BikeSnob: A Dick About Sandy Relief UPDATED

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by David Schloss on Nov 05, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Normally I don’t pay a lot of attention to Bike Snob anymore, he sort of jumped the shark a few years ago and devolved from funny bike culture critique into self-unaware parody when he started writing for the biggest cycling magazine in the world.

But as a resident in one of the states hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, I was trolling for news on relief efforts and found that Bike Snob is still a dick.

The locally loved Bicycle Habitat (which has a shop in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn) is organizing a cargo-bike ride to bring needed supplies to the Rockaways and asking anyone who is available on Tuesday November 6th (Election Day - when many have off) to help them caravan supplies.

Seems pretty wonderful to me (especially since gas is in short supply here) but Bike Snob thinks it’s uncool to help people who have lost their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods and asks instead…

After voting tomorrow, do you have a bunch of time to kill? If so you can head over to Bicycle Habitat in Brooklyn and help portage (“portage” is pretentious for “schlep”) supplies out to Far Rockaway, and here are the details:

He then goes on to refer to a Gran Fondo ride in Miami as being less “smug” than helping people who quite literally are dying from the cold.

My grandparents lived in Brooklyn all of their lives. Before my grandfather died and my grandmother moved nearer to my home town to be close to my mom they lived in the Rockaways. And they’d have been thrilled, touched and possibly kept alive by people bringing supplies on bikes.

Look, I don’t like to curse on a blog like Bike Hugger, but I’m so disgusted and sickened by the thought that a pretentious dickhead who has made his living lambasting the very same culture that’s provided that living is now making fun of people for helping out. F bombs are going off in my head as my vision turns red.

Here’s hoping that lots of “smug” people show up at the Bicycle Habitat ride and move tons of supplies to the Rockaways, and here’s hoping that Snob never finds himself in need of salvation from someone with a bike. Because the smugness of the help might be too much for him.

UPDATE

A few days ago I wrote this post calling out Bike Snob for his comments on a bike ride designed to help out people in the Hurricane-struck Rockaways. Since then, we’ve got some great (and some not great) feedback from readers. I just want to address a few things.

First, I’m fine with what Snob does. But the character he’s chosen to play is one that takes a negative view on many aspects of bike culture. Bike culture deserves to be lampooned. I’ve been reading BSNY since he started and I’ve laughed out loud at much of what he’s written. However as is often the case of a writer with no editor, sometimes he goes overboard, as did I in my reaction.

In a climate where partisanship seems to be tearing the country apart (even after the election) I just wanted to say some things about my reaction and about Bike Snob.

It was likely not Snob’s intention to upset readers, yet to gently chide them for being smug for having cargo bikes. I think that his post could have been better worded and more sensitive to the cause, but that’s his style.

As someone who spent a week without power and who knows several people in Brooklyn that lost their houses, I was perhaps not the most receptive audience to his caustic humor the other day. But that’s the danger of writing something with the veil of sarcasm—it’s often only funny to those who aren’t affected by it and incredibly offensive to those touched by it. Again, I think that’s the downside of the writing style of Snob, he’s purposefully knocking things down, even things he supports, to maintain the character he’s created.

In a related note it’s also been pointed out that Bike Snob went on the ride and helped out, and for that I’m grateful. He did NOT say in his original post that he would be on the ride, helping out. I’m sure I’d have had a different reaction had he simply encouraged people to attend and to pitch in, and had added that he would be there. (And I think that many Snob readers would have come along just to meet him.)

When it comes to tragedy, my first reaction is to help. When our village lost power and my coffee shop was one of the first places to get power back we immediately offered people our electricity for charging and WiFi for surfing the net and gave discounts to anyone who showed up to buy snacks for the utility guys some sustenance. When we noticed a lot of people coming in to buy coffee for the guys we started to offer free coffee to any utility worker or DPW guys.

That action took me very little effort relative to getting on a cargo bike and pedaling stuff to the Rockaways, so to hear that anyone was calling those altruistic folks smug, even in jest, drove me mad.

My neighbors and I have been through a lot during Sandy, and we weren’t even the worst hit. Snob’s post rubbed me the wrong way, and I reacted to that.

However, that’s my prerogative to do. Snob’s entitled to his style of writing and commentary—and I never said he isn’t entitled to his schtick. But the flipside of the coin is that sometimes he’s going to offend people, and I was genuinely offended.

As a reader of his site, and as a resident of a state hurt by Sandy, I’m going to react to him based on my experiences during the Hurricane.

That’s also true for the people in the Rockaways who couldn’t respond to his post because they don’t have a house in which to have the internet with which to read his posting.

