Well, life didn't interfere and I am wrapping up a week of book reviews. Here, in the final installment is a bike blogger extraordinaire's book.
Bike Snob - Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling. By BikeSnobNYC (aka Eben Weiss)
Here are a few things about BikeSnobNYC. First, his name is Eben Weiss. This is less interesting to know than we were hoping when none of us knew. Second, he writes the best known and funniest bike blog in America. There really is only one other widely known bike blogger, FatCyclist, so maybe being first isn't that big a deal, but he really is better and funnier than the 1000's of other bike blogs out there. (Oh sure, his is better than mine, blah, blah, blah.) Third, he is a very nice guy, which I know because we exchanged e-mails a while ago. I also harassed him about coming to Spokane to ride bikes, although I made no progress on this front, because I can't imagine a more extreme difference from riding in NYC than heading out to the Palouse or up Valley-Chapel Road. During our e-mail exchange and my harassment, he was unfailingly polite. Not at all like a "typical" New Yorker and quite milder than his acerbic blog.
So, about his book.
If his blog is a piquant mix of insults, barbs and cuttingly funny insight, his book is a milder version of his daily insights. The book is an overview of cycling really written for the non-cyclist or new cyclist, but with enough depth to keep most of us reading along. BikeSnob covers bikes, bike etiquette, some bike history, some riding lore and, as usual, he skewers those who deserve some skewering in the world of cycling. With my comment about his blog, I don't want to leave the impression that this book isn't funny, because it is, but it just isn't quite as funny as some of the broadsides often offered in his blog. In part that was because the scope was broader and it is easier to make fun of small things. I also suppose he toned it down to broaden the appeal, and it works from that perspective, but there was a bit of verve missing for those of us who are loyal readers of his blog.
If we are lucky this book was intended to be an intro course, or 100-level discussion and hopefully BikeSnob is working along at producing another tome that digs a bit deeper into the world of cycling where his wit and wisdom will flourish on the topics that are near and dear to his heart. Or, even better, those that cause anguish and disgust in him, which tends to bring out the best in him.
And regardless of the follow-up, we must all bow down to the man who brought widespread attention to the acronym, AYHSMB.
Oh, for those who don't know, it means: All You Haters, Suck My Balls.
Maybe you had to be there.