While I have been preoccupied the past month with various duties, visitors and trips, I have begun reading a couple of fun blogs pretty regularly. I really like the locally-done Pinch Flat News, which comments on bike industry trends and seems unduly hostile to folding bikes (I don't have one, but like the idea).
Separately, the New York-based Bike Snob NYC has a hilarious take on bicycle fashions, especially the Fixie Phenomenon. I can laugh at this with a clear conscience, never having had a fixie and having dispensed with singlespeed bicycles when I got my Columbia Tourist 3-speed for my tenth birthday. However, I can also recognize the passing fads of cycling when I see them and know that I haven't always been immune. When I was that age, it was lugged steel ten-speeds with too-high gearing and sew-ups. It's funny, and a bit rueful now, to look back and think that I couldn't possibly live without the superior handling of the silk tubulars whilst riding my bike to work at Sears.
Rational Observer: "But your bicycle has no gears or brakes."
Earnest Enthusiast: "Yeah man it's pure cycling and I have mad skillz and don't need gears or brakes."
Rational Observer: "But your tires are skinny, hard, fragile and expensive."
Earnest Enthusiast: "Yeah man but when you have exquisite cycling sensitivities such as myself you demand only the finest-handling gear to ride to work."
A rational look would have had me riding to work on a three-speed, probably, with the gear ratios knocked down a bit, but the early 20s are not a rational age and are informed by fashion, style and a painful earnestness. The crowning mercy for those of my vintage (nearing 50) is that we pretty much embarrassed ourselves among a limited circle of friends whereas now any clownish hipster can proclaim their painful earnestness and infatuated enthusiasms to The World on the web. This scrap of self-knowledge doesn't keep me from enjoying Bike Snob; take a look, you might like it too.