Snob’s entitled to his opinions and his editorial choices, but that means so am I. And my reaction to his post was very, very negative. If your reaction wasn’t negative, cool. But the fact that it got me very pissed off means that it had the power to piss people off.

Not everyone reacts the same, but please realize that if you’re not upset by his writing in this case, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to be upset. It just means that you and I took different things away from what he wrote.

Now, when I read Snob, it’s because I generally enjoying seeing him lambasting the industry but in some cases I feel he crosses the line. Usually those cases aren’t directed at those trying to help out my friends in the aftermath of a storm. In this case it was, and I took offense at it.

I’m sorry if my reaction upset you more, but please keep in mind you’re having the same reaction to my words as I had to his. We’re both entitled to being offended and to responding to that, so I appreciate everyone who took the time in comments to tell me to piss off or to get over myself. Really, I’m not offended by any comments and I’m glad so many people had the desire to be part of a conversation about this.

I’m glad everyone is passionate about freedom of speech and about these two blogs, as I think they represent different ways of looking at the same subject matter. I’m genuinely thankful for all the comments that pushed back against my post. I’m really happy to see that the amount of offense I took is likely colored by my last week and not as widely representative of the amount of offense intended.

Bike Hugger is a positive celebration of the bicycle and bike culture and I do admit to sullying that a bit by bringing up a negative topic like this. I’m sorry that it caused such dissent in readers, but again am grateful that so many people have a stake in cycling and want to share their views.

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Comments: 75

Do you think anyone will show up to schlep supplies that may have only read about it on his blog?  I think he promoted the event in a particular way that a particular audience gets.  Portage this.

So there’s one bike blog that documents luxury vacations, implores us to seriously consider a company that sells $9 bars of Fight Club soap and extols the virtues of custom carbon/Ti racing frames and occasionally races them.

Then there’s another that lampoons the silliness of bike culture in all its extremes of (ahem) consumerism and idealism, taking nothing seriously.

If I had to choose a side…

I had to go comment after seeing this (not that he’ll most likely note or care about my comment). I’m 3000 miles away from my daughter, who’s in her freshman year on Long Island, and for quite a while couldn’t get a text message to tell me she was safe.

I figured she was safe but didn’t know for sure. If I’d heard that people on bikes were rallying to take food and bottled water to her campus (which, for all I knew, abounded in sewage-contaminated water) I would have been thrilled. “Smug” doesn’t enter into disaster anywhere no matter what vehicle you’re using.

Good choice of vocabulary as far as I’m concerned. As for whether this highlighted the initiative in a way that turned out some people who wouldn’t have known otherwise, it wouldn’t kill even the uber-hip to be sincere for once, in the face of a record-setting hurricane.

Signed,
Apparently Unhip Bike-Commuting Mom

Champs! Nice of you to pay so much attention and unusual for you to comment so dickishly. I guess that’s you channeling Snob to systematically destroy our work here. But races occasionally? Now that’s getting personal and creepy. The low member number you found should indicate how long I’ve been racing and know that USA cycling’s DB only contains what’s reported. Not the second or third page where the also rans like me are or the two decades of results before they collected them

Maybe though you’re wryly noting how we’re out riding in expensive gear in Seattle instead of hosting or own fund drive or ride? Well David’s power just came back on and we’ve got a Tumblr up about Sandy. 

Rideahurricane.tumblr.com

I got very fatigued with BikeSnob’s incessant, smug references to genitalia and excrement.  I’m hard to offend, but this is just boring.

It’s called satire. The only one being a dick here is you.

This is like a helmet debate. Divisive and sides get picked with little common ground. To Tal’s point, that’s not satire. It’s mockery, but I wear my opinions on my sleeve about the bike blogger I’ve called a mean girl with a Grinch heart. It upset David enough to post about it and he lives there. I’ll defer to him on the topic and whoever the bigger post-Sandy dick is, the wise people of the Internet can decide.

I emailed this to BikeSnobNYC this morning and here is his reply, verbatim:
“If you have a moment feel free to comment there and explain to them I’m joining that ride today and that I grew up in Far Rockaway.
Idiots.

www.bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com
Critiquing the entire culture of cycling one ill-conceived bike at a time.”

Wow what a bunch of idiots. As brady Johson posted http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2012/11/this-just-in-short-post.html
Get a sense of humor. Think I’ll stop following this blog.

@Tyler after tattling do you have your own opinion on the dickery?

@brady This one is between David and Snob.

@Jeff being called names by Snob is part of the sport of it, right? Or are his feelings hurt? Sad Snob if so, but David made his point and the response was to call him an idiot.

Since you haven’t been a BSNYC reader for a while, you might not be aware that he routinely refers to any cargo bike as having a high smugness quotient and any group of cargo bikes as a smugness flotilla.

