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It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels

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It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels by Robert Penn, book reviewRoy H Williams once wrote, “lives, like money, are spent. What are you buying with yours?”. This is a question that many of us will struggle to answer coherently, I suspect, but not Robert Penn. For Penn is a man with enthusiasm for all things pedal-powered; he has ridden a bike for thirty-six years, on nearly every day of his adult life, including one 40,000km, three-year, round the world trip as an apparent reaction to having been a pin-striped solicitor for too long. As his book “it’s all about the bike” – a cheeky riposte to Lance Armstrong’s best-selling biography about recovering from cancer to win the Tour de France – opens, Penn owns five bikes in various states of repair, but has decided he needs a new one. “I could go online right now with a credit card and spend £3000 on a mass-produced carbon or titanium racing bike” he writes. “It’s tempting, very tempting. But it’s not right. Like many people, I’m frustrated at the round of buying stuff that is designed to be replaced quickly…I want the best bike I can afford, and I want to grow old with it…I want MY bike.”


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