Great documentary on BBC4 in the early hours of this morning – a repeat from 2009. The blurb says; “Author Rob Penn travels around the world collecting hand-built parts for his dream bicycle and charts the social history of one of mankind’s greatest inventions.”. It’s based upon his book “It’s All About The Bike” and he spends an hour retelling the history of the bike while building his own bike that will enable him “to ride off into the sunset”. He wants the best components so he stays in England for the frame and the saddle (Brooks, of course), Germany for the tyres, Italy for the group set (1,800 euros!) and California for the wheels. Fascinating watch. The wheel making in the US reminds me of the guys in Italy who repaired Reggie’s back wheel en route to Brindisi last summer; masters at work like watching piano tuners in action. The section about Portland, Oregon is an uplifting and perhaps there is hope for the USA after all… Catch it on the i-Player (like I did) while you can.
What do you think?