You might also be unaware that he owns and rides a cargo bike.

Why did you omit the paragraph in between that stated: “Not sure if you heard, but we had a gigantic fucking storm here and there are a lot of people still without power who really need things.  Ordinarily I’d be tempted to point out that you can carry more stuff faster by car, but when you consider that the wait for gas is still something like 20 hours long it suddenly starts making a lot more sense.”

You know, where he’s basically saying the effort is a good thing, especially given the current challenges.

@travisp

Thanks for sharing that. This set off David and he posted it. I didn’t see the Snob post, but saw the phone lines light up, Champs attacked me for David’s opinion, and now we have a dick-off about Sandy recovery

Not exactly the way I want to start my day or the vibe I’m into, but if anyone is going to call Snob out, it’s us. We’ve not shied away from it or his fans in the past.

Just because Snob has a cargo bike and lampoons them, and just because he tries to hide under the protection of “satire” doesn’t mean that his post was well conceived or well executed, or to be defended.

People lost their lives. People lost their homes. Anyone that does anything to help shouldn’t be lambasted.

There are times to joke about things and times to NOT joke about things. I was personally affected by the hurricane and in no way as severe a manor as those in the Rockaways and I was offended. Don’t call a good samaritan donating their time and effort “smug.” It’s offensive. It’s rude, and it’s not helpful.

Champs, if you can’t see that a natural disaster that’s claimed lives and countless homes shouldn’t be taken seriously then there’s something wrong with you.

I am from NY and live in the greater Seattle area.  Bikesnob is a dick.  His comments about Sandy and the ride were dickish and he wouldn’t know satire if he accidently stepped in it.

I don’t always agree with Byron or David but I support them 100% on this issue.

Think you missed something.

Snobby did the ride. 

If you don’t like his attitude, don’t read the stuff.

Easy.

What’s the title of this post? If I’m not mistaken, David began the name calling. How many times on this page does the word “dick,” or some variation of it, show up, and under whose name? I typically enjoy your blog, but you guys need a thicker skin when it comes to BSNYC, or you need to just ignore him altogether. It makes it seem like you guys just don’t get it. From my perspective, it appears that no matter how BSNYC promoted the relief ride, he’s actually out there participating and helping, while David is surfing the web and wining. I’m sure I’m wrong about that, but that is how it appears to me.

First of all Sean, you have no idea what I’m doing regarding relief efforts. (And, using your same logic I am ALSO promoting the ride.)

I’ve got no issues with saying I started name calling. I did. I’m saying Snob’s a dick and I own that.

Here’s the deal. I’m in NY, I had no power, heat or hot water for almost a week. I know people who lost their houses.

I get we should have a thicker skin, but BSNY is calling people that are actually helping *my friends* who lost their houses “smug.”

So yeah, when he picks on brakes or wheels or whatever, I’ve got a thick skin. When he picks on people riding to help loved ones, I don’t.

I know I have no idea what you’re doing, but it appears like you’re just complaining about BSNYC for doing what BSNYC does.

The point is, whatever BSNYC’s take on the ride happens to be, he is out there, smugly helping *your friends* with his cargo bike. He says a lot of things (everything?) people do with bikes make them smug. Sometimes it’s funny; (often because it’s true,) sometimes it’s not. Honestly, who cares?

 

 

@Sean because he’s a bully and, at times, something needs to get said and we say it, also own it and don’t back down from it. What was his reaction? Calls us idiots and his fanboys agree, guess cause we’re not in on that smug joke the whole bike industry misses too. Like the “expert witnesses” he lambasts and the name listed on the PPT slide is a friend of a friend. This is very small industry.

You’re welcome to disagree, don’t think you or anyone else is an idiot for subscribing to his view of the world, the one that’s skewed to destroying the work of others. Shit, he could sell Dickstrong bands, like another bully who recently got his noise bloodied.

After reading David’s post and the comments I went to Snob’s blog and read his post.

My conclusion is that David is tone deaf.

I’ve read both your blogs for a while, I’ve always enjoyed snobs satire and found your blog interesting.  I found it a little amusing a while ago when someone from this site attempted to start a blog battle with the snob, in what seemed to me to be an obvious attempt to solicit hits on this site from what I assume is a much much larger audience.  His response, ignoring bikehugger, seemed appropriate, but obviously was not what you were going for.  I’m not sure what he did to you guys, but this childish negative attack that quite honestly had absolutely no merit completely turned me off this site, and I will not be returning.

@larry, sure Of all the mean things Snob has said this one may not rank up there as the meanest or worst attack, but I’ll add this. I’ve ridden with many cargo bike owners and none of them are smug, including in the Seattle neighborhood Val, Aaron or abroad a Delivery Driver in India.. Whether he’s there or not, David got offended and called him out. Snob wrote a whole book about this too, telling you how to think about the bike and the people who ride them.

