March 09, 2003

Oh-oh .......problem

Early morning � donned my gear � wheeled her out the garage and down the drive � climbed on board and pressed the starter button � nothing � not a sausage. A press on the horn confirmed my thoughts as it let out a pathetic whimper � I had a flat battery.
The neighbour�s curtains were still drawn. They were still asleep. Nobody saw me as I wheeled the bike back up to the garage to perform surgery with the side panel to get at the battery. She started first time as I connected her up to my car.

Surely the ride the previous day didn�t drain it even though I had headlights on full (as usual). I smelt a problem but couldn�t be bothered to look deeper � I needed a fix and off I rode into the morning air.

I hit the B roads and country lanes this time and soon found that whatever tyres I had on my bike gripped the road well � no problems there. The torque is quite incredible and I think I learnt today why the Pan is such a popular tourer. From 40mph in 4th I wound her back and was touching 100 plus without a groan � this is what this bike does best (where�s the cruise control?)
Taking the country bends (I was going to say �dropping her into the bends� but I am not that confident yet) was the same story and she coped admirably with all I threw at her. The brakes did give me a few scary moments as I battled to stop/slow down the beast in time but I guess I will get use to them. I do forget sometimes just how fast I am going.
Before I knew it I was back home (after doing just one more ride round the block) and in time to make the wife her breakfast.

By noon I was itching for another go and did a second ride and another 40 miles round the Derbyshire countryside. The petrol gauge has visibly moved and that reminded me to set the trip meter when I fill up to check the 200+ miles I can apparently get from a tank full.

I saw a lot more bikers this time, all out for a play on their toys, and I tried, successfully I think, to look like I had been riding my Pan for ages. She was growing on me and I squeezed my thighs on the tank in appreciation (read into that what you will !!)

Until the next time � battery permitting

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