First a little background: Sage and Cooper are riding single-speed WorkCycles bikes around the world. Here you can check out the first two trip reports:
Around the world on WorkCycles bikes 1
Sage & Cooper are somewhere else on WorkCycles bikes
Fresh on the heels of Alexis’ escapades at Buckingham Palace, Sage and Cooper also reached London on their way down from Scotland… but not without a little adventure in Wales en route:
Here’s Sage’s explanation for the posh, English countryside accommodations:
This odd pic comes with an odd story. Cooper and I found a nice hilltop campsite on what seemed to be unowned or no mans land. We were awakened at 9pm by a man who seemed homeless and crazy. With a beer in his hand he tells us the owner of the property is psychotic and just came out of prison for almost beating someone to death. He warns us that if we stayed there the man will run us over in his jeep while we’re a sleep. He tells us to pack up and meet him down the hill at his place and he’ll give us a spot to camp. To make a long story short he wasn’t homeless, but is crazy and was telling the truth about his neighbor. He offered us to stay for several days at his gypsy like home, but one night was more than enough.
I also enjoy camping “wild” while bicycle or motorcycle touring, especially when I’m trying to cover some distance fairly quickly in a rural area. I just ride until it’s almost dark and find a nice, quiet spot that seems to be either public or wouldn’t be noticed anyway. If stealth seems necessary I skip the tent and hide the bike with whatever is available.
This has also backfired on me too. One late, cold night in the Ardennes in Belgium I tossed my sleeping bag out near a dirt track. I slept fine under the stars for a while until I awoke to the creepy feeling that I wasn’t alone. As I came to my senses I heard groaning, breathing, stomping noises all around me. Peeking my head out of the sleeping bag I was met with the noses of a half dozen cows poking at me. Better cows than psychotic ex-cons.
Sage continues about their experience riding Dutch bikes in foreign territory:
We’ve been unable to have a bike shop look at our bikes due to the shops being closed, refusing to look at bikes they haven’t sold, being too busy to look at our bikes, or wanting 50pounds for each bike check up. So three weeks ago week decided to do it our selves and I think its better that we did.
What’s up with this anyway? Two polite travelers come into your shop and ask you to perform the simplest of all services on their most critical equipment. Performing the one-month check on such simple, tough bikes might take 15 minutes if you’re thorough, and certainly doesn’t require any skill that even the most moderately experienced mechanic doesn’t possess. You refuse or ask an exorbitant sum? I don’t get it but friends and customers often refer to bicycle shops as unfriendly, unhelpful places full of elitist, prima-donna boys. I suppose this is one of the reasons we’ve only found about 20 dealers we’re willing to sign on as WorkCycles dealers.
Anyhow the bikes survived their wrenching (probably just checking that various nuts and bolts are tight, and adjusting the chain tension if they were a bit bold) and Sage and Cooper rode into London.
I’m not quite sure about the context of the above image so I’ll propose a few possibilities and let you decide which you prefer:
And to prove they actually visited London they sent this picture in front of some very Londoney looking old building across a river.
In the previous installment of the Sage and Cooper adventures I discussed the various Shimano roller brakes and noted the impending arrival of the new IM80 roller brake… the brake that could solve our utility bike braking woes. That brake is now a reality; We saw them at the recent Eurobike expo and now have (apparently pre-production) samples to test.
Firstly here is the Shimano IM80 rollerbrake complete. The fancy cooling fin is cute but more importantly the integrated cable stop means that this brake can be retrofitted on almost any front fork with a drum brake type reaction arm holder. That’s different from the previous top of the line IM70 which requires a fork with a cable stop… or handy souls like WorkCycles mechanics who weld cable stop tabs onto the brakes themselves.
Here’s the real “meat” of the story though; the braking surface is V shaped like the IM70 but bigger, and the roller actuation system absolutely dwarfs that of all previous model roller brakes. The IM70 actuation rollers are shown at right. We’ll now install our samples on a (heavily loaded) bike and commence testing!