Also last year, this crew I rode with, photographed outside of Bicycle Habitat, was not smug at all. No smug.

@brian Sorry to see you go Brian, but there was no “hits attempt” from us. David decided to say something and when you go out with an opinion his fans are going to dislike, you got to own it. Considering traffic plays and how you behave online, you know the rule about snarking and hating, right? The kind of company you keep?

As to ignoring us, quite the opposite, it’s a long feud started by him actually, and always comes back to the same reasons stated above.

Traffic is measured in many ways and you’re welcome to think his is much, much larger. You could even argue in the dick space, he owns it and welcome to it.

I can say with some confidence that Bikesnob’s joke isn’t lost on the “whole bike industry.” You little cowboys just need to buck up. That’s all I’m saying.

@sean you’re absolutely right on an industry-wide view, opinions are formed by the people we hang out with; it’s a small industry, but we don’t pretend to know everyone or speak for them. To the joke, it got old years ago and we think it’s actually, truly mean-spirited, but also understand the appeal and don’t think your smug or an idiot for enjoying what he does.

As David said, the Snob post came across his radar and he reacted. On buckin’ up, speaking up is the right thing to do and it needed to get done. That’s like a speak up, buck up thing. In most topics bike related, excluding helmet debates, you’ll find opinions from us at the ready and please to disagree with us.

I can see both sides of the argument here.  On the outset it would appear that BSNYC is being quite callous towards those in need.  However, if you read the description of the event it states that there will be one or two support vehicles provided to carry extra water.  It seems to me that if vehicles are available to provide extra water for those making the ride then they could also be used to carry food and essentials to those in need.  And maybe they are but from the description of the event you can at least see how there can be construed an air of smugness.

Nonetheless, all help given to those affected by this storm is certainly a positive thing.

Oh dear, you sad little womble,
I’d never heard of Bike Hugger before today, and I never want to hear from he/it ever again :-(
Ciao

@kenthobbit a fair and balanced comment. Ever wonder why Snob can’t take the self-proclaimed satire/sarcasm/destroying criticism?

@paul that was awesome Paul thanks. We’ve never heard of you either.

@Byron Yes.  It is the internet.  Get over it.

@tyler What are we supposed to get over, the Internet or the dickery? A mean girl with a grinch heart picks on people and we occasionally say something about it.

As the ride organizer I’m going to try to respond to this in the mensch like fashion that Bikesnob carries when you meet him in person and be polite.

I had no qualms whatsoever about the way Snob posted the article. I welcomed it.

I know for a fact that several people joined the ride due to his post, and Snob’s mensch-ness in person is of a very particular, self deprecating humility, so I intuit he wouldn’t me to write this. But there were people who were excited he was there. One guy who likes Budnitz may have been offended, but he didn’t say anything.

In fact, Snob even ended up leading the ride as a navigator to some extent because he knows the area so well.

He thinks this isn’t the case because we projected as many transplanted NYC cyclists do an aura of false invincibility and pretending we knew what we were doing (one of the most important things about cycling in NYC is to pretend at all times you know everything about bicycles especially when you don’t) but the fact is we were behind him most of the time.

Many of us use humor in life to get through difficulty. And in the past few days I’ve been down in the Rockaways I’ve talked to people in tilted, unmoored, demolished homes making jokes. Because it helps.

We were really glad to have him on the ride.

David, by your own logic (“anyone [who] does anything to help shouldn’t be lambasted”), BikeSnob shouldn’t be lambasted, since he was out there hauling supplies.  It’s urgent that you admit the emotional strain got the better of you and led you into namecalling.

Also, humor is an excellent coping mechanism and one of the MOST NEEDED commodities in any time of crisis.  When stuff comes crashing down, it’s actually helpful NOT to take it so seriously.  It’s actually helpful, to have a certain disconnected attitude.  Crying and freaking out and making much of the problem is certainly understandable.  But it’s not particularly helpful, and eventually starts to make a person mighty tedious company in a crisis—including, and especially, in the late stage when everyone else has already moved into optimistic, “we’re still alive,” problem-solving mode.

@ASAhn thanks for that perspective and comment. Just maybe getting called out resulted in the mentioned menchness. As you imply, if he’s not a dick in person than we’re not really idiots and everything else he’s said isn’t true either, like the fap, fap, fap stuff.

If it’s all one big act, then the irony escapes us more literal minded folk.

Also, glad the ride went well and you’re doing good work. I visited your shop last year.

