Dirty Talk | BikeSnobNYC @bicyclingmag

I love to ride mountain bikes. For some reason, this always seems to surprise people. I suspect that because I'm cranky and ornery by disposition, people assume I'm a roadie. I used to be, actually, but that was in a simpler time.

When I was a child, all the kids had their birthday parties at the local bowling alley, and when it came time to eat there were two choices: a piece of soggy, recently thawed pizza, or a wrinkly, desiccated hot dog sitting in a dry bun like a severed finger stuck between two beige sofa cushions.

You made your choice, and you lived with it.

When I got older, the world of cycling seemed to me much like those birthday parties. If you wanted to buy a racing bike, you had two choices: a road bike or a mountain bike. No "monstercross" bikes, no urban fixed gears, no purpose-built snow bikes, and no internal-gear-retro-randonneur-French-porteur hybrids (with dynamo-powered GPS).