It's All About the Bike: Robert Penn
It's All About The Bike is written by Robert Penn who has ridden a bike most days of his adult life. In his late-20s, he pedalled 40,000kms around the world. He's in the middle of a long love affair with the bicycle. Yet, like cyclists everywhere, the utilitarian bike he currently owns doesn't even hint at this devotion. Penn needs a new bike, a bike that reflects how he feels when he's riding it - like an ordinary man touching the gods. So Penn has designed and built his dream bike. He's got an artisan in Stoke to hand-build a bespoke frame; he's travelled to San Francisco for the perfect wheel, from Padua to Provence to find the perfect components - parts that set the standard in reliability, craftsmanship and beauty. En route, he tells the stories of the science, history and culture of bicycles, extracting pertinent and quirky stories - the role of the bicycle in women's liberation, the marvel of the tangent-spoked wheel, the quasi-religious admiration for Fausto Coppi in Italy - that explain why we ride, and why this simple machine remains central to humanity in the 21st century.