@zenmonk Don’t disagree and your perspective is another, well-stated take on this. It’s also ok to call Snob’s shtick out, as ASAhn said it’s an act and he’s a mensch. From one “act” to another, if he’s the self-appointed systematic destroyer of bike culture, we’re here blogging about the very thing he rips on. It’s inevitable we’re going to clash and not back down from what we believe. We’ll also not call you a sarcastic name for disagreeing with us.

Byron, I can’t be polite about this and I can’t speak for Snob. What I will say is that’s just utterly ludicrous. I had no idea this site even existed until today, like many readers. I seriously doubt it influenced Snob’s spiritual development.

I communicated with him before your blog post existed.

I’ve bumped into Snob a few times over the years, and he’s always come across that way.

I imagine irony would escape you if you U-Locked it to your neck.

@asahn

The previous politeness was appreciated, not so polite, ok too. As I said above, If we weren’t doing our job as a blog about the thing he destroys, we’d not, on occasion clash. This isn’t the first time or last despite the obscurity you think we exist in. We don’t work in the same space as Snob, he definitely owns that.

Back on point in a long thread, David felt strongly enough to say something. He expects Snob to not call people helping in a disaster smug. That’s pretty much it.

You’re welcome to disagree and have argued well on why you do and total props for organizing the ride.

@phil A u-lock of irony is a good line, may work that into another post.

The guy went to help people who needed help.

Stop trying to rationalize bashing him, it’s giving me a headache.

Say sorry, say thanks, and use your energies more healthily and more productively.

@brian M You’re right on this going on to long and the point was made. I’m in here cause David is tending to his coffee/bike shop—not living in NY, this isn’t an argument I intended or want to have.

I don’t know if David wants to apologize, but Snob helping those out is certainly recognized in the comments here from @asahn and others. There’s no criticism for that.

As to positive energies you’re right on that too and thanks. What’s happening in NY post Sandy with the bike is absolutely remarkable and where I’d rather our focus was.

Dear Lord Byron—

I used to think you were cool because you wrote “She Walks In Beauty.”

But now I think you and Mr. Schloss have poor reading comprehension skills.

Yours,

leroy’s dog

All,

I updated the post with text that David sent me. Thanks for comments and discussion. Also to @ASAhn for info on the ride.

You’ll find in the updated post that Snob pissed him off and he reacted. It includes an apology to you.

@leroy’s dog

Which farm road do you patrol?

Gotta say—there’s a reason I stopped reading Bike Hugger years ago. This post certainly reaffirms my decision.

@emor well good you came back just this once. It’s been 7 long years too.

That was a masterful rendition of the “non-apology”, as in “I’m sorry if anyone was offended.”

Graceless.

Wow, Byron, The internet is really calling you out. Snob mocks cargo bikes because he owns one. He also mocks recumbents, crabon frames, cipollini and helments. Its great cycling advocacy.

@phil The regret from David was for the negativity and causing so much dissent, not well-timed either, mood-of-the-country wise or being unable to defend the post in a timely manner.

As I’ve said all along, we own what we post here and owe nothing else than a strong commitment to what we believe in.

@mark on that we totally disagree, as someone who also rides all those bikes, but NOT recumbents. Never into those.

The self-righteousness here is thick, and it oozes from David’s so-called apology. He can’t even resist a paragraph describing his heroic discounting of baked goods and free coffee for utility workers. Wow.

Read Bike Snob’s original post if you haven’t already, and tell me with a straight face that you can’t tell he is promoting the support ride. Leroy’s Dog got it, after all.

@phil I hear what you’re saying and like @brian M said, it’s time to wrap this up. Snob was promoting the ride as you and other commenters have noted. No disagreement from me with that. David stands by what he wrote and as the publisher of this blog, so do I. As to self-rightousness, sorry you got so mad at us Bro. Really.

Fine, except you, and David, seemed to miss the gist of what brian M said:

“Say sorry, say thanks, and use your energies more healthily and more productively.”

He didn’t say “Pretend to apologize while continuing to denigrate Bike Snob, and while your’re at it, let us know why *you* were such a mensch in Sandy’s aftermath.”

Y’all (BikeHugger people) are missing many, many points, and I think you would be well served to keep that in mind and re-read all the comments you are not taking seriously enough.  Consider the possibility that this one went right over your heads, whoooosh!

In particular, as a regular reader of BSNYC and owner of my very own personal smugness flotilla, no offense at all was meant by his use of the word “smug”.  It is a vast, huge, long-running joke, aimed both at those people who accuse cyclists of being smug, and at we cyclists who after all, sometimes are.  And as a big part of the car-free-change-your-lifestyle-save-the-planet movement, cargo bike owners are the smuggest of them all.  Combine that with the opportunity to actually do something useful for other people in a situation where a cargo bike is ideally suited (uncertain and short fuel supplies, possibly obstructed roads), and the smugness gets turned up to 11. (“Oh boy, I am doing a good deed on my cargo bike!” —remember, I own one of those bikes.)  It’s hard to believe that I have to explain this, but I guess that I do.

