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Old 06-10-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
korie
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Default picking scabs for the next week: lesson learned.

First off- thank you all here for the help over the years.

Second- I am fine. Healing a bit, but just some scrapes and bruising. And some damaged gear, but that is fine by me.

And on with the story: so I head out to the shop I work at to draw the koi for yesterday's appointment. Beautiful day and I start up the bike (2007 fz6) to let it warm up. Kiss the girlfriend and get things moving. Throw the Vanson jacket on, look at the gauntlets and think, "nah- I wear them all of the time and I really don't feel like drawing with sweaty hands when I get there today." So I put the arai helmet on and I am on my way.

Heading up the route I exit off onto a one way road. This is route one north with a speed limit of about 30-35 in this zone. Well- you have to cross over really fast to catch the first exit to the left to make the turn around and head southbound and I ALWAYS look very well for the merging possibilities. Hey look! No cars at all! Now this is the most exciting part of my ride to work. This exiting ramp that is one way is a speed limit of about 30. I LOVE cornering on this bike and take this exit at about 45 +/- (one time I did about 55 but I never like to go too fast though it is very possible). I get into position and gear down one. Lean what I thought was damn perfect, and I am totally committed into this turn. Leaning and looking through the turn: a car is heading right towards me on the ramp. He is on the wrong side of the road.

Now this is not some silly oops at night or just not paying attention and crossing a line. Full on wrong way for .6 miles! Into oncoming traffic. Of course there are two lanes but with a white dotted line signifying one directional. By the way: it is 11:30 am.

I don't know how the kid didn't realize he was going the wrong way and that his girlfriend didn't see it either. What I do know that is by being as observant as I can be and by practicing safe operations I somehow ate pavement rather than bumper.

Within a moment my instincts grabbed the clutch and brakes as well as my foot getting the rear brake. I believe it was about the same time at least. Luckily I bounced rather than broke. I hit hard on my left at about 45 MPH give or take (I locked up the tired in dry pavement so I may have slowed considerably). So happy about being here.

I yelled at the kid. Didn't feel better. Kept yelling. Wanted to smash my helmet through his windshield. Told him he was going the wrong way. "I didn't see any signs..." was his reply. Probably because you were going the wrong way and You are only seeing the back of them. Check your rear views, idiot.

Which leads me to thanking you all again. After getting the bike upright (I am able to lift it alone) I headed to the shop to draw and check the gear there (I now live about 7 miles from work so I may as well keep going I was thinking).

Damage: helmet has a little scrape. Pretty minor, but I ordered another and it saved a gash in my skull.

Vanson leather: sleeve on left side is pretty nasty. Whole left rib area is scraped up, too.

Jeans: holes worn in and battered a little.

Shoes: They took a beating. Killed the laces and scraped up. Stayed on the whole time due to being laced.

Motorcycle: scrape damage and some cracked and broken parts, but runs tip-top.

Myself: left bottom calf muscle hit hard. Hurts and swollen, but no bruising. Left knee has a nasty scrape. Left hip has an awesome bruise going on. Looks really cool and nasty. Above the pant and belt line I have a scrape. Jeans, belt, and stuff in pocket really helped save some skin. My left upper ribs have some scrapes as well. And my left arm is scraped up on the forearm just under the elbow and I have very minor abrasions on the left wrist on top.

As far as I can see what I did wrong was I didn't wear the gloves. The gear saved me well and I am buying some new gear. I could have been going slower and maybe I could have gone around, but I never would have guessed an oncoming car. If it was a car stopped at the end of the ramp I would have had plenty of reaction time to slow down, but oncoming? Nope.

Expect the unexpected. Believe you will be cut off. Ride like you are invisible for you likely are to most people. And biggest of all: people are mostly stupid, ignorant, absent minded, and will kill you because they are just not paying attention.

If I was driving my car we would both be in the hospital. If I was driving my truck he and his girl would be in the morgue.

I learned that in a few short months I have become a decent rider. I am still very very new at this. In fact I got the call yesterday that I will be in the weekend class for the safety course. After I do that class I will be enrolling for the advanced class. Hopefully I will get that this year as well. Next year will be the intermediate class. I feel I have a decent core, but much more to learn. I keep thinking about what happened on Tuesday and how could I have done better. I know I could not have guessed at an incoming vehicle, but how could I have done better? I have to learn. It will eat me away until I know what I could have done differently and I will only be able to answer this on my own. But I also feel this will make me a better rider as a whole. Of course that is combined with the proper riding training as well...

Thank you all for reading this far and for all of the advice! Sorry for the ramble, too. Strong coffee is my explanation.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
seruzawa
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No matter how many precautions one takes life will always throw something unpredictable at you. You reacted correctly enough to avoid serious injury and that's an acceptable outcome. Be glad you aren't some idiot who wears flip flops and a T-shirt. And you weren't riding some oversized overweight pig bike. Best of all you aren't a quitter.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:42 AM   #3
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I didn't see the word debridement anywhere, that's good. Welcome to the club. Imagine not seeing a lime green bike with a rider wearing a class 2 level 2 vest.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwump58 View Post
Imagine not seeing a lime green bike with a rider wearing a class 2 level 2 vest.
Not surprising since he didn't see the big "WRONG WAY" signs either.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:21 AM   #5
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My cousin Robbie was crashed out by a lady who was going the wrong way on a freeway ramp in LA. His leather jacket had a yellow stripe that matched the one painted on the highway...the color transferred as he slid.

He lived to ride another day, but his BSA did not. Glad you got away easy Korie.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:23 AM   #6
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Glad you're still with us. Any crash you can walk away from is a good outcome, shows what good gear can do. At the risk of sounding cynical I agree with you about our fellow motorists, for the most part blind ignorant pig-headed morons unfit to push a shopping cart let alone drive a motor vehicle on public highways. Best to avoid them as much as possible.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
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Yikes! Glad to hear you walked away. Did the Gendarmes lock the kid up?
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #8
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You don't live in Florida,...do you? Sounds farmiliar that's all.


Making it out alive is all that counts.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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Whew! That was a close one! Glad you made it out in one piece.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #10
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Glad you are ok. In a situation like that riders usually panic & make it worse, or your skills come in & you react properly. At lean a panic stop is very tough to pull off without locking up & that's likely why you went down, but at least you avoided the cage. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you heal quickly.
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