If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Down the Pan

Well, the Pan is sold. It has been on an eBay auction which ended last night. There seemed to be a lot of interest, with over 60 people watching it and lots of enquiries, and the bids came close to the reserve price quite early on, but there was no last-minute rush and at the end there were only two bidders, both of whom had been in touch before. One guy bid in the last 20 seconds, reached reserve and it was sold.

I now have full payment in my Paypal account, which is good in one way, but a hassle in another. For one thing, Paypal have creamed off about 4% of the payment in fees, so that although the price it sold for meant I was better off than if I had part-exed the bike, after the fees I am slightly worse off. For another, the large payment means that Paypal have put a restriction on my account (quoting anti-money-laundering regulations) and I have to go through a few hoops with numbers on bank statements and the like before I can withdraw the money. (There is also the haunting spectre of Paypal Chargebacks, which I had never heard of until Paypal told me they were still possible, even though the guy had paid in full, and which will no doubt cause a bit of anxiety until 120 days have passed and a chargeback is no longer possible.)

The White Rhino is now waiting to be picked up by a courier and whisked off back to the frozen North, whence it came. The name comes from its appearance, which is stylishly brutal, a bit like one of those white plastic soldiers in that space film, and partly from a phrase in Bike magazine which stuck in the mind: a bike they had on test was so fast "it was like a charging rhinoceros with a spear up its bum."

I'll be sorry to see it go, in a way, but I have really developed no affection for it, merely a lot of respect for its capabilities. I've had bosses like that: great respect for what they do, but no feelings of friendship. In this it is, I think, unique for me: with all the other bikes I have owned, I have formed some kind of emotional attachment. Some have been genuine affection, as with a faithful dog; others have been frustration. But there was always a feeling of a kind of bond. The Honda always sat there, as efficient as a washing-machine, but about as thrilling.

So, a last shot of the Pan:

And a Star Wars Trooper, for comparison:

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