There was absolutely no insult intended, it is mostly self-deprecating, and it is part of a long-running schtick.  I think it’s a well-intended schtick that might even be beneficial in the long run by getting people to take themselves a little bit less seriously.

There’s this curious, off-putting thing about us cyclists and our culture. We all want to change the world with bikes, but simultaneously tear it and ourselves down. Roadies v. Mtn, commuters v. racers, marketing of the products, smugness of cargo owners or whatever diss and snark there is to serve up. You can see it here in the thread that’s become as much about ourselves, snobbiness, and smugness as the original dickery accusations.

To your well-stated points, the only thing missed was the details of the ride and I had no idea that there was a running smug gag or likely would anyone else not immersed in BSNY.

The larger issue is this humor isn’t a Louis CK show and the bike isn’t as universal or transcendent. That’s what we object to and you as fans want us to understand. We don’t.

While you think we’re idiots, poseurs, can’t read, self-righteous, obscure, and demand an apology, we know we’re not going to convince you otherwise that the joke isn’t funny. It’s just like Livestrong fans when we told them their hero wasn’t. You can imagine the heat we took for that until a few weeks ago.

When David posted this, I knew the hate that’d come at us, in waves, and here it is. He’s a bro in a flooded village, so I got his back on the post. This has happened before. I heard the latest joke is Budnitz, cause that shit is funny too?

To us it’s not.

I admit that I’m a bit surprised that David Schloss so grossly misunderstod BSNYC’s post.  I thought it was pretty clear that he was promoting the ride with his usual self-effacing wit.

@tim that’s discussed in the update to the post.

I think perhaps it might be best if you stepped away from the BSNYC, and didn’t pass judgement on other people’s sense of humor quite so quickly, or clutch the “positive” mantle quite so tightly.  He’s bike-positive, too.  Differently positive, but positive.  It’s pretty clear y’all are mad as heck at him in some personal way, but you’ve not made a very good argument for why anyone should take your side.

I know (one of) you just got flooded, it’s not fun, but your “update” was many paragraphs that would have better been phrased (almost verbatim) “under a lot of stress, totally missed the joke, I’m sure you understand”.  And people would, at least those who had ever been disastered in one way or another, or known someone who had.  (Which I think is why I’m trying to write this properly.)

I’m trying to think of the politest and most effective way to explain that what you’re doing is not going to help you, is not good for you, and in some sense is not good for your reputation.  You’re writing one thing, but the rest of us are reading something else, and it’s not coming out the way that you want it to (thus the remarks about humorless, etc—that’s what people get when they read your remarks).

So, take time out to look at some kitten videos, take a stress pill, give it a look again when you’re not so mad.

And the rest of you jerks: he/his-friend just got disastered, it sucks, and he’s under a lot of stress, and you would be too.  Cut him some slack.  Thank you.

David Chase is my new hero.

David Schloss did not apologize.

Yes BSNYC’s humor is caustic, but his heart is in the right place.  This is obvious if one reads his blog regularly.  If one doesn’t, then BSYNYC’s comments might be taken out of context. 

As per smugness, there are many non-smug cargo bike riders out there, but David Chase says it nicely with his comment:

“[BSNYC’s smugness comments are] a vast, huge, long-running joke, aimed both at those people who accuse cyclists of being smug, and at we cyclists who after all, sometimes are.” 

On Smugness:

A pertinent example: (and not much of a stretch if you stop and think about it): 

Abolitionists in antebellum America were a mixed lot. 

Unsmug: 

Frederick Douglas

William Lloyd Garrison

Smug:

Sherman Booth and his contemporary fans. 

Sherman Booth was instrumental in freeing Joshua Glover, a runaway slave held captive in 1854 Milwaukee.  Yet “just months after the rescue, Glover had already been forgotten about while his rescuer, Booth, had captured national attention as the maverick “radical” abolitionist at the center of the dramatic standoff between Wisconsin’s highest court and the Federal Supreme Court. What this suggests is that Wisconsinites at the time detested slave labor’s encroaching presence on the territories (as a challenge to free labor ideals) far more than they cared for the freedom of Joshua Glover, an individual slave.”* 

Milwaukeeans were then self-congratulatory enough to name a street after Sherman Booth (N. Booth St.), the proverbial cargo bike rescuer, in 1857, three years after the incident.  It wasn’t until 1994 that a group of high school students managed to petition the city to rename a small 1/8 mile street after Joshua Glover, the freed slave and metaphorical Rockaway resident.**


Abolitionism was an exceptionally honorable cause, probably more so than bike advocacy, but it still had its fair share of self-congratulatory “[slave]huggers”  more interested in kudos (http://www.kudosbar.com/) and paving the way for industrial expansion’s need of cheap labor than the rights of freed black men. 


