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Bike Snob Hardcover – 1 Nov 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
A humourous look at the ins and outs of cycling.
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Because this books comes from existing blog writings it does feel a little like it might have benefited from a bit more revision before going to print; it has a bit of a "first draft" feel in places, which is fine on a freely available blog, but less welcome in a book people will pay for. It also lacks the images and videos the blog uses and, being largely text, feels a bit drier than the blog. There are also a lot of US/New York references that will pass a lot of us from the rest of the world by.
This is a relatively light and enjoyable read. Fun and witty in places - the better parts definitely outnumber the weaker passages. But I'd probably recommend the blog itself over the book.
This book, despite the witty, very sharp and quite astute comments, seems to be a pretty good description of all things cycle orientated. I loved it.
I have learned many things from the book, and am much cycle-wiser for it. However, two things immediately stand out. I am the `lone wolf' type of cyclist and that you should never, ever, use a folding trestle table as a ramp.
Like cycling and want a giggle? Buy the book. You don't cycle and want a giggle about cyclists? Buy the book. How simple does it get?
It's written by a Blog writer, and I think they've tried to emulate the blog experience in the book.
The chapters take you through a history lesson, fashion, do's and dont's and basic tales of the road.
What I found hard, which I would say the same about blog's in general, is that you tend to only be able to read short bursts at once, these long epistles show up that this isn't great writing, I grew tired of it pretty quickly. I think if each page had been a subject/tale this would have worked a lot better.
Something else I thought was missing (coming from a daily cyclist) is the wonders you see whilst cycling, sure I understand a lot of what he says, and have seen a great deal in my 30yrs on a bike. I definatly don't feel the same 'philisophical' way he does about drivers trying to kill you though.
Pros: A book to pick up, read for a while and put back. Maybe I'll leave mine in a waiting room.
Cons: Difficult to hold your interest for more than a few pages at a time.
So it was with very high hopes that I plunged into this book. And yet, within a few chapters, I had to admit to myself that I found it all rather heavy going in places. Bike Snob, being a famous (well apparently so - I must confess I hadn't heard of him, until the Vine Programme enlightened me) blogger, sure knows his stuff, but clearly also loves the sound of his own voice and is extremely verbose. Page after page of describing the early cycling pioneers failed to generate much in the way of atmosphere. Things bucked up a bit with his definition of what makes a cyclist and I began to warm to the material a bit more with the gently amusing and perceptive Subsets of Cyclists section. How not to get killed and his musings on maintenance and how to lock your bike continue in the same vein of quirky waffle and occasionally clumsy attempts at humour but then, out of the blue, he hits the nail on the head with a profound truism. I particularly like "Everything about riding a bicycle compels you towards beauty". Nice.
Don't expect any real belly laughs but, if you're on the side of the cyclist, Bike Snob's gentle quirky wit and occasional poetically eloquent musings will probably just about win you over.
Worth a look.
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