What: “The Enlightened Cyclist,” with Eben Weiss
When: Bike at 2 p.m., signing at 3
Where: Ride from Vecchio’s, 1833 Pearl St.; talk/signing at Boulder Bookstore
Cost: $5 at bookstore
No longer the anonymous purveyor of snark behind bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com, Eben Weiss is on a very visible book tour that will stop in Boulder this weekend.
Of course, Weiss is still that snarky commentator. He still blogs daily, poking fun at virtually all cyclists — himself included — and hasn’t lost his edge since revealing his identity when he made his first book deal two years ago.
On Sunday, Weiss will meet fans on bikes at Vecchio’s Bicicletteria and then roll down to the Boulder Bookstore for a talk and signing for his second book, “The Enlightened Cyclist: Commuter Angst, Dangerous Drivers, and Other Obstacles on the Path to Two-Wheeled Transcendence.” But ahead of his arrival in Boulder, the Bike Snob caught up with us about why he started the blog, not having regrets and his expectations about cycling in Boulder:
Q: Do we have enlightened cyclists in Boulder, or a bunch of bike snobs?
A: I have no idea, I’ve never actually been to Boulder, so I’m looking forward to finding out. Yeah, the buzz on Boulder is that it’s pretty self-satisfied, but I’m holding out judgement.
Q: Why ride from Vecchio’s?
A: I’ve heard great things about Vecchio’s for a very long time, from people I know in cycling, and as a person who has been into bikes for a long time.
Q: Why did you start the bike snob blog?
A: I had a lot of observations and commentary running through my head, and it suddenly dawned on me, I should write a blog about this. I think part of the reason I had so much going on in my head is that cycling was experiencing a real boom in popularity when I started, especially in cities like New York, and the fixed-gear explosion. There was this new dimension of cycling going that really begged for commentary.
I didn’t plan it much, it just exploded one day.
Q: Were you surprised by the blog’s popularity?
A: I’m surprised, but in the back of my mind I hoped it would be popular.
As soon as I started the blog, I was lucky that early on, people picked it up and started reading it, and that’s because the cycling world is close-knit. So when I saw people liked it, I said, ‘I’m going to put my head down and blog every day.’
Look, I’m sorry I peed on your car, OK?Get over it.#letscleartheair
— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) March 28, 2012
Q: Readers seem to love that you take no prisoners. Was that your intent?
A: When I started I certainly knew that it would have that tone. I think that was important, I think it was a good way to vent. I think it’s good to vent, and I think it’s good for people to read venting. And that’s why I kept it anonymous in the beginning, because I didn’t want it to be mean.
I just wanted to be a non-entity that made fun of absolutely everything. Especially because everything I make fun of is something that I am. I make fun of bike racers, I am a bike racer. I make fun of urban cyclists, I am an urban cyclist. I make fun of commuters, I am a commuter.
Once I earned an audience, I realized that by making fun of it, we’re celebrating it.
Just left hotel with bike.Clerk asked, “Ooh, lordy, are you really going out on that?”
— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) March 27, 2012
Q: Have you written anything you’ve regretted?
A: I can’t think of anything specific, but I’m sure if I looked back at my blog, there are things I’d say differently now. But you change over time.
There’s one thing though. When you’re going on a tour like this, and someone says, hey, that guy you made fun of a few months ago? Yeah, he’s in a coma now… That happened to me in D.C. Somebody was trying to make a movie about bike messengers, and there was this trailer going around the internet, so I posted the video and made some wisecracks about it, and about one of the guys. And then a guy in D.C. told me he was in a coma, or he’d just emerged from a coma.
I’m sure I would regret some things, but as a blogger, I don’t have time for regret, I’m too busy posting every day.
“If you are even slightly offended by mocking religions, especially Christianity, give this book a pass.”amazon.com/The-Enlightene
— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) March 5, 2012
Q: Anything else?
A: Let’s see…(laughs). I just hope Boulder lives up to its reputation, to its self-centered cycling reputation.