Monday, May 30, 2011

Bike Snob Book Review: Use Lights

I am currently reading Bike Snob and I have been surprised with how well reasoned some of the chapters are. I am finding I can actually apply some of the ideas he has and it is pretty funny at the same time. I haven't laughed out loud while reading for awhile.

His characterizations of the different types of cyclists was spot on. In the chapter, Velo-Taxonomy: The Various Subjects of Cyclists, he describes The Roadie, The Mountain Biker, The Loan Wolf, The Messenger, and so on. The Chapter on "Why is Everybody Trying to Kill Me" features how to survive on a bike and discusses his approach to embracing conflict on the road. My experience has been limited since I am on the Springwater Trail, but the chapter is helpful to think about the responses of a cyclist when a motorist doesn't see a cyclist.  Rather than get angry, he suggests saying "Do you know you almost killed me back there?", hoping that the driver will than be conciliatory as opposed to escalating the argument.
He gives tips on Riding in Traffic

  • Be Confident
  • Don't Ride Next to Cars at Intersections
  • Watch Out for Doors
  • Use Lights
The Use Lights bullet reminded me of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's clever video encouraging people that lights are an important part of the bike. He also makes a good point on the bicycle industry's failure to put lights on bikes, comparing this to the only other fast moving objects that don't use lights include missiles, bullets, and bombs.

There is some clever marketing around his book and how he released it.

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