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Old 10-31-2000, 09:33 PM   #71
IceWorm
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

At the end of your story you say,



End result? I no longer ride in a line of traffic and I avoid dumptrucks at all costs. It has been five years since the wreck and my 91 FLHTCU feels good on the road, it is paid for and if it gets hit, they will fix it.



Not me. If I am on a bike that suffers that much damage my worst fear is they will try and fix it. Are you really gonna feel safe on a bike that some wrench jocky put back together? I'll take the factory fresh replacement any day. Have you really thought this thing through?
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Old 11-05-2000, 01:41 PM   #72
BorntobeMild
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - set of principles

"a set of principles" -- lay 'em on me! Savings one's life is only boring to the person who hasn't been in an accident yet.
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Old 11-06-2000, 06:04 PM   #73
devil_clown
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Default Payback

I have seen and have heard of people doing all sorts of stupid things to get bikes to slow down on popular roads. I once ran across LOTS of gravel in a turn on a popular roadway. When I say lots, I mean it was shoveled onto the road. Lucky for me, I was riding with a lunatic that day who got to it first and trashed his bike in time for me to slow down enough not to crash. (Funny, he didn't brag about being faster that day?)Remember this though, if you run across something like that, remember that the person who did it LIVES IN THE DIRECT VACINITY. Why else take the time in any certain area unless you're tired of watching and hearing us scream by? They live there, they did it close to their home. I suggest large quantities of roofing tacks (the big square bottomed ones) and a late night visit to EVERY drive way in a two or three block radius. Yeah, you'll get the neighbors too, but hey, they probably were told about it and had a good laugh. Otherwise, they would have called the Police about it right? Attempted murder is what it is. Oh yeah, after the tacks in the driveways, I highly suggest avoiding the area in anything less than four wheels for a good while. (They get so cranky after four flats and the neighbors . My buddy spray painted GRAVEL on the road with an arrow right before the turn a few days later when we "tacked" the driveways. I think they got the point) The roads do not belong to them nor do they have the right to slow us down. That's what Mr. Law Dog is supposed to do. Ahem.... Anyways, payback is a wonderful thing.



Devil Clown
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Old 11-06-2000, 10:16 PM   #74
Grashopr
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

Sorry about the leg. Although I'm missing some butt-cheek, I can still use all of my limbs, and move functionally correct. Sorry about the legs.



The Grasshopper



aka "Mister No-skin-on-yer-back"
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Old 11-06-2000, 10:27 PM   #75
Grashopr
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Default Repost: The Long Version

I am posting this long version in response to all the mail and interest in this event. Not for the Squeamish!



**** This is the full version of an article posted in early Oct on the Motorcycle.com Crashing Sucks readers forum. There is details that can be traced for all of those who are non-believers, and for those who have been questioning the truth of the story. My name is Phillip Gordon. My Email adds is available here, and pictures of the scars are available. This is the Complete story.





I purchased my first motorcycle in November of 1995. It was a used 1992? EX500. I rode it approx 6 times before the Central Kansas winters shut me down until the end of April. I didn't do any maintenance over the winter, and started riding in heavy clothing until it warmed up in May. On May 25 of 1996, in Lecompton Ks, at approx 2pm, on Highway 1032 (this info is for anyone who would like to check the police records, if possible) I was following 2 cars over a stretch of highway that had recently been Chip-n-Sealed (as we call it in the midwest).

Chip-n-Seal isn't really what it sounds like. It is an cheap way of re-surfacing a road by laying down a thick layer of hot tar, then sprinkling an inch of small rocks over it, then smashing the rocks into the tar with a Roller. The rocks are stuck into the tar far enough so that the road doesn't end up acting like a dirt road, but for about the first two months, the jagged little rocks are sticking up out of the tar, and act like millions of little screw-points. After a couple of months driving on it, the cars heat the tar back up, and crush and round off the rocks until the road is smooth, like asphalt. The stretch that I was riding on was only about 3 weeks old...the surface was like 20 grit sandpaper. The road in this stretch (just south of Lecompton, heading towards the Farmers Turnpike intersection, the I-70 underpass, and the Highway 40 "T" for all you easter kansas buffs) is kind of hilly, at least for Kansas. There are small mounds, about 200 yards apart, that you cannot see over if you are in a valley between them. There are probably a half dozen of these mounds.

I was wearing a tank top, a helmet, riding boots and jeans. I was following the cars at approx 60mph at about 250 yards, just far enough so that when they went over the mound in front of me, I could'nt see them until I peaked that mound. As the cars went over the last mound in front of me, I saw the rear car put on it's brake lights. So I slowed down to around 40mph as I went over the hill.

