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Portlander goes on global tour as mechanic for bike-powered bands

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Mike Cobb.

Portlander Mike Cobb is no stranger to impressive bicycle feats. Whether it’s winning a trackstand competition with a broken arm while being pelted with water balloons, or coming home with three medals from the 2009 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Tokyo, or by simply pedaling a 700-pound capacity cargo trike at his former day job — this man is a professional.

Mike straps a frame together
“somewhere in Spain.”
(Photo by Paul Freedman)

His latest gig? A six month, 4,500 mile, pedal-powered trek through 12 countries as the on-call mechanic for the Pleasant Revolution World Tour. Using a mix of boats, trains and bikes, Cobb joined a rolling crew of 18 people as they played gigs (powered by pedal generators) four times per week. With 12 musicians and five bands among the crew carrying all their gear by bike, Mike stayed very busy keeping everything rolling smoothly down the road.

With money from a few paid gigs, a lot of busking, and a bit of sponsorship money, Mike and the Pleasant Revolution crew camped and played their way through England, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovania, Croatia, Italy, France, and Spain.

Mike just got back to Portland a few weeks ago and he sent over some photos from the trip. What an amazing experience it must have been. Check out the photos below, with captions by Mike himself…

“Some of my favorite road tools. I carried between 70-100 pounds of parts and tools. The parts load fluctuated due to consumption and restock.”
(Photo by Paul Freedman)
Busking in San Sebastian, Spain: “With clean and loud amplified sound and no need to plug-in, we could make 150 Euros in two hours simply by spontaneously busking in the right plaza.”
(Photo by Paul Freedman)
“Part of our 15 cargo bike fleet, sans stage equipment.
(Photo by Paul Freedman)
A performance in Barcelona, Spain.
(Photo by Paul Freedman)
The Amanda Mora band (with Cello Joe on cello) performing on a beach during the World Naked Bike Ride in Brighton, England. “Powered by pedal generators, as per usual.”
In Budapest, Hungary: “Frame repair at a squat. I’m using our battery-powered Dremel tool to carve-out a repair lug from a ground-score muffler.”
World Naked Bike Ride, Towers Bridge, London, England. “Kipchoge [Spencer, co-founder of Xtracycle and founder of Pleasant Revolution tour] performed “Proud Mary” via Live on Bike on this bridge. Clean, loud, beautiful. Sublime.”
In Vienna, Austria: “I spent a day with Heavy Pedals, a cargo bike delivery company. I delivered bread and high-quality sandwiches to businesses.
(Photo by Wolfgang “Höfi” Höfler)
Justin Anchetta and Cello Joe busking in Girona, Spain.

Thanks for sharing this trip with us Mike! Unreal.

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