Rob Penn has a nice bike. His book starts off right away with a list of components that would make the initiated envious. His bike? It’s totally 1%.
There is a funny dilemma about being a middle-aged cyclist. It’s a point in life where you can often afford a great bike, a top-shelf affair, but hardly have the bodies or the purpose that most folks around them are going to understand as justifiable. Sure, if you race the Tour d’ France, spend 6K on a bike! People get that. But spend the same amount to “ride around town” and it seems many folks go from lifting your bike to see how light it is to open hostility.
The structure is straight-forward and the task so obvious, it’s something I wish I had thought of: identify some of the world’s best components for your bike and then go pick them up in person, ideally, getting a tour or inside look at the process. Most of the time this leads to great interviews or experiences, and when it doesn’t it, it at least gives the reader an understanding of how secretive and competitive the makers are.
It’s an easy, engaging read with a great blend of cycling history and the personalities that make up the industry and sport today. This book moves at a fast clip and I had the good luck to be able to read it in one sitting on vacation. In fact, that might be my only hesitation in recommending it: you need to have a place where you can enjoy reading it in a day or two. It reads so quickly, it would be a silly book to take along on a two week bike tour!
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