~Rob, proud Milwaukeean (though not proud of all of its history), helment wearer, future cargo-bike owner, and windbag

 

*  Gant, Jesse.  “(Dis)Envisioning Slavery Milwaukee Commemorates the Underground Railroad.” 
http://www.nyu.edu/pubs/anamesa/archive/fall_2006_borders/13_gant_slavery.pdf


** http://www.riverwestcurrents.org/2003/January/000362.html

Byron -

When you say, “I heard the latest joke is Budnitz, cause that shit is funny to you all too. To us it’s not”, it sounds like you are writing off an entire group of people, as if anyone who gets a chuckle out of BSNYC is the enemy.

Also it sounds like you’re judging without having actually read what the joke is. Is Budnitz a sacred cow for some reason?

That kind of thing is precisely why people are getting the impression that bikehugger is devoid of a sense of humor, and was rash/clueless to call somebody a dick for promoting hurricane relief efforts.

Byron, your comment about bike culture reminds me of this:

http://www.xkcd.com/1095/

David Chase, well put.

I think BSNYC is pretty funny, but I’ve sometimes thought he’d be hard to get if you didn’t read him regularly.  I seemed to remember thinking he was douchey at first, until I picked up on the fact that it was all tongue-in-cheek, and that he was making fun of himself as much as everyone else.

It’s hard to judge someone’s intent based on some text they posted on a wall.  I’m sorry to see such a hot mess come of a misunderstanding.  Oh well.

 

@velobotomy ours too

@bk jimmy in over a dozen comments, exhaustively said why we don’t think it’s funny and we’ll not convince Snob’s fans that it isn’t. We’re ok with that, but do understand why you like the humor. I haven’t spoken to Budnitz about this, but consider being on the receiving end of Snob’s commentary or his fans, like this thread here.

@zach This shit storm, in light of other storms, ain’t no fun and I’ve let it flow and not closed the thread cause I think it goes to a larger discussion and also why we’re sticking by the original point. Fans may find this hard to understand, but we’re not alone in this viewpoint and felt something needed to be said. Not the ideal topic to do it with, no.

@robert He won’t nor will I and I said that above. You wouldn’t expect Snob to apologize for anyone’s feelings he’s hurt, right? The regret is arguing with his fans. He calls people names, we call him a name, his fans calls us multiple names. There’s no win, but I think our point was made, however ugly.

@david The history isn’t hard to find. It’ll happen again. I’m not in this thread to convince readers otherwise or win a Internet debate, as I made that point above. Your comments though are great and appreciated.

Also it’s not about being mad—- this isn’t my post, but my blog. It’s a stand and as the comments come in, the larger issue is being discussed. For some perspective on my view, being around a few makers in the industry, those on the receiving end of his brand of humor, including myself, it’s not fun, or witty. It’s perceived as mean, destructive, and bullying. Definitely not a celebrity roast where everyone is laughing.

I don’t think that’s the case here in the smug storm incident, as you and the other commenters have noted and I agree with that. Also, you’re right on my hardline response. I’m trying to make the point that being a Snob is going to offend people, it does, and has. We’ll speak up when we think that’s the case. That’s what set this post off in the first place.

I made the call to let the post go live, that choice is debatable for sure. Regarding the ride itself and the term cargo bike smugness, I agree with all of you on that.

“For some perspective on my view, being around a few makers in the industry ...”

Wow, you guys take yourselves way too seriously.  I’m glad someone invites you to Interbike and sends you $10k road bikes to review.  I’m glad that you take take artistic photos of your custom ti road bikes so that the rest of us can get a little instagr.am insight into the lives of the cycling 1%.

But this “stand” as you put it, confirms that you guys are, as BSNYC so eloquently puts it, “idiots”.

P.S. Thanks for at least creating a tumblr to celebrate the people that stupidly rode their bicycles during the hurricane.  That was noble.

Unsubscribe.

Byron,

I came to this site to read for myself what this was all about. I just wanted to be informed. I had no intention of even commenting (it was already past my bedtime). But then I found that you were derisively lumping together everyone who finds snob amusing—basically insulting spectators. It seems there’s something inherently combative about this site.

