Since my labour-day weekend crash a few things have worked out and a few things haven't. Thought I'd post the highlights:
1. Pre-Crash: I'd been carving corners all day on one of my best rides all summer. I knew I had to to cool it down lest my 24-year lucky streak ended in a nasty crash. The 'warning image' of me crashing didn't over-ride the 'real-time' image of me happily corner-carving. I went down and it's now no surprise. On some level I chose which image to follow. The one I chose happened to lead me into a concrete barrier.
2. Post-Crash Adrenalin let me ride my toasted bike back to Squamish. Since the bike was later written-off, maybe I shouldn't have been on it at all, as friends requested. I was also injured -minor in the grand scheme of things- and today my ankle braces & elbow protector are the only 'gear' I need to wear. But at crash-site I wouldn't listen to my friends' advice to sit down, not ride, or consider the possibility I might have injuries I wasn't yet aware of. I declared I was fine and rode away... and spent the next day in the hospital, then 5 days unable to care for myself, 7 days unable to get around, 8 days off work and 3 weeks unable to drive. If you crash, let others do the thinking for you.
3. ICBC: It's all been said and it's all true. F'm. I got a small fraction of what my bike was worth. The amount I'd insured it for, the amount I paid premiums on [ie: the actual amount to replace the same bike, no better]... meant nothing. An orderly appeal packet of $9K in receipts for maintenance & bling... nothing. They take an average of 'bikes for sale' ads of your bike's make & model = that's what ya get. Condition and/or Bling not considered.
4. Liens: Always check for liens against a bike before you buy it. I bypassed this step and I regret it. In my purchase agreement with the previous owner I'd paid off a -known- lien against the bike and paid him the balance of the purchase price in cash. Although I have not yet spoken with the former owner of my bike, I believe at that time he sold the bike he didn't know there was a 2nd lien against it. I have/had no reason to distrust him; he was a well-liked & trusted co-worker of many people I consider friends. As it turns out, he -like all of us- at some point, got financing for something and the financing company put a lien on his [now my] the bike without telling him. Finance companies don't have to advise you if/when they put a lien on your vehicle if you pledge 'personal belongings in general' in your loan agreement so there may be a lien on your vehicle of which you're unaware. In my case, since the lien-holder won't release the f'n lien, ICBC wrote a settlement cheque addressed jointly to myself AND the financing company / lien-holder. My share of the proceeds once all is done: $1000. Expensive lesson.
5. Lawyers: This is what lawyers are for. F*ck the $1000. I want all of it. Since ICBC doesn't listen to an insured party's appeal against any lien they find, I've hired a lawyer to fight/challenge the outstanding lien. If all I'm getting is $1000, and the burdon of proof is on the finance company, I'm happy to blow it all on making life difficult -and expensive- for the lien holder. The irony: ICBC's settlement cheque is in BOTH our names. So... the finance company holding the lien won't get squat until I sign the cheque. And I won't sign for $1000.
The Good News:
BCAA Home Insurance covers your gear if you go down. I didn't know this. They also insure bikes, something else I didn't know. I did know the upgraded 'BCAA Plus' membership includes road-side assistance for bikes. If ya think about it, that means BCAA covers everything under your roof and everything under your helmet 24/7.
Everything you ever heard about having good gear at all times is true. Before crashing, I encouraged it. Now... well, I know it.
If you're ridin' too hot on public roadways and ya know it, slow down because the asphalt doesn't care about your riding credentials. Your friends ought not be suddenly divided into work-groups, such as scraping you off the pavement, conducting traffic, gathering together smashed bits of your bike and post-crash decision making. If you do crash, let your buddies make the decisions for a couple hours. If you don't crash, don't confuse your good luck with having just recieved an award to go do it again 'harder' the next time. If your friend(s) crash, be a friend first and a rider second. If you're using ICBC: don't. If you're not using BCAA: do. If you're buying a bike, check for liens.
And... if your doctor's/lawyer's/riding buddies' advice mirrors the advice and warnings coming from your friends' advice, all along and over the years on all these topics: post a thread [here] to say Thank You. My confession is done...