Out on the Bacon Slicer this evening (700c with 114mm cranks, but now with a slightly fatter tyre than before) and I had ridden several miles without a break when my front light just went out. Rechargeable batteries give no warning.
So there I was about 2 miles or so from home, bracing myself for an unpleasant walk in the dark along a wet country lane with no pavements (US = “sidewalks”) and with potholes and puddles along the edges. Cars belt along there at 60 mph or more.
Then one of those big ugly 4 x 4 trucks stopped and reversed, and the driver absolutely insisted on giving me a lift home, even though it was off her route.
Turns out she was a biker (Yamaha R6) and, as she put it, bikers don’t like to see people in trouble and leave them at the side of the road. (I’m a biker myself with a Moto Guzzi V7.)
In the UK, those big 4 x 4 pick ups tend to be associated with the type of driver who would run over his own grandmother to save 5 seconds on the journey, but this one had clearly not heard of the stereotype.
Apart from having to be rescued in distress by a damsel, it was a great ride combining country lanes, a railway track converted to a cycle path, and a brand new cycle path next to a road that hasn’t been opened to the public yet.
Great story, and what a nice way to start 2017. Expect the unexpected for this new year - hopefully in a nicer way than the unexpected stuff we got from '16!
My heart is warmed. I’ve noticed that as much abuse is hurled at me by drivers (which in Sydney is a lot), I never get any from bikers. I figure it’s because they know what it’s like to be vulnerable on the road.
Nice to see another installment of the bacon slicer chronicles, It feels like it’s been a while.
Good on the lady for helping you out, It’s funny that you say that folks in 4x4s are seen as a**hats over on your side of the pond as it’s exactly the opposite over here. Maybe it’s a Urban/Rural thing?
Nice choice on motorcycle I really like the look of the V7 but have a Honda NC700X myself. Long rides just ask for more protection than a naked bike can offer.
The 4x4 stereotype over here is mostly the young mother who got the 4x4 to cart her 6 kids to school, thinking the size will make her family safe if she gets into a crash, ironically causing more crashes because she feels her school run is more important than some Spandex Warrior’s life
The other stereotype is the rich person who, because he lives in a more up-market area with nice scenery, thinks he’s a farmer and so needs a 4x4 to get off his drive. These people are seen as rubbish drivers again because they drive gigantic monstrocities of cars on tiny little country lanes and moan when anyone else ‘gets in their way’.
Slightly more on topic: I really want a ‘bacon slicer’, they sound so fun
I had a day on one of the early NC700s and found myself hitting the rev limiter several times in normal riding - like accelerating down a slip road onto a dual carriageway. They may have cured this now, because the salesman said I wasn’t the first to mention it. The Guzzi is famously low revving but I have only hit the limiter a couple of times.
All I did was buy a standard unicycle hub from UDC, buy a decent rim and get it built at a decent local bike shop. I then dropped the wheel into a cheap frame. The wheel was far and away the most expensive component.
My earlier 28 had a standard Nimbus 1 wheel with an upgraded tyre and became known as the Road Razor. I did my longest ever day’s ride on this: 56 miles.
The replacement custom wheel became known as the Bacon Slicer and at one time I had it down to a 20mm tyre. Repeated punctures led me to compromise and put a 28 mm* on it. Shortish cranks (114 mm), light wheel, hard skinny tyre and an old school Miyata saddle: unicycling at its most pure.
*From memory - I haven’t nipped out to the garage to check.
From what I gather; experienced riders bouncing off the rev limiter is an inherent property of the NC700X and all its derivatives. It’s my first bike and I’ve done it half a dozen times. I do love the low end grunt it has right off idle for crawling along bush trails and the car-like 3000 rpm at cruising speed.
I encourage every rider to try a skinny wheeled road unicycle. They may not really be practical but they are fun and will vastly improve your fine control if ridden in sub-optimal conditions. I built mine from an old road bike wheel.
In what way are unicycles ever practical?
With 114s or 125s, good for single track such as river banks and bridleways as long as there’s no soft mud or sand.
At the moment, I’m doing a short commute by uni (car park to office is about 3/4 mile) and I rode the 700c today on white frost. I didn’t need a handle as my sphincter was holding onto the seat with suction.
While we are on the subject of bikers, about twenty years back, I would take my 20" along on my back to bike do’s… in the beer tent I would challenge all comers to simply mount and ride to the outer edge of the beer tent from a central pole (about ten feet). Those that did it I would buy them a pint (nary a one), those that didn’t bought me one… I almost became an overnight alcoholic as a result…