Who: Linsey Fraser
What: Roadside fire
Where: A2 Hampshire
Why: On holiday, supposedly…
Heading to Portsmouth for a week in France, myself riding pillion with Iggy on a hastily borrowed Gilera Nexus 500 – loaded with my favourite holiday clothes. We’re running a bit later for the ferry than planned, so in usual fashion he’s on a mission & riding like he stole it.
Half way to the ferry traffic is at a standstill, filtering becomes the norm for the next half hour. Seemingly irate car drivers start to honk horns, their jealously amuses us. We carry on regardless, or we do until a bike overtakes us. As he squeezes down the side of the Nexus he shouts “Your bag’s on fire mate.” We both do a double quick shoulder check and see a plume of smoke. The pannier is on fire! We look like the Red arrows, smoke billowing behind the big red scooter. Desperately we try to get through the traffic, he spots a side road and dives into it. Both of us are off the scooter before it stops.
As we jump clear my passport drops from the melted bag, along with a pile of my favourite summer clothes. Only the passport survives…and of course his clothes. He’s not stupid, they were in the left pannier away from the exhaust. To add insult to injury he’s taking photos of my misery.
We made it to Portsmouth in time though and I just had time to do a quick supermarket sweep in Marks & Sparks (ironically) to get some horrid clothes to last me a week abroad. We were ready for a pint on the ferry as we arrived on deck, still smelling strongly of smoke and melted Nylon.
Against the odds, we still had a great week touring France but I still remind him to this day…12 years later & I’ve never been able to replace my old faves.
Moment in Time
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