Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bike Snob Evaluated

So I just finished reading Bike Snob's ode to the bicycle, and it's kind of a weird book. It's mostly written for the benefit of newer riders, but I imagine that most people who read his blog are pretty familiar with bicycles and cycling. But I could be wrong. I guess I'm a little more bike-literate than most people....
The book pretty much reads like this:
Lemme tell you a li'l bit about New York's cycling history [which is the best part of the book]. Bikes are sweet, you should ride one. Bikes are sweet, you should ride one. Some riders are weird. Bikes are sweet, you should ride one. Hipsters are fucking assholes. Bikes=good.

And I found this paragraph on messenger bags to be a little weird, too:

"However, for the on-the-bike use, messenger bags aren't always the great choice everybody thinks they are. This is because they're designed to swing around from rear to front quickly and without being removed. This is great when you're stopping every two blocks to deliver a package; but it's not such a great thing when you're just going from one place to another and you keep having to push your bag back around every five minutes. If you're not constantly going in and out of your bag, you very well may be much better off with a regular backpack."

This is a pretty cheap dig. Stabilizer straps (which prevent the swing-around effect) have been on messenger bags for at least a couple decades, and every respectable messenger bag has one. I imagine Bike Snob needed some more ammo for his Hipsters Suck chapter so he made a factual omission. It happens.

I did appreciate his calling huge empty messenger bags "hipster capes." He's forgetting, though, that hipsters rarely wear appropriate clothing, so their bags actually do keep the chill off their backs.

But really, can you even criticize someone (Bike Snob, not hipsters) who hides behind the mask of curmudgeonry?, if you're new to cycling, give this book a look over. It's accessible and pretty funny. Otherwise stick with the blog:
(If you haven't read the blog, it's awesome.)
Also, thanks go to Daniel Boone Regional Library for procuring this book for me.
Woo! libraries!

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