Back in August on the TN blog, I said that I would like this book for my birthday in November and sure enough it appeared - though as a Christmas present! Still, better late than never.
I've just finished reading the book and enjoyed it a lot. The book is structured around the story of how a life long cyclist decided to assemble the best components from around the world to build a dream bike that would last him the rest of his life. Rob Penn visits people who are the best at their craft - one company has been making leather saddles in the same way for 100 years - another builds frames by hand to fit the rider exactly. On the way, he covers the invention of the bicycle and its evolution from wooden boneshaker to the first form of transport that was available to the common man and enabled people to travel further to work and for leisure - which in turn shaped housing and road development in the UK. There is plenty of humour and I was pleased to learn the origin of the Jock Strap and how it got its name.
I'm not sure that travelling to the USA to get some hand made wheels is justified but that aside, I'm confident that anyone with an interest in bicycles will enjoy a book that is as unique as the finished Dream Bike that adorns its cover. (I will however not be emulating RP and spending £3000 on a bike, I will be sticking with my trusty 20 year old cross bike)
by John Heaser