Rosie brakes down

T – There was a few cars coming through the camping ground last night. But never the less we managed a good nights sleep and we were up early and packed ready to move on!

First stop was Maccas to use some wifi and have a coffee. Then we were clear of Rexburg! Or so we thought…

As we pulled up to a stop sign something flung up and hit me in the leg. As I had done our valve clearances this morning I had a sudden image of Mabels valve cover flying off. But it wasn’t that.

It was Rosie. Her rear brake actuator rod had snapped and a piece of it had come flying back to hit me. I haven’t seen one of these fail ever before like this. The thing had broken about 3 inches along and had coiled itself nicely around the brake drum and locked Chantelle’s rear brake on firmly. Luckily we had only been travelling at slow speed otherwise it may have been worse.



C – I am very thankful we weren’t going any quicker. I just started to slow down for a stop sign, changing down the gears, so was not travelling at speed. Poor Rosie made a loud clang and then the rear tyre locked up as the brake failed. Riding without a rear brake is not really a good idea, but we just didn’t have any option and Todd thought he could actually make a temporary fix if we saw a hardware store.

T – We had no option but to take the rod off and leave Chantelle with no rear brake for now. I wasn’t too happy about this as we had only replaced this part just before leaving Australia. Poor Rosie. She now had no rear brake and no speedo. The only two things we had replaced on this bike too.

Soon we were back on the road and heading for the Tetons. We slabbed it out on a bitumen highway, passing through farm land and only stopping to watch a crop duster fly under powerlines and to have a lunch break.

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We had to pass over a huge pass with a 10% decline for miles and miles on the other side. I was worried about Chantelle having no rear brake so we made our way down very very slowly. Poor Rosies front brake was red hot by the time we flattened out but we made it quite safely.

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I found a hardware store and went in to see if I could find a threaded rod long enough to make a new brake rod. It was a long shot that it would work but worth a try. I found some rod and bought a handful of nylock nuts and washers also.

Then we were out of Idaho and into Wyoming! Chantelle was really excited as she has a strong desire to be a cowgirl and live in an old western style town.

We lined up at the gates to the Teton National park and joined a long, long line of vehicles snaking slowly along a very poorly maintained road. We had a few glimpses of the mountains but nothing substantional.


C – I was excited about entering Wyoming and as we had been riding towards what we thought were the Grand Tetons all morning, it was exciting to enter the park. The views of the Tetons didn’t really get any better than the road heading towards the park. The ride was lovely through the park though, but the business of the park gave us a hint at what Yellowstone might be like. We left the Grand Teton National Park and entered the national forest, heading for Yellowstone.

T – We rocked up at the gate to Yellowstone fairly late in the arvo. We had been hoping to camp inside the park and try to make it to some of the sights early in the morning before the hordes of tourists showed up. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Every camp ground was full.

We checked our maps and found a back road out into a National Forest just inside the Idaho border. It was only 20 odd km’s away so off we went.

We passed campground after campground. All were full.

Finally we managed to find a sloping site at the edge of a lake and threw our tent up before someone else came along! Woohoo!


I pulled Rosies rear end apart and bent up the new threaded rod in a similar shape to the old one. I had to try to cut the new rod with a pair of pliers and an axe to get it to the right length but eventually….success! After a quick spin up the road and back Rosie had a new working read brake rod!

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C – I was super impressed with Todds bush mechanics skills and was much more excited about riding off road and down passes with a functioning rear brake!

Whilst we had a naked Rosie, it was time to inspect the panniers. The rough roads over the past week have taken their toll on my poor ol’ girl!


T – We then attended to Rosies ripped pannier straps with some zip ties making her as good as or even better than new again.

Finally with all the bits zip tied, axed, pliered and bolted back on we scoffed some tucker and were off to bed. Exhausted.

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Tomorrow we go for Yellowstone. We have set the alarm for 5am to give us an early start.

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2 thoughts on “Rosie brakes down

  1. Jax

    I can send you some yellow panniers… ya can’t improve on perfection 🙂

    • tncpowell

      Do you know how tempting that is…..especially those new version ones……

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