Finally Went Down!
August 30, 2009 at 2:59 am #3363
…and got up with a smile on my face!
Well, I finally grounded my SV after a month of issue-free rides on my first bike. I remember practicing over and over to not target fixate, to watch the route, not the hazard. Well, I went out on a new set of twisties this Friday, and found myself very uncomfortable with the road conditions. They were just crap roads, with layers of pavement peeling off, patches of rubble on the road, pavement washouts and dirt off the side of the road with no “accident” lane. Not to mention cliffs with no barricades! It’s a small canyon road here in AZ that leads to a series of lakes and it’s a technical road even for experienced riders. It has one lane of traffic for each direction divided by a double yellow. It was the unfamiliar road conditions that made me nervous…which in turn made me unconfident…which in turn made me forget about not target fixating and instead fixate on the dirt looming just inches away on a 160 degree hair-pin turn. When I knew I wasn’t making the turn, I straightened out and SLOWLY applied the front brake in an attempt to stop before the dirt (no emergency braking since the road already had dirt on it). When I hit the dirt on the side of the road I just watched the front wheel squirrel out at 30 mph. Assessment: busted fairing, foot brake gone, minor twist in the forks, crazy blinking red lights on the dash, scratches everywhere on the right side of the bike except on the crankcase…where it had landed on my foot (I took one for the team lol)
But, I’ve ridden bikes in worse conditions, and deemed it rideable. I road my busted up SV to the people hospital (I wanted to go straight to the SV hospital haha) from the scene, about 30 minutes away, where they discovered I had fractured my tibia.
“OHHH, So THAT’s what that tickle in my ankle was on the way back.”
Said and done, I’m honestly very glad it happened. This will give me a chance to take her apart without feeling guilty (something I wouldn’t have done otherwise), learn a TON about my bike and more importantly learn from my mistake. I’m thinking I’ll morph her into a streetfighter! I say a busted ankle is getting off easy, especially for a crash that was just feet away from unguarded cliffs. My first broken bone in my life, and I can’t think of a better way to earn it!
I just want to remind the beginner riders out there that no matter how much you have practiced, read, learned or even how long the experienced rider has been crash-free, never EVER ride if you don’t feel comfortable riding. Only ride if you are focused on the ride 100% AND are comfortable with the conditions. So why didn’t I stop? I was riding with an experienced friend (17 years of riding experience) who had just bought a Ducati. Even he had trouble on the turn I crashed on (rear tire slipping out on some loose rock on the road) but his experience and dedication to the turn guided him through. Yes, I basically felt a bit of pressure to stay with him, when I should have stopped and regrouped myself. Bad move, but I’ve accepted that and learned the hard way.
Please don’t apologize for me or my bike, as this was a GOOD experience for me. A heartfelt congratulations would mean more to me than a “I’m so sorry”…
I’m so glad I bought used!!! Stay safe out there guys (and ladies)!August 30, 2009 at 3:32 am #22029MunchParticipant
I just want to remind the beginner riders out there that no matter how much you have practiced, read, learned or even how long the experienced rider has been crash-free, never EVER ride if you don’t feel comfortable riding. Only ride if you are focused on the ride 100% AND are comfortable with the conditions
Best advise yet!
To you sir I hold up my glass and toast to your bravery, and outlook on the situation!August 30, 2009 at 5:54 am #22032
It could have been me in that situation on the road. Coulda been me so many different times when stuff started getting sketchy.
Who knows, it could happen tomorrow to me for all I know.
I think of riding kinda like playing football. You might think that you’re not going to get tackled in the locker room, gearing up, but when it happens, you’re going to want the gear on. It’s not a matter of if or when over a period of time. Every football player is going to get tackled at least once, every biker is going to go down at least once. It’s just part of the game. Wear the gear.
A week or so ago, I printed out “LOOK DOWN, GO DOWN.” with the electronic labeler and put it on my handlebar under the ignition switch. That was every time I start that bike, I have to see it, so I can’t forget.August 30, 2009 at 6:04 am #22033
Also, I hear what you say about riding when you’re not at 100%. Last night I didn’t ride to work, because I knew my mind was going to be spent from work because of the tasks at hand. I drove home. I honestly was so tired (doing overnight) and stressed out still, I made a mistake that could have been a complete failure on a bike.
I was zipping along on my way home, and notice there’s cars stopped in the two lanes around the lane I was in. I slow down a little, mainly because I was worried one of them might try and change lanes without looking. Then it hits the mind when the mind clicks… oh, that’s a red light, and oh, that’s why those cars were stopped. Brake like mad.
It scared me shitless. I’m usually so careful riding my bike or my car, I couldn’t believe I made such a stupid mistake. It’s all about your state of mind. Keep it fresh when you’re riding.August 30, 2009 at 7:52 am #22035
and to you sir, I hold up another dose of percocet!August 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm #22040BenParticipant
Glad you are relatively OK Elias! I broke my first bone in a moto accident too, although I can’t imagine having to ride after I broke it. Pretty badass man
I am curious what type of gear you were wearing since you didn’t mention any road rash. Unfortunately gear doesn’t protect much against broken bones, but it does keep all your skin intact so the broken bones stay inside your body hah!
When you turn your bike into a street fighter my recommendation is to steal a headlight setup from a BMW F800 GS. I think they look crazy cool, like an insects eyes or something.
BenAugust 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm #22047
It’s pretty amazing actually, my gear wasn’t even scratched. I had some blemishes on my Dainese jacket, but my helmet, gloves and kevlar jeans didn’t even get a scratch! Figures though, that after spending $1k on gear, I don’t buy riding boots and that’s what gets hit. Ah well, I deserved it!
It’s funny you say those BMW F800 GS headlights are badass. I was looking at either that one or the Ducati Streetfighter headlights.
I love the look of the compact but angular look of both these headlights. The only thing I am worried about is the problems I can’t see. I wonder what I should be looking for mechanically after a crash.
Anyways, it’s going to be a helluvan experience doing this transformation with my bike. I will keep BBM in the loop.August 31, 2009 at 12:51 am #22052ranetteParticipant
Glad you’re ok and will live to ride again. Man, that’s not a minor fall, any broken bone is a big thing, but sounds like it could have been much worse, so I guess you ended up pretty lucky. Can’t believe how well you’re taking it, if it were me I’d be cursing “I can’t believe I broke my [email protected]#$% leg.”August 31, 2009 at 2:26 am #22057JtownJJAParticipant
I’m amazed you got back on and drove yourself to the hospital!! That’s incredible! It’s great to read through your comments and see your attitude toward it all. The best part is that your here to share the experience with the rest of us. Glad you are ok!
I’ve done all my riding alone so far, but I have my first planned group ride coming up in 2 weeks. Between you and Eon, I’ve got a lot to think about and some insight into what to look out for. Especially my own attitudes of having my own ride and not trying to keep up with the other more experienced riders if I’m not comfortable doing so.August 31, 2009 at 3:10 am #22059owlieParticipant
Glad to hear that neither you nor the bike made it down the cliff the fast way. I understand that sometimes, you just have to laugh at your own stupidity and keep on moving…
Heal fast, and keep us posted on the mods to the bike!August 31, 2009 at 4:03 am #22064megaspazParticipant
good to hear you’re ok as well… although i don’t know about the smiling bit… *shrugs*August 31, 2009 at 6:47 am #22071
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