It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels is published by Particular Books/Penguin.

‘A book as brilliant as the invention it celebrates. A wonderful read.’ Nick Crane

‘Gem of a book.’ The Economist. The whole review…

‘Artfully, Penn turns his quest for new hardware… into a worldwide spin around cycling and its culture.’ William Fotheringham, Guardian Review. To read the full review, click here

‘It is difficult not to be swept along by Penn’s enthusiasm… He writes with authority, humour and refreshing candour.’ Charles Starmer-Smith, Sunday Telegraph. To read more, click here.

‘What I’m left with after consuming the book is a sense of poetry. A distinct and lingering feeling of elegance, design history and aesthetics. It made me look at the hundreds of thousands of bicycles I pass every day in Copenhagen in a completely new light. It made me wonder what my perfect bicycle would look like.’ Mikael Colville-Andersen, Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

‘[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

‘A fantastic new chronicle of the bike’s story, from its cultural history to its technical innovation to the fascinating colourful stories of the people who ride it. [Penn] approaches his subject with equal parts humor, humility, and authoritative intelligence as he sets out to find himself a new bike. Entertaining, illuminating and beautifully illustrated, It’s All About the Bike is a rare and precious portal to the heart and soul of bike culture and its surprising footprint – tireprint? – on all of culture’

‘The quest for each component (wheels tyres, headset, groupset, bars, saddle) is brilliantly threaded midst their place in the panoply of all that is velocopedinal. The result is a book that cannot be laid aside for long, if at all.’ Brian Palmer, The Washing Machine Post. Read the whole review on The Washing Machine Post

‘He writes with a Bill-Brysonesque facility for concentrating a lot of information and research into an easy-to-read and surprisingly compelling tale.’ Tim Dawson, Sunday Times

‘Whether his subject is spokes or saddle sores, he is relentlessly enthusiastic… Penn’s amiability is puncture-proof.’ Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

‘Strikingly presented, miscellaneous celebration of the bicycle’ Editor’s Pick, The Bookseller

‘His infectious admiration for the exhilarating sociability of cycling, coupled with reverence for quality craftsmanship, made highly engaging company… appreciate the wit and enthusiasm of this unusual odyssey.’ James Urquhart, The Independent. Read more of the review here

‘Unmissable read for anyone whose pursuit of happiness is driven by a fresh breeze, a comfy saddle and the power of the pedal.’ Daily Record

‘Must read for cyclists and/or obsessives.’ Alistair Campbell

‘Entertaining and vividly informative book.’ The Irish Times

‘Fantastic… a really interesting read with some great stories on the science, history and culture of the bicycle.’ Sir Paul Smith

‘A joyful book’ William Leith, The Scotsman

‘The bicycle saves my life every day. If you’ve ever experienced a moment of awe or freedom on a bicycle; if you’ve ever taken flight from sadness to the rhythm of two spinning wheels, or felt the resurgence of hope pedalling to the top of a hill with the dew of effort on your forehead; if you’ve ever wondered, swooping bird-like down a long hill on a bicycle, if the world was standing still; if you have ever, just once, sat on a bicycle with a singing heart and felt like an ordinary man touching the gods, then we share something fundamental. We know it’s all about the bike.”
It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels is published by Penguin in the UK, and by Bloomsbury in the USA.
Order on Amazon here

Have a look at the bike on BBC World here





The Wrong Kind of Snow: the Complete Daily Companion to the British Weather was published by Hodder & Stoughton in October 2007.

‘This book is jam-packed with grand themes … first-rate and really well-researched … a fascinating book, based on a very clever idea and very intelligently done.’ – Daily Mail

‘This year’s Eats, Shoots and Leaves.’ – The Guardian






The Sky Is Falling On Our Heads was published by Sceptre in 2004

‘Comically astute’ – Time Out

‘The most entertaining travelogue cum rite of passage book of the year’ – Scotland on Sunday