Bruce Weber works for The New York Times as a reporter of no particular expertise. He's written for the Metro, National and Foreign desks, the Arts section and the Sports section, the Sunday magazine, the Travel section and the Book Review. For the last four years he's had the most general of general assignments: Obituaries, where his subjects have included lawyers, inventors, politicians, musicians, moviemakers, novelists, financiers, scientists, architects, adventurers, two of the Golden Girls, a couple of Black Panthers, the world's greatest typewriter repairman, the first Lois Lane and an airline hijacker, not to mention the cartoonist David Levine, the columnist David Broder, the actors David Carradine, Natasha Richardson, Ron Silver, Pete Postlethwaite, Nicol Williamson and Peter Falk, the runner Grete Waitz, the Oakland Raiders' owner Al Davis, the Gap founder Don Fisher, the chess champion Bobby Fischer, the gangster Lefty Rosenthal and the porn star Marilyn Chambers. (Weber is quite the name dropper; ask him whose obits he has written for people who are still alive.) There is, as well, a participatory streak in his journalistic inclinations: for his book about baseball umpires, "As They See 'Em" (2009), he trained at a professional umpire school and worked behind the plate at a San Francisco Giants spring training game. His current project is a book about bicycling, LIfe is a Wheel," based on two solo cross-cross country journeys in 1993 and 2011.