The car in front was going to turn left into a drive on the East side of the highway, but there was a car coming. The car started to go, to jet in before the oncoming car got too close, but second-guessed him or herself, and stopped suddenly. The car in back slammed on it's brakes. I was coming over the hill, and they were less than 100 yards from me, and pretty much stopped by now.

This highway has no shoulder, and deep ditches, usually complimented by barbed-wire fences to keep cattle off the roads. This particular spot has a 20-foot hill, with a barbed-wire fence about halfway down, and small trees littered beyond that down the hill, and into a grove of trees.

The tires on my little bike were bad when I bought the bike, and had suffered quite a bit of abuse while I learned to do stunts. They had very little tread, especially the rear. When I hit the brakes, I didn't have enough experience on the road to keep from locking them. First, I locked the front brake, which washed the front end. I let off quickly; a reaction from my dirt-bike riding days. I then tried the rear, which had no weight on it (nose-down hill, body over the tank by now); it slid, and I didn't let off. The bike came around, pointing East. I tried to lay the bike down, standing up over it moto-cross style, and tried to stay on top of the bike as to stay away from the pavement. I was now within 20 yards of the rear bumper of the car.

As soon as the left peg of the bike hit the pavement, the bike didnt' slide, it gripped and bounced back up, turning my low-side into an instant-highside flip. This threw me, bare right shoulder first onto the pavement, moving at about 20mph. The contact of the shoulder instantly took the skin, the outer cartilage, and more than an ounce of bone out of my joint. I had stretched my arm out in an attempt to put my hand down, but my elbow hit at almost the same time as my shoulder, shredding all the skin on the outside of my forearem off. I then fell towards my back, my legs were up-hill from me, and I was sliding downhill, on my shoulder-blades and the back of my helmet. I almost flipped over, to where I would have been on my stomach, but I fell back down onto my back, which caused the most damage. I put my hands down to slow myself althogh I wasn't moving more than 5mph, now, but I removed all the skin from my butt cheeks to the base of my neck before my helmet slammed into the bumper of the car, and I ricocheted off, down the hill, through the barbed wire fence, and stopped wrapped around a tree. The tree didn't hurt me, but the barbed wire wasn't fun. I climbed back up the hill and stood, leaning on the rear quarter of the car that I had ricocheted off of. Both drivers of the cars had stopped, the oncoming vehicle had stopped, and there was already a carstopped behind my thrashed bike. I still had my helmet on. I took it off, which was difficult, as the balls of meat that used to be opposite my thumbs, and the meat at the base of my thumbs, as well as the meaty balls at the base of each of my fingers were gone. I had a circular patch of skin left in the middle of my hands, but there was a ring all the way around my hands that was skinless. I went to the bone on the tips of my fingers, and have very odd fingerprints, now.

My shirt was gone. I looked myself over, and thought that my hands were the worst of it, but the driver of the car started throwing up behind me. From here until the end, my details are sketchy, but they do complete the accident. I remember the driver of the first car asking me to get in her car out of the heat to wait for the ambulance, which a passerby with a cell phone had called for. I remember the ambulance personnell strapping me to a back board, and strapping me down, face up, with my back bleeding all over the board. I remember them putting me and the board on one of those rolling stretchers, and sittin me out, under the sun for long enough for my chest to start sweating before putting me in the AC'd ambulance. I remember this, because everytime that a bead of sweat would roll over the side of my ribcage and into a cut, I distinctly remember screaming as loud as I could, and all the sight-seeers (there were over 15 cars stopped, now (it's only a 2-land highway, so everyone going both ways had to stop until the ambulance got out of the way) going histerical. I think that the paramedics were working with the driver who had passed out after seeing my back, but I'm not sure. Anyways, the next thing I remember is being at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence Ks. They took what clothes were left on me off (my pants had been ripped down the back and both hips, the legs were held on by a band of denim around my waist, and the zipper/front pocket area). Three nurses then took me into a sit-down shower area just off the emergency room. One nurse sat me down, and bent me over, with my head between my knees. Another turned on a hand-held shower, and had a white bristle brush, which wasn't soft-bristled. The third nurse held what looked like a turkey baster...kind of like an over grown eye dropper, and another of the brushes. I never got to see what they did with the turkey baster.

They turned the water towards my back to wash it out (I had exposed nine ribs, and had removed almost all of the meat that covered the ribs from the back. I had small bits of broken off rock stuck in the tissue between my ribs, which had to be scrubbed out, there were too many to pick out individually). As soon as the water hit me, I passed out from the pain. Instead of leaving me out (I think they were trying to teach me a lesson) they woke me up, and started again. I passed out again, and they woke me up me again, and I passed out when they started the third time. This time they left me out. I woke up on my stomach. They covered my back by overlapping 4"X6" gauze pads. They then put a gauze pad here and there to cover gaping wounds, like my right shoulder, elbow, and hips. They then wrapped me using regular gauze strip, then covered the whole thing in ace bandage. I looked like a mummy without it's head or legs wrapped.

