An Ode to the Bicycle by Rob Penn

I really enjoyed this talk from Do Lectures by Rob Penn, an author, a journalist and a man that is passionate about bicycles. In this talk he shares the reasons why he loves the bicycle, his pursuit of the perfect bike and the relevance of the bicycle in the past, present and future. 

I ride a bike to get to work, sometimes for work, I ride a bike to bathe in air and sunshine. I ride a bike to go shopping. I ride a bike to stay sane. I ride a bike to escape when the world is breaking my balls. I ride the bike to savour the physical and emotional fellowship of riding with friends. I rid for a moment of grace. I ride to skip bath time with my kids. I ride for fun. I ride to hear my boy laugh. 

To Rob Penn, finding his dream bike was about,  

Craftsmanship and not technology... A bike that had character, that would never be last year's model. I wanted to savour the process of acquiring this bike because im not going to replace it. I wanted the bike im going to grow old with, the bike I'm going to ride for the rest of my life.

It's wasn't about finding the lightest, sexiest, trendiest, cheapest or most expensive bike. Penn was "looking for the best made", he was looking for artisans to create this bike. He goes on to say, 

Not long ago, much of what we owned was alive with the skill and even the idealism of the people who made it. We retain possessions that are well made and in time they grow in value to us and they enrich our lives when we use them, and we seem to have forgotten this as a society. Almost everything we own begins to deteriorate the moment it comes outside the box.

I now invite you to watch the talk An Ode to the Bicycle and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Rob Penn rides a bicycle to get to work, sometimes for work, to keep fit, to bathe in air and sunshine, to travel, to go shopping, to stay sane, to savour the physical and emotional fellowship of riding with friends, for fun, to scare himself and to hear his boy laugh. He’s ridden a bicycle most days of his adult life. In his late-twenties, he gave up a career as a lawyer and spent three years cycling round the world. His latest book, It’s All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels has been translated into eight languages. Rob lives in the Black Mountains, South Wales with his wife and three children and commutes to work across a heather moor on a mountain bike.