In pro-cycling, the pre-Tour de France races are wrapping up, and the world on two-wheels waits with baited breath for the grandest race of the year.
Here in Seattle, we wait anxiously for the return of the sun, to our woeful and misting skies, like Punxsatawny Phil to some mound of dirt in Pennsylvania. That being the case, we formally invited the annual return of our celestial friend, with the Fremont Solstice Parade. At this event every year, the 'Sun' rides into town on the final float of the march, and is welcomed as joyfully as Santa Claus.
While I attended the parade, I could not stay for the arrival of the Sun. (In truth, the actual sun didn't even bother to stop by--It's so rude to us sometimes.) As a fan of BikeSnobNYC's blog for as long as I have been, I could not allow myself to miss a rather limited opportunity to meet him in person, during the promotional tour for his new book.
With the help of my Gruber Assist, I was able to make it to Snob's event in time to get a seat. Indeed, I got there just minutes before Snob entered the room to set up the presentation. I confess, the only reason I was able to get a seat, at the time that I did, is because of the unwritten dude rule. (I don't pretend to know many of the unwritten dude rules, but I am familiar with the one of not sitting next to another dude, whenever possible.) Additionally, neither of the dudes on either side of the empty seat seemed offended when I asked if I could sit between them. Whew. As I sat down, I noticed both were reading, "Bike Snob", and were on about Chapter 3.
New fans. Way to go, Snob!
Knowing that I would want to document this event to the best of my abilities (as I had at the Solstice parade, more on that later,) I whipped out my camera and started snapping some shots. While some of the images that I've posted here previously, are some of my better works, I confess that the majority of the photos I take are bested by those of most twelve year olds. That said, I was hoping I might be able to get some video of the event, but it was apparent right away that, that was not going to happen.
Snob took to the podium. By the way, it was nice to see Snob getting to take his own podium. As much as I enjoy the podium-races on his blog, it was good to see him 'own it' for once. Unfortunately, my view of the lecturn was terrible, though I had a decent view of the slideshow. I didn't mind; it just meant that I put down my camera faster. I think I was the only one taking pictures anyway.
It was clear from the saltiness of the room, that the majority of the audience, if not all, were members of Seattle's Bike Community in some fashion. I don't know if it's the nature of the sport, or of the other cyclists with whom I hang out, but I didn't recognize anyone in the room. I attributed that to the fact that maybe they were just out of their lycra today (like I was--I do have a Gruber Assist, after all,) or maybe Seattle's bike community has just grown that much in recent years. Awesome. Since, I was there in my Anonymous Blogger capacity, I was grateful for getting to stay anonymized.
After the slideshow, which has been discussed in other blogs, (UPDATE: found the link I was thinking of,) Snob opened the floor for questions. I had to think for a moment. He said we could ask him anything. What would I ask? Then I realized, everything that I've ever wanted to know about Snob's blog, I've already read in Snob's blog.
But there is an area of cycling that I wanted know more about. With all the discussion of fixed gear bikes in New York City, is there a velodrome, or were track bikes sent into a state of homelessness during the Reagan era or something? If so, I want to applaud the New York hipsters in their efforts to rescue these down-trodden bikes, and elevate them to an art-like status in which they can feel proud. I asked, and he educated us that there is one, in Queens. Oh. So New York fixie culture, really is kinda silly. Got it.
After a series of questions that showed how distant Seattle's bike culture is from that of New York (someone had to ask what a 'Fred' was--not all of us in this town are that unknowledgable, but I digress,) we were directed to form a line for the book-signing. Seattle-ites love waiting in line.
When I finally reached Snob, he was well into book-signing mode. It seems he's rather practiced at this by now. He glanced up and saw that some other douchebag wanted him to scribble in the book he wrote. He said, "So who am I making this out to?"
He paused, looked at the tag, and looked up.
What does one Anonymous Blogger say to another?
"Will you sign my Kindle? Would you?"
He did. Now my Kindle has been owned by Salty Seattle, and signed by BikeSnobNYC. Awesome. And, yes. Now, I'm bragging. Too bad the battery cover's starting to come off.
Suffice it to say that, in person (much like online), I can be a total dork. I don't know that I could handle the one-on-one thing, book-signing thing, as well as Snob had. Put me in front of a crowd, and I can talk for hours, but the other? Uh, yeah. Either way, I'm glad to have had the opportunity, and wish you all the same.
So. About the Fremont Parade..
My computer's telling me I have to shut up now, so I'll be writing an update on the 'nekkidity' tomorrow. I'll update this post with the links back, as soon as I do. Feel free to browse the not-entirely-safe-for-work bad image gallery, if you'd like. Stay tuned.
Ride safe. I love you all.