They gave me Tylenol 3 and sent me home. I was driven home (it was now about 2am) and laid on a hide-a-bed on my stomach to try to pass out. But I couldn't get comfortable. My back wouldn't quit "shifting" on me. I couldn't tell what was happening at the time, but I now know what was going on. If you've ever burnt yourself, or lost large amounts of skin, you know that the skin doesn't just magically reaappear; first, the open area gels over. The "gel" looks kind of like neosporin, just a pinch wetter. Then that gel crusts over, and the skin starts to grow under this crust. The crust turns to a scab, and the scab falls off when the whole thing is done "curing". I was in the "gelling" stage, and the gel was fusing into the pores of all of those 4"X6" pads, sticking them to my back. I laid like this, without sleeping through the next day, and through the next night, hoping that I would eventually pass out from exhaustion. When the second morning came (two days after the wreck), I was taken to a different hospital (St something in Topeka...it's right off 6th street...the name escapes me, right now). This new nurse (just one) unwrapped the ace bandage, and saw that the gel had soaked through the pads, and through the gauze strip that was wrapped around me to hold the pads in place.

She unwrapped the strip, but the pads were so stuck, that they all just hung on my back. She didn't tell me what she was doing, or we would have talked about a different plan (I think she was also trying to teach me a lesson). She grabbed the pads by my shoulders, and just yanked the whole thing off at once (or at least I think she got them all at once), causing me to pass out again. When I woke, I was back on a table, and there were two guy nurses dumping clear liquid out of gallon-milk containers over my back, which was some type of liquid to calm burning..and it worked, but only for about 30 seconds at a time. They then swabbed out my ribs (with big Q-tips this time) and put a huge pad that almost covered my back, but was plasticy on the face, without pores, so I couldnt' stick to it. They also covered the face of it with a gel like Neosporin. They gave me a bunch of Valium pills and sent me back home. I didn't make it to the car. With the valium in me, I passed out in the wheelchair on the way to the car. When I got back to the hide-a-bed, I laid on my stomach from May 27 until Aug 1, when I enlisted in the AF. I left for Basic on Aug 21, my shoulder and elbow were still skin less, and my back had the coloring of raw bratwursts.

My family sold the EX500 to a guy who said he raced them, and wanted it for parts. I don't know where he was from, or how much they sold it for. I lost over 40% of my body skin that day. I still have square edges on my butt cheeks. My hips are squared off. My right shoulder isn't round. My right shoulder and my right elbow have scar tissue covering them. The skin on my back is a different color from the skin on my chest (very odd texture). The strawberry scars on my hips are still there.

I had to be hand-fed by others for 8 weeks after the wreck, until I regained the use of my arms.



After joining the AF, I didn't ride a bike again until 1997, when I bought a DR650 dual sport suzuki. I took the local rider training course, and rode the DR for a whole summer. I then bought a 900RR, which I rode up until last november, when I ordered a Blue Triumph 955i. I picked up the Honda on the first of March, and put over 12,000 miles on it this summer. I low-sided the DR once, on wet pavement (no damage to me, nor the bike), and I crashed the RR practicing wheelies (none of the lessons that the nurses tried to teach me stuck). Damaged one side of the RR, which I fixed myself. No damage to me. The 955i fell over in a parking lot, which I haven't fixed, yet. If any of you would like to validate this information, my name is Phil Gordon. I am an Engineer for Sprint LTD in KCK. I own Digital Designs Airbrush (DDairbrush.com) on the side, painting bikes and helmets. My Email adds is mailto:grashopr@networksplus.net or PnJGordon@netscape.net

The Grasshopper

Phil Gordon
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Old 11-09-2000, 03:29 PM   #76
Yeti100
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

Body surfing on pavement sucks, and hurts even more. The conclusions of the article are 100% accurate, as I crashed twice over the last three years, and never even scratched my (full face) helmets. The leather pants, the jacket, the boots and the gloves took a serious beating. Knee caps hurt, the whole body hurt, but nothing was seriously damaged (besides the ego). Get well!
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Old 11-09-2000, 03:38 PM   #77
Yeti100
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

A receipe for NOT bending clutch and brake levers in motocross:

- take them off the bars

- wrap teflon tape (plumber's) where they mount on the bars

- mount the levers on top of the teflon tape (tight)

In most of the falls, the whole mount will slightly twist away from the damaging blow. It's not 100%, but better than nothing.



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Old 01-16-2001, 07:43 AM   #78
DG
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

I've been riding off and on since 1991. My first bike, (a little Honda NS50 street bike), never hit the pavement once.



I haven't been as lucky with my Suzuki GS500E. I was years out of practice when I got it, and the first week I locked the front wheel on sand turning into my driveway. No real injuries to either me or the bike.



