not as ascerbic as the blog 28 April 2013
By Duran A. Valdez - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you bought this book hoping to find the same rapid-fire wit and humor as the Bikesnob NYC blog you may find yourself disappointed. Bike Snob is at his most clever and funny when he's systematically destroying the pretentious attitudes and values held by so many cyclists, but here he's trying to analyze cultures (notably, the Dutch) that treat bicycles merely as everyday transportation. As a result, Bikesnob is more thoughtful in this book than he is satirical. Some people may enjoy that, but others could find it a bit of a letdown.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third Book a Winner 11 May 2013
By David Steffen - Published on
Bike Snob writes what may be the best bicycling blog out there ([...]) . He has published three books on cycling, and this is the third. On his blog, he claims that this series is a trilogy and this is the final book. If so, it is an admirable way to end.

The first of the books I reviewed was the second in the series. After my delight in reading the first book, I instantly bought the second. I was very disappointed in the second book, and said so in an Amazon review. It made me sad to do so because I am a huge fan of Bike Snob, but the only thing I had written about him at that point was negative, as I had never gotten around to reviewing the first book in the series (an omission I have since corrected.) My criticism of the second book, in a nutshell, was that, unlike the first book, it wasn't very funny but on the other hand didn't have enough substance to be serious. When this third book came out, I hesitated a bit before buying it after my experience with the second, but finally decided that it was worth the risk, and anyway, I wanted to own all three volumes of the trilogy.

This third book is magnificent! As much as I loved the first book, I cannot honestly say if I like the first or the third best. In fact, it is almost a pointless question since the books are so different. Although Bike Snob's comic edge is everywhere apparent in this book, it is fundamentally a very serious book and the seriousness works. It doesn't really have a message, except perhaps that life is good, cycling is good, and that we should all stop fussing and just ride. Rather than sending a message, this book is an extremely well written peek into the mind of Bike Snob, and a fine mind it is. This book is so good, I actually feel like it has redeemed the second book, and I now feel like the trilogy taken as a whole rises to the level of five stars. The first book is humorous. The third book is serious. The second book is the transition between them, and seen in that light, is not so bad.

There is one nit I could pick with this book. If you are a regular reader of the blog as I am, some of what is in this book will be familiar. As best I can tell, there has been no lifting of text between the blog and the book, but some of the stories in the book have been previously told on the blog. Of course, there is nothing wrong with collecting blog posts into a book so long as the book is advertised as such, but that is not what this book is. That said, I am far from sure this is a defect. At best, the book presents different perspectives on a previously told stories, providing new insight. At worst, this is an extremely minor defect that affects a small fraction of the book and is not nearly serious enough to threaten its fifth star.

A final thing I liked about all three books is the binding, illustrations, and overall presentation. They remind me of the readers we used to have in elementary school. I find this very charming and it makes me happy to see these three books, side by side, on my bookshelf. A minor point, but one that makes me smile.

I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves either cycling or good writing. This book is a real winner.
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