News Update, January 29, 2005
Four months ago I never would have guessed that after my crash things could be better than the day BEFORE I crashed. Well, with wounds healed, hassels resolved and lesson$ learned ... I just bought a SWEET yellow '00 VTR to replace the '98 VTR I'd introduced to a concrete barrier on the Duffy last September. This bike, bought from a friend, had always been the only bike I'd ever want if ever I lost my own. And, oddly enough, this bike happened to be riding just ahead of me on that bumpy September morning. I was glad when it stopped for me then, and happier yet that it's stopped a 2nd time - at my garage .
Now to the original first post of this thread:
Thought I'd better post-up this bit of news before somebody else creates a 'Rider Down' thread based on the visuals they rode past without knowing the "good news" side of the event...
In short, it was me [on the red VTR] who went down on the Duffy yesterday in one of the infamous hair-pin curves just north of Mount Currie. I low-sided, hit the concrete barrier hard and whether my bike's a write off or not, [unknown at the moment] I DID get up and walk [or limp] away. My gear [full leathers, good helmet, sturdy boots, a spine protector and tough gloves... all being toast now], did its' job very well during the crash. Above all, my friends did a fantastic job after the crash, not just in managing the scene & the practical stuff, but in managing me from the moment of the crash until long after the adrenalin ran out and I "got" what had happened. "Thank you" barely covers it...
This morning my body's a lil' worse for wear . The nice people at the hospotal tell me I have two badly sprained wrists, two badly spained ankles, torn ligaments in my legs & shoulder, a fractured elbow and a broken toe. Yet I wanted to post this up cuz in a season of countless 'Rider Down' threads, my experience (and injuries) could have been a lot worse. On balance, it wasn't as bad as the skid marks along the concrete barrier might suggest. Point is: yes I went down, but I'm up again.
I've always been of the opinion that we're all 'newbs' in that we're always learning [sometimes from mistakes]. So I have no problem putting myself out there as an example of the need to not just keep learning but to not consider knowledge as something you can switch 'OFF or ON'. In my case, I switched it OFF ...
Only a minute before going down I had been fiddling with my loose tank bra as I rode, refusing to stop and fix it properly. "I'll fix it later". Bad decision. I went hot into a "20kph" turn, hit gravel and just when I needed the precision of experience... I slid -so slightly- aside my tank, low-sided my bike, and rode along a set of concrete barriers. It could have been so different: when that definitive split-second came, the one where I was supposed to be carving a clean line but alert for gravel (etc)... I found myself instead managing the best I could in a worst-case scenario: letting the bike take more of the impact of the crash than my body. It sure did. I couldn't believe my stupidity - or the amount of damage a low-speed low-side could do. After 30+ years' riding, accident free, multiple courses, great gear, and a [now doubtful] degree of skill, simply: I was "OFF" and unknowingly gambled away split-seconds I couldn't spare (ie: a fixed bra wouldn't have stolen the split seconds I really could have used when I hit the gravel. Fine. Lesson learned. SkipTkt Down... and Up Again .
Ride Safe. Or at least safer than I did.