Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Open Letter to BikeSnob NYC

Dear BikeSnob: You may not remember me, but we exchanged e-mails and correspondence under my actual name. Here is proof of that correspondence.

From Misc Bike Pics

In part as an homage to you, I have also adopted an anonymous persona under which I comment on cycling. My stage is dramatically smaller than NYC, but that is the reason for this open letter.

Your blog is obviously a phenomena. It is interesting that you and the Fat Cyclist, who have dramatically different styles and outlooks, have become the best known of the bike writers in the blogosphere. Your cutting comments and endless fixations are entertaining, insightful and influential. Because of you, I can no longer tolerate being on the same street with a pie plate without having the strong desire to photograph it and pen an appropriate castigation of the wretch operating the machine. It has gotten so bad that I carry notepaper with me in case I see such abominations. The reach is not nearly as great as your internet spectrum, and the comment section doesn't work nearly as well (see below), but it does allow me to remain calm in the face of inappropriately amalgamated bikes.

From Misc Bike Pics

A few weeks ago, you posted an entry about a ride you took. I don't recall the whereabouts or particulars of your ride, but I know that I read it shortly before heading out on a ride myself. As I rolled along, I couldn't help but be struck by the enormous differences between your riding experiences and mine. Yours appear to involve discourteous drivers, idiotic transit drivers, absurd cyclists and the most crowded streets in the United States. While you have not been writing recently about your racing, your mentions of non-commuting cycling lead me to believe that you do get out of NYC for occasional bike rides and otherwise find the best options for some type of training even within the city. After all, at a Saturday morning crit, those Serotta-straddling dentists aren't going defeat themselves, are they? I guess they do, but that is a digression from my main point, which is this: BikeSnob, you need to get out of NYC to experience other types of cycling.

I do recall that you took a recent trip to Austin, but apparently the margaritas and Juan Pelota espressos combined to keep you off the local roads, as that was not part of the travelogue. Other than that, your perspective is cynically filled with the extraordinary mass of humanity in your immediate vicinity that is riding, craigslisting, being hip and track-standing in alleys waiting for dalliance opportunities. Sure, it sounds great when I put it like that, but there are other perspectives on riding.

So, if you accept the idea that it might be useful, interesting or excruciating, but in any case something to blog about for the next year, you might consider getting out of town to ride a bike.

There are lots of places to consider. For instance, much the way movie stars hang out with movie stars, you might go to Utah to visit the other significant bike blogger, Fatty himself. He does, however, have his hands full with his family and taking care of his wife. You might also decide to go to one of cycling's capitals in the US, like Austin or Boulder. However, much as your mother may have suggested that tubers were good for you, I would like to suggest that you should come to a wholesome and filling venue like Spokane. To this end, Team Two Wheel would like to formally invite you to come ride with us in Spokane.

Here are the reasons you should do this. First, we understand, in our small town way, the idea of anonymous blogging, as evidenced by our identities only as Rider 1, Rider 2 and Rider 3. Second, we are sufficiently off the map that even if we introduced you as BikeSnobNYC, most people in our burg would have no idea what that means. Third, we really do have a wide variety of extraordinary riding in our area. We have miles of surprisingly empty paved trails that run along rivers, streams and lakes. We have virtually empty highways and byways that run through Palouse fields, across valley floors, or among pine trees at your choosing. We also have miles of mountain bike trails such that Rock Shock even considered moving here at one time (yes, we screwed the pooch on that one). Fourth, Team Two Wheel will plan your itinerary, loan you a bicycle and take turns offering you a couch on which to sleep. Fifth, and this is really the most compelling non-cycling reason, one of our team members owns a local brewery.

So, BikeSnob, we all need a break from the routine sometimes and this is an opportunity to take a walk on the mild side. Also, we have a very small fixie crowd, so you are virtually guaranteed to not see any pie-plated fixed gear bikes on your sojourn. What more could you ask for?

We will look forward to hearing from you.

Team Two Wheel - Brothers in anonymity