I caught a documentary on BBC4 last night called the Ride of my life: The story of the bicycle. It was by the writer and cycling enthusiast, Rob Penn based on his book ‘It’s all about the bike’ published this month. I missed the beginning but I was gripped by what I saw I re-watched it online via the BBC iPlayer website which will keep the programme for the next 6 days.
The story is about how Penn commissioned his bike from the various bike component manufacturers across the world. It wasn’t about getting the best parts but the parts he wanted for his dream bike. Great history of the bike running alongside Penn’s progress around the globe. I would have liked to have heard something about the Sturmey Archer hub and I guess other bits of bike history have been missed but I learned a lot of little things. The bicycle is an amazing invention that for a brief time we put aside and now we are beginning to appreciate just how fantastic this machine is.
My favourite part of the documentary was Penn’s visit to Portland, Oregon a city that has made huge investments in cycling infrastructure.
After watching the section on the Brooks saddle factory I am seriously thinking of getting one for the Brompton for my third anniversary next February.
For those who are interested the doc is still on line but the BBC usually remove programmes after a week. So it will be gone by August 3rd.