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The Enlightened Cyclist by BikeSnobNYC – book review

Bike Snob – a manifesto for the cycling realist, in my opinion!

I enjoy Bike Snob’s blog. It’s probably one of the only blogs that I regularly follow and snigger at in a self-satisfied fashion while sitting smugly at my desk. He is definitely an avid cyclist and fan of cycling in general, and he enjoys deconstructing and mocking all of the cliques, communities and movements that seem to strangely grow off of a simple machine with two wheels. Anyone is a target – including himself, and especially Mario Cipollini – and his language is at once hilarious, scathing, and disarming. If he just completely insulted you, you’d probably have to give a sigh and admit “yeah, you got that right, Bike Snob.”

The Enlightened Cyclist – a manual for how not to commute like a jerk.

I read his first book and utterly enjoyed it. I enjoyed classifying my friends as combinations of the different cycling stereotype “species” that Bike Snob identified. I am at once a retro-grouch and a bit of a lone-wolf, with a roadie and mountain biker mixed in… among other things. The book lashed out at the more polarizing aspects of cycling that would intentionally exclude other cyclists. Those hipsters look on the roadies and the roadies look on the hipsters with equal amounts of disdain. It all seems so silly, doesn’t it? It call comes down to this bizarre phenomenon that one group of cyclists looks at another group of cyclists and determines “you’re doing it wrong.”

Bike Snob’s second book is all about commuting. If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know that the bulk of the 18 pounds I lost last year was done on a bike between my home and my workplace. Because of that, I was pretty interested to see the full take on commuting from the snob’s point of view. What I like about his outlook is that it’s inclusive as opposed to the often fragmenting aspects of cycling communities. If you’re riding, you’re riding, and that’s a good thing. It’s what you do while you’re riding that defines the way the rest of the world sees you. A dirty hipster on a ridiculous track bike with no brakes running a red light is every bit as annoying as a full-kit roadie with 20 gears and sponsor stickers running a red light.

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