I’m a guy reading the internet, not a hockey fan with my face painted in bikesnob colors. I like Bikesnob, but I don’t find everything on his site funny, and I like many of the things that he criticizes. That could have included this site, which is why I came here to read, but as soon as I did, you were insulting me even though I hadn’t said a word about any of this.

 

@bk jimmy point taken on that and no insult intended. I lumped the fans into one statement cause that’s who’s in this thread. You’re right on that.

@hans cycling’s 1%, really? It’s not that serious at all. Dicks v. Idiots. Could summarize the Internet and debates like this. It’s not really a win lose, but people wanting to voice their opinions, which is happening here and none of them is invalid. In that same comment that offended you, I’m agreeing with the consensus.

I’m confused. You’re worried about Budnitz being on the receiving end of Snob’s comments? They were willing participants who invited his continued criticism by sending him a bike to try out.

 

@byron 1:07 - Thanks for that, at least.

@bk jimmy I edited the comment above to not lump everyone into the same statement. Thanks for mentioning it. My point on Budnitz was related to the joke, at times, not being funny when taken too far. In another thread, It was mentioned that Budnitz was a recent topic being mentioned repeatedly.

Byron: until today, I’d neither read the Snob post nor revisited the comments of this post.

My recollection of when BSNYC lost “teh funnay” on this site is exactly the day when he mocked a product recently added to the Hugga store. That incident colors anything that it has to say about the snob to this day.

Hakeem Olajuwon was involved in African charities and endorsed cheap sneakers, saying: “How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120?...She can’t. So kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. Sometimes they kill for them.”

Michael Jordan chose a very different trajectory as the Madison Avenue player for Nike, McDonald’s, and all the other things that are so great for kids. This has no effect on his stature or legacy.

They’re both NBA greats, but there’s a fork in the road to that destination, and you can’t take both.

@champs not following what you’re saying, which product? And by it you mean us or him? I can fondly recollect others times when we’ve told Snob to piss off, but know of no correlation between what’s in our store and his posts. I do know his fap, fap, fap, mention of my Venge review. It sucks you can’t edit comments on our current cms, so just want to make sure I get what you’re saying.

I think by the endorsements paragraphs you mean we’ve sold out and if that’s the case, look at the ads on our site: Google and the gear we make or sell from our partners, like Biologic.

Still also unclear if you were calling me a poseur earlier, and if so, it’s as if you hadn’t read our blog for the past 6, 7 years.

Which brings up a good point, this thread collapsed under its own weight and I thought it was over, but in another thread some old dogs reminded me how smug I was with my cargo bikes before cargo was cool or a measure of one’s cycling cred. A feature in Dwell, built and spec’d by Val, the grandfather of cargo bikes, in the PWN, carrying 3 to 400 pound loads before a can of beans or a bottle of beer was put into another, on the East Coast. Old School Smug, like where we made our bones early on one.

As other wise commenters have said offline in backchannels, we’ve both got our gig. At times, conflicts occur, but in this instance, the timing was terrible. Doesn’t change what either of us do.

Out of interest, can you point me in the direction of a post where you slam Lance? In common with a lot of cycling writers, you have slammed Lemond for his issues with Lance but only seem to have come out against Lance since it became something that even a child could see. Don’t get me wrong, you’re far from alone in this.

As for the BSNYC thing, ironically, I almost got the first part (stressful time, not being a regular reader of Snob) but your apology is really the weakest thing I’ve ever read. I know people who apologise exactly the same way and they’re cowards who bow to pressure because they think people want them to but really don’t mean a single word of it. Either apologise with sincerity or don’t bother. As an aside, awesomely cheap shot comparing BikeSnob with Lance in such a tangential fashion.

Try Lance Armstrong Site Search or Lance tag. Recent highlights include, Yellow Washing of Lance, Vaugthers Tweets his past, and Cycling Media Shamed.

The thread is getting too long to parse at a glance, but again and said above, the apology was for the timing, negativity, and causing so much dissent on our site. A cheap shot on a blog, in a topic like this, is like an elbow in the turn of a crit.

All from 2012 though. You can’t haul out an phrase like “You can imagine the heat we took for that until a few weeks ago” when you started a few months (being VERY generous) before that.

@atlaz keep clicking the pagination links to find posts in 07 and this one. In the Cycling Media Shamed post from me I own our role, Pay for Play, endemic media and Bicycling Magazine. We’ve done business with Mellow Johnnys and spoken with LiveStrong at events, including hosting a talk with Doug Ullman, the CEO of LiveStrong. Been 1 degree away from Lance, but never met or worked with directly. I think what you’ve seen, from us and most, is a pressure was lifted. One to not endure the yellow-banded trolls or his wrath, if you pissed him off. I absolutely held posts; including the Yellow Washing one because I didn’t think it’d do any good.

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