I started riding motorcycles I guess almost 5 years or so ago and probably have somewhere between 45-85K miles under my belt. I could actually look at my gas spreadsheets and tell you exactly how many miles, but at the moment, that’s not important.
I’d like to think I’m a pretty safe rider in that I maintain a bubble when I ride and am pretty alert and always aware of my surroundings. I even did a year as Road Captain for PVR when I had a Vulcan. One thing you always hear from the time you start riding is “It’s not a matter of IF you go done, but when.” I admit, that’s always been on my mind so I tend to keep a bit more alert as a result. Now mind you, I have had a couple incidents over the years.
One was when I got a bit loose in a roundabout and my back wheel slid some. Well, I had my daughter on back so with the extra weight it felt as if we were going to go down so I put my left foot down. In doing this it quickly got gobbled up by the passenger floor board and got all twisted up. It was reported by the bike behind us that the rear tire was off the ground so all that weight pivoted on my foot. We didn’t go down though. I even continued the ride on up to RT. 66 for lunch that day. That’s not to say I didn’t do any damage because I certainly did as I found out from the foot doctor a month later when I went to see why the swelling wasn’t going down.
There was another issue where again I had my daughter on back. I wanted to show her a camp spot that her Mom and I used to frequent that I had visited only a week before. On this return trip however, it had apparently rained earlier in the day because there was a bit of mud. We came upon tire ruts full of water so I figured I’d go just to the left. All was fine until I lost a bit of traction and the rear wheel started to slide into the rut. I gave a bit of gas and at that point my tire caught some traction on a rock and sent us into a pine tree. The tree caught my left engine guard and we fell sideways. My daughter just kind of stepped off and I fell with the bike. No speed involved so really no big deal. I tweaked the bar away from my gear lever so I could shift gears and we continued on to Winslow, AZ and beyond.
The “When?” has finally been answered. On 5/22/2016 on my way back from Pahrump, NV at about 9AM down I went. As a result I broke my leg and a couple of ribs as well as bruised a lung. I now feel after these three instances that my left leg is a shit-magnet since it’s always that leg suffering some sort of trauma.
Anyhow, I will say that I am certainly glad I had my helmet. I apparently went for a bit of a tumble from what I’m told but I will same when it all came to rest, I remember that the last thing to hit was my head and it thumped pretty good. I remember instantly thinking “WOW! That was no big deal” speaking of hitting my head. Yep, after that there is no question on the validity of a helmet. Luckily I’ve been wearing one since I’ve been riding so it’s all I really know and riding without just feels odd.
After 2 days in the hospital, I was able to come home. Sadly however, I missed my daughter’s high school graduation by a couple hours as well as a family dinner that followed. To my surprise though, I had a crew of great people show up with a hospital bed and wheelchair to make my homecoming just a little bit more comfortable. After a long ride from Las Vegas, I was ready for that bed for sure but sad to see my folks have to turn around and head back so soon.
Here I am now almost 3 months later and just starting to walk a little in my boot as of a few days ago. I’m very anxious to get back on the scoot to continue down the road as a Prospect and hopefully someday earn my patch. For now though, I just need to get things functioning correctly again and the pool is helping with that. Hope to get the scoot back someday soon, my God, I just want to at least hear her rumble some. Ok and well maybe a quick spin for good measure since I have the boot and all.
With our President going down a few weeks ago, my wife has made it clear that she won’t be back on my bike after these events. Gonna miss her on my rides.
I must say too, I cringe when I see the kid on the corner leave on his bike in shorts and no helmet. My neighbor Josh told me he’s seen the kid with flips flops in addition to the way I’ve seen him leave. I sure hope his “when” is at least in the winter time when he has a bit more protection than in the summer when he is not so protected.