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Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Fatboy on His Side

That day arrived. It was a beautiful November day in the neighborhood and my friends and I had geared up for one of the local toy runs in the Springs. Toy runs are fun and of course, for a good cause. Riding in the local runs is always a challenge because the sheer number of bikes (I think we had about 900) and the slow traveling speeds. All of the toy runs I have done locally are fairly short runs.

If you’ve read my title, I’m sure you are thinking that this is an article about dropped motorcycles. Add the opening paragraph of many bikes and slow speeds makes for a recipe for my story of dropping my bike. While it is a story about when I dropped my bike, it wasn’t at the toy run. I got through that run unscathed and safe and sound. Of course, as mortified as I would have been, there are 900 of my fellow riders that would have been more than happy to get my bike up.

No, my drop occurred after the run. I wanted to get out and ride a bit more. My riding time is quite limited and I will take advantage of riding every mile I can. I set out after the run with no destination in mind. I was out alone since my girlfriends wanted to hang out with the other bikers. I headed out west to Woodland Park.

Since it’s up in the mountains, I got a bit chilly. I decided to pull over and put another layer on. Finding a spot on the side of the road was not a problem; there was a new residential neighborhood with a wide turn in. Looked like a good place to stop.

As I pulled in, I noticed the ground had a bit of a slope, so I noted the angle and found a spot that looked safe. Boy was I wrong! What I didn’t realize was the ground was covered in asphalt gravel that I didn’t see it until it was too late. As hard as I tried to get good footing down, I couldn’t. Over I went. Seeing that it was a futile battle to stay up, I let the bike down as gently as I could and hopped off to safety.

Clutch and Chrome has an excellent article on picking up a dropped bike. The humor is right there as well. I am well schooled on picking up dropped bikes and can pick up my V-Star (yes, I dropped it too). Unfortunately, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get the Fatboy up. I still couldn’t get the roadway clear enough to get good footing. Combined with the slope of the ground; the bike was over the apex of the angle and I just couldn’t get enough leverage to pick up my Mr. Chubbs.

So I sat on my bike, waiting for someone to stop and rescue me.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a long wait as a nice couple stopped and helped me pick my bike up. They were really great and stayed with me to make sure the bike was ride able and I was able to crank it. Fortunately, the only damage I had was the clutch lever, the clutch lever housing and minor road rash on my derby cover.

I was pretty shaken, only because I was in a situation that I couldn’t fix myself. Had the Fatboy been over on its side on flat pavement, I know I could have righted the bike. It just wasn’t the case for me on that particular day..

I was able to ride it home and get the parts necessary to do the repairs and was out again the next weekend.

Thanks, Laurence, for the reminder on how to pick up your bike. It’s an important lesson to know. Like “they” say…it’s not a matter of dropping your bike, but when.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine


Biker Betty said...

I can just imagine the feel of mortification as I read it, as most of us have dropped our bikes and totallllyy know how that feels. I had it happen in a gutter, in front of my friend's house, in the rain last spring.

I had no problem parking it, but later when I went to put in into gear to leave, the right slopping ground and my short legs spelled disaster. It was slow motion, as down I went. Due to the angle and the curb, I couldn't jump out of the way and got caught under my bike (Ouch). Luckily, I was able to wiggle out. I couldn't get my bike up because of the angle and the rain falling. The bike was slippery.

I had to knock on my friend's door and, with embarressment, ask for help to get it lifted. Her husband didn't approve of motorcycles and that just made it all the more embarrassing. I now know to watch the slope in the gutters in front of houses when parking. One of the many things I am learning or will learn in the future. I'm glad you are okay.

Keep Safe, Betty

Vinod said...

I'm glad there wasn't much damage. Nice blog you have here! And I like the template! ;-)

Christine said...

Thanks, to the both of you!

Like the template, wonder why *winks*...

Steve Johnson said...

There's an old saying: there are two types of bikers, those who have fallen, and those will who fall. Glad to know you weren't cruising in 5th gear at time.

I stopped using those brake rotor locks because I kept forgetting to remove them. I tried to take off one time with it on, and came to an abrupt stop, and lost balance. And did that in front of other bikers. Just my luck.

Christine said...

Betty, it DOES seem like slow motion!! Don't be embarrased, either, it happens (as Forest Gump says, LOL). Looks like I'll have to show you how to pick the bike up.....I can pick my star up, you can pick yours up!

Yes, Steve, I'm certainly glad I wasn't in 5th gear! Having a fall with a disc least the lock is doing its job....keeping "someone" from riding off with the bike! Unfortunately, I hated to see it was you!!