Friday, 19 November 2010

Rob Penn

Last night, a crowd of us went to see Rob Penn speak at Waterstones. I've read his book, 'It's All About the Bike' and found it really interesting and rather inspiring. This guy is Seriously Passionate. He wrote about the history of the bicycle, right from it's crank-less, chain-less, odd-wheeled early days right the way through to the sleek carbon shiney days of now.

Rob is a down to earth guy. He swears, he giggles, he speaks with fire in his eyes. He loves his bike and loved the process of building it - by visiting each and every manufacturer individually in person and selecting the finest components whilst gaining a history of the company and a patchwork history of the bicycle.

I'd recommend to anyone.

But what of the colour? Well he knows its controversial. His eyes turned down and glanced at his paper when he got on to the subject. People hate it. Almost everyone, he said, hates it. Apart from him. And that's the point. The frame was designed for him and every component selected after careful though. For him. It is a weird looking machine because we're used to seeing a certain style of bike these days - angles and smoothness in the right places. He's got carbon forks on a steel frame and carbon handlebars and carbon brakes on a bike with a Brooks saddle and hand built wheels. It is eclectic, and so much love and thought went into it. For that reason, I think it's beautiful.

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