Yes the old Pan Euro got a shock – and so did the wallet when a new Nitron was ordered and duly arrived Friday morning.
It was a job for the quickfit fitter and soon it was in there – smart as a rat up a drain pipe..
No fiddly setting up required either as it had been specially built for the rider’s weight – plus a wee bit extra – just to be on the safe side.
Even pushing the bike off the centrestand was more of a pleasure. No more squish squish or boing boing – instead the back wheel hit the deck and settled nicely.
I was looking forward to testing her on the road.
Friday night weather forecast was watched anxiously and Saturday looked likely to be the best day but it wasn’t too promising out my bedroom window next morning.
A sneaky peek from behind the curtains saw wet tarmac with the temp just above freezing. Our promised sunshine was still hovering over Northern Ireland.
No worries – by the time chores were done and bike gear on – blue skies had arrived from the west and that was the direction I pointed the big Pan.
If ever there were roads to test a shock they are to be found in Wigtownshire and that’s the way I was headed. The bike was a pleasure to ride on the twenty five miles of A75 and even more so after turning on to the undulating twisties that run down to Wigtown.
The little track with grass growing down the centre that leads to the Wigtown Martyrs Memorial above the town is well hidden but I have local knowledge from a previous life and the track is still there.
It was well worth the visit for the views across town to Wigtown Bay and beyond.
Next port of call was to be Port William on the other side of the penninsula but a large herd of Jersey cattle stopped me in my tracks before I reached there.
They are lovely docile animals. The first time I saw Jersey calves as a boy over in Berwickshire I actually thought they were deer. I had no idea cattle could be so delicate and bonnie.
Must have been a hundred or so – but I didn’t stop to count ’em.
Instead I trundled down to Port William and must confess I did manage to ground the centrestand on a nasty bend which had a vicious dip at the apex.
It was the sort of touch down that would have delivered a sphyncter shredding grr-aunch with the tired original shock but today the Nitron kept things in check. The controlled scuff was just a gentle reminder – if it was needed – that the chubby ol’ Pan isn’t exactly a modern sports bike in the handling stakes although – now with the new shock she does give a good account of herself till she runs out of ground clearance.
We said ‘hello’ to the old boy by the harbour – a big mistake. Once he starts reminiscing you are here for the duration.
His old dog has heard it all before – many times – and just switches off.
I wished I could and went off to show an interest in the signpost that gave directions and distances to all sorts of strange places. Three thousand four hundred and fifty miles to New York for instance.
Well – not strange places if you live in them but not what I expected to find on the shores of Luce Bay.
And what shores they are!
Best of all there is an ‘interesting’ road that skirts the shoreline – just don’t look over the wall at the rubbish dumped there. A frustrated owner of an old Dyson vaccum cleaner had spread it’s innards with other litter all over the clifftop heather.
A case of life imitating art – or – perhaps Damien Hirst really did park in this small layby overnight in his motorhome while on his way to the Wigtown Book Festival..
Best to concentrate on the twisties instead – they are magic – especially with the new Nitron shock controlling the rear of the bike as a decent Sports shock should.
I ended up in Portpatrick where I bumped in to an old Busa riding aquaintance with some guys from places north who I have ridden with before. It was nice to catch up and even sketch in vague plans for some future ride – as you do 🙂