Paul Andrews

Fatty or Snooty? The Hobson’s choice for Bloggies

In Bicycling on January 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

So it’s come to this in the bicycle culture. We have the choice of voting, in the annual Bloggies Awards, between a fat cyclist and a bike snob.

Now we in the cycling community know perfectly well what’s going on here. Fat Cyclist isn’t really fat, and Bike Snob isn’t actually a snob. Fatty may have started out that way (using the term loosely), but for quite a while now he’s been a barrel-chested, iron-thighed, pedal-mashing Thor of muscle and bone. The guy has ridden with Lance Armstrong and Team Radio Shack, fer crissakes. He’s training for a freakin’ marathon. You and I know that.

Odd maybe...but not fat

But the non-velocipedes who make up the vast majority of the American public do not. The American public sees “Fat Cyclist” and thinks folds of lycra’d flesh balanced on two wheels like mounds of whipped cream on a spoon, with a flabby pear-shaped head that makes his helmet the size of a yarmulke. The American public sees Chris Farley on a comfort bike. They see someone called Fat Cyclist is in line for a Bloggie, and they go Wha??? Is that the best they can come up with?

Well, as a matter of fact, it is. Because the alternative is the Snob.

Now we all know that Bike Snob isn’t really a snob or he’d never blog about something as common and filthy as cycling. He would be some bow-tied oenophile blogging about what Bordeaux goes with foie gras and Muenster cheese. Or about the definitive interpretation of the libretto to The Magic Flute. A true snob would not be caught dead riding some oily contraption along the besotted gutters of 42nd Street. A snob on a bike would perspire on his tux. He would get grease on the cuffs of his Armanis. Snobbery, really, has no place in the cycling community, except when a roadie meets a mountain biker. And the outcome of that is never pretty.

What a BikeSnob fan looks like

The mainstream public doesn’t realize that Bike Snob is just another loser who can’t scrounge up cab fare home. They think he’s some epicure putting on airs, carrying on like he’s better than the rest of us. They think he blogs for Slate, or maybe The Daily Beast.

Unfortunately, we bona fide members of the cycling community are stuck with a choice of incredible political incorrectness. It’s either obesity or snootiness. ShopWrech.net and BottomBracket.org didn’t make the cut. If we really want to support our precious avocation, we have to ignore public perception and vote for a cyclist. Knowing this, knowing they’ve got us between a proverbial fat rock and snob place, both candidates have put together shameless self-promotional solicitations worthy of Donald Trump on crystal meth, which as a public service we are linking to because … well, because we care.

FatCyclist: “Vote for me because my third win means I won’t be eligible to harangue you next year!”

BikeSnobNYC: “Vote for me and you could win a new bike that is too declassé for the Snob to be seen with, let alone ride!”

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