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Old 01-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #55
the Pheasant
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Old London Town
Oddometer: 376
Was tootling along Haydon's Road in SW London recently when I was passed closely and at speed by a scooter rider on a mission. His top box lid was flapping and as he climbed the railway bridge near Wimbledon a plastic clipboard/folder full of documents bounced out. Despite feeling a bit hacked off at the way he passed I thought I'd inform him of his loss at the next red lights, but instead of stopping at them he rode straight on through...

Can't recall a luggage loss of my own, but this comes to mind...

Way back in 1988 I rode to Belgium to see the world cycling road race championships with my wife (then girlfriend) riding pillion on my Kawa KLR600. My friend Adrian also had a KLR600 and turned up at my house ready to roll with a mate of his - let's call him Steve - on his own back seat. Somehow or other I had to find and lend them a pair of throw-over panniers in which to place their baggage. In order to prevent the high-level exhaust from melting the right-hand pannier, we placed an old bunched-up piece of rag between them.

Approaching the M2 motorway on the M25, I noticed that Adrian was not as close behind as he had been. Checking in the mirror, I could not see him and pulled on to the hard shoulder. As we got off the bike, I was able to watch at a distance of some 200m his green machine as it veered onto the shoulder with smoke billowing from the rear. Long before it came to a stop, Steve could be seen to leap off.

As I ran back towards them I observed Adrian and Steve jumping up and down on something in the verge, which turned out to be the panniers. Turns out that Steve had become aware of flames around the underside of his right thigh as the bike cruised at 80mph...

Not sure whether the rag would have caught fire anyway but I forgot I'd previously used it to wipe up a spilt tin of Evo-Stik glue. Amazingly, their quick thinking ensured that only a small hole had been burned in the pannier and most of Steve's clothing (he was given the right-hand pannier) was undamaged. I can't recall how we got around the problem of preventing the exhaust from melting the pannier, but we probably just chucked the rag...

Great race; Maurizio Fondriest won after Steve Bauer put local hero Claude Criquielion into the barriers in the final sprint.
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