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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crashing on Purpose

Well, it's been a week. My girlfriend was in an accident last week--she was thrown from a four-wheeler. She's okay, got banged up for the most part.

I have two friends of mine that were involved in a motorcycle accident last weekend. The rider is an experienced rider and I have no problem riding on the back of his bike. His girlfriend is a rider as well and was on the back of his bike.

They were following a Ryder/U-Haul type truck--and had been following them for six or seven miles when the truck signaled right and started to pull off on the side of the road. Suddenly, the driver of the truck decided to make a U-turn in the middle of the road and didn't look.

My friend had a choice: T-Bone the truck or lay the bike down. He laid the bike down. Let me tell you, doing this at 65 miles an hour (the speed limit) is not a choice to make lightly. He did manage to get some of the speed off before he put the bike down.

He doesn't remember anything else until after the crash. His girlfriend has more memory, but the details were hazy and confused. Both were airlifted to a hospital in Denver.

Both required emergency surgery--he had a compound fracture of the ankle, hers was a compound fracture of the knee. His surgeon made the comment after the surgery to my friend: "I hear you were trying to be a Hollywood stuntman".

Evidently, when he laid the bike down he didn't have an impact with the vehicle. Instead, the bike passed under the truck. Not only was there no impact with a vehicle, they managed to avoid getting run over as well.

Both are extremely lucky; beside brusing, road rash and broken bones, they are intact.

Both were wearing helmets.

I was talking to the both of them and his comment, "there just wasn't any time to do anything".

Certainly, the accident was caused by the driver of the other vehicle. I could go on and rant about the necessity of cage drivers to look--yes, he should have. If it was another car following, it would have been an accident that involved a car. This time it was a motorcyclist.

I'm sure the driver of the truck didn't intend on hitting anyone; certainly not my two friends. I'm not about to turn this into a car vs. motorcycle argument--it solves nothing and creates more hard feelings for both parties.

I will, however, comment on several comments that my two friend's non-riding friends and family members have made--regarding the irresponsiblity of the decision to ride and the self-serving, holier than thou, I told you so attitude that riding is somehow wrong.

"I told you motorcycles were dangerous".

They could have been in their car and the accident could still have occured. People certainly don't see motorcycles, but they don't see cows, culverts, pedestrians, and other cars and trucks on the road either. A cage T-boning a big truck would have been very ugly as well with no guarantees ensuring survival of such an accident.

Basically, there are no guarantees in life. I just want to take this time to remind everyone to be vigilant when riding and driving. Respect all vehicles and understand that each of us has a responsbility to our own safety and to others--respect others, the laws of the road, the laws of gravity, the machine we ride in/on, and the pavement.

I'm glad my friends are still here today; they should be home from the hospital today and in the process of recovering--physically and psychologically.

The rider has the right attitude. Upon seeing him in the hospital bed, he commented--I wanted an '07 anyway--in comment to his brand new, barely made 1,000 miles hard bagger he rides.

Well, his old Heritage is up for sale at the dealership...LOL...

Please, keep the shiny side up.....

~The Rainbow Wahine


ellopez said...

wow, what a sobering story. it is so easy to feel carefree while zooming down the slab. these stories help bring me back to reality that anything can happen at anytime and to be constantly aware. thanks for sharing.

KT Did said...

I am glad they are mending alright. We all have our fun times but its serious riding out there. A good reminder this post is.. Thanks Christine.

Beaker said...

Wow - they are so lucky. Well done in not going down the old well worn "should have looked" road. We as riders must be vigilant ALL the time even when thinking all is ok.

I actually went down a week ago - my first time - and was very lucky. Nothing serious and no-one else involved but still lucky. At least I learnt something if nothing more.

Giest said...

wow! amazing! probably one of the few times where laying the bike down was a prime reason for survival. i'm glad to hear that your friends are ok and that the rider has no intention of giving up riding.