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Download It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Its All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels, by Robert Penn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (458 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Penn Narrator: Jonathan Cowle Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From author Robert Penn, It’s All About the Bike is an exhilarating and unforgettable memoir of one man’s quest to build the perfect bicycle.

Robert Penn has saddled up nearly every day of his adult life. In his late twenties, he pedaled 25,000 miles around the world. Today he rides to get to work, sometimes for work, to bathe in air and sunshine, to travel, to go shopping, to stay sane, and to skip bath time with his kids. He’s no Sunday pedal pusher. So when the time came for a new bike, he decided to pull out all the stops. He would build his dream bike, the bike he would ride for the rest of his life; a customized machine that reflects the joy of cycling.

It’s All About the Bike follows Penn’s journey, but this book is more than the story of his hunt for two-wheeled perfection. En route, Penn brilliantly explores the culture, science, and history of the bicycle. From artisanal frame shops in the United Kingdom to California, where he finds the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan, and points in between, his trek follows the serpentine path of our love affair with cycling. It explains why we ride.

It’s All About the Bike is, like Penn’s dream bike, a tale greater than the sum of its parts. An enthusiastic and charming tour guide, Penn uses each component of the bike as a starting point for illuminating excursions into the rich history of cycling. Just like a long ride on a lovely day, It’s All About the Bike is pure joy—enriching, exhilarating, and unforgettable.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[His] adrenalin charged enthusiasm…delivers a good ride…The social history is snappy and his almost religious quest for ultimate craftsmanship is full of wit.”

    Financial Times

  • “With his deep British accent, Jonathan Cowley conveys the enthusiasm of the author as well as the pride of the craftsman.”


  • “If you don’t long for your own bike at the end of this book, you will at least never look at one the same way again.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Marco Latini | 2/10/2014

    " Bellissimo percorso della scelta delle parti della bici della vita attraverso la storia della bicicletta e alcune considerazioni sul piacere del pedalare in ogni forma. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Charlie | 2/4/2014

    " If you're a bike nerd of any kind, you'll love this. Penn visits the makers of every component (and the frame) as he gets his own bespoke bike made for him. Also, lots of bike history and trivia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David | 1/25/2014

    " What a pleasant surprise this book was! Thought it would be a dull, dry story about a bloke and his cycling stories, but it was funny and full of historical information...and the writers cycling stories were brilliant! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dan Ragsdale | 1/16/2014

    " Thoroughly enjoyable! Everything you ever wanted to know about bikes and more. "

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About the Author

Robert Penn is a journalist who writes for the Financial Times, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and Condé Nast Traveller, as well as numerous cycling publications. He also wrote and presented the BBC documentary Ride of My Life: The Story of the Bicycle. Penn lives in the Black Mountains, South Wales, with his wife and three children.