Then the following year I hit a car head-on going through an intersection. I was following too close behind a large truck and thought I had the green arrow. When the truck turned off, I was looking at the grill of a car headded right for me! I had enough time to slam on the brakes, (I was doing a stoppie), and luckily the other car saw me and slowed down. I flew over the front corner of the car and landed on the pavement hard. Luckily I was wearing an armored leather jacket, helmet, boots, etc. I was able to walk away from that one with a very sore hip.



The worst accident is the one I just had in early November. It was a cold morning, but the road conditions were good. My tires had plenty of tread but the rubber compound was getting old and slippery. They're ok once they get warm. Anyway, I was braking down for a turn and locked the front tire. In bailing off I broke both the bones in my lower right leg. After around 2 1/2 hours of surgery I was left with a steel plate holding my fibula together and an external fixator keeping my tibula aligned while it heals. Next week I have to go under general anesthesia again to have the fixator screws removed and a regular cast put on.



Needless to say it's been a long couple of months healing.



I really want to get back into riding again someday, but after seeing how much a relatively minor injury like a broken leg can put a burdon on your life, (not to mention your family), I may not ever ride again.



Everyone's stressing proper riding gear which is great, but I'd like to add that maintaining your bike is nearly as important. If I'd sprung for new tires, I'd probably still be riding.
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Old 01-27-2001, 07:02 AM   #79
silverSTreak
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Default Re: Crashing Sucks - Reader Feedback

I have twin headlights (triumph trophy) one of which I switched to a yellow bulb - that really gets the cagers' attention.

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Old 03-19-2001, 10:36 AM   #80
BlainetheMono
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Well Ive crashed most every bike I have ever owned, but NEVER with a car. My worst was in 1985. I lived at the time in Port Angeles, WA. Been born and raised there and rode my first bike in 1968. When I got my license in 1972 I spent many a time racing up Hurrcaine Ridge road on my dads 1968 Honda CB350. You have to appreciate the road in order to appreciate my wreck. Huuricaine Ridge road goes from 500 feet above sea level to over 3800 feet above sea level in 16.8 miles. Most of the road hugs the mountain range as it snakes its way into Olympic National Park. 25mph ALL the way, with an excellent road, mostly flat with few road anomalies, NO driveways, just deer, Winebagos and an occasional rock or two. And several off camber corners. I thought I owned that road in 1982 running my Honda 900F to red line screaming up and down that road. It wasnt until I bought my 1984 Kawasaki Ninja 900 that I finally KNEW I owned it. Things went well in the summer of 84. Being up and down Hurricaine a dozen or more times. Faster with each run. Hell this was the FIRST bike I EVER wore the front tire off b4 I wore out the back one.....Next were Metzlers. Man I was even faster!!! 19 minutes to the top was the best I ran. Course I wasnt using a stop watch, but 19 mins was awesome.. The following summer the wreck decided to visit me. Near the top, about 5 turns from it, I hit an off camber 25mph left hand corner.....70mph in second gear, nudging just over 7 grand on the tach. Entering the corner I knew I was to hot. I instinctively backed off on the throttle, but to much. Due to the extreme altitude the bike was running lean and with the abrupt closure of the throttle I overloaded the front end. Down she started going out from under me. I countersteered as if my life depended on it, it might have, and the bike crept up for a fraction of a second b4 completley slidng away. I slide with the bike for about 130 feet, then let go as it slide over the cliff. It landed 150 feet down the cliff and lodged itself into a tree. My Jollysport racing gloves had their metal rivets ground off, as did the right side of my Shoei RV helmet. Needless to say not much at all left of the bike. I saved a mirror for posterity. As I stood there with my thumb out, blood dripping down my right shin, I was picked up by a group from Maine, sightseeing up the Hurricaine road. They wondered why a guy in full leathers with a helmet was hitch hiking 3/4s the way up the road w/o a bike. I laughed and told them my story.......dodged yet another bullet..........A few weeks later I attended court, received a $50 fine and that was that. What lesson did I learn?



Never stay up till 3am the morning b4 drinking and partying with friends then expect to be 100% the next morning with only 4 hours sleep..thinking you can tackle one of the most dangerous roads in the country...



Fast forward 15 years. Last year on my birthday my motorcycle group did a ride up Hurriciane. First time on that road with a bike since I wrecked. I told EVERYBODY my story. Told them ALL to be carefull. What happened? You guessed it. A young gal, wanting to keep up with her boyfriend and his friends, got to hot going down hill and threw her bike off another off camber corner. Luckily she was ok but her bike was toast. The Park Ranger told us 3 people a year die on this road. All on motorcycles. I thought I owned it. I was a fool. And lucky to be alive.....





Keep the rubber side down





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