About 5 weeks ago I was riding with a buddy on an oil lease in North Texas. We had been on some boring, flat gravel roads. One road turned on to another and so on, all in a kind of grid pattern. I had ridden gravel roads a lot, I had knobbies on the GS, and we were loping along at 30-40 mph in pretty relaxed fashion.
My buddy up ahead comes to a T and turns right. Yet another flat boring easy right turn. I have plenty of time to make the turn. I have the bars rotated upwards a bit for when I am standing, although I take the turn seated. GPS says I was doing 27 mph.
I thought the bike was straight up as I pull the front brake to slow the bike before starting the turn. I remember that front brake well because in a split second later I am getting a close look at the front wheel which seems to have tucked and dug in. An instant later I hit the ground shoulder first.
Neither I nor the bike seem to slide. Its like I was made of Velcro. The bike and I are side by side with me "above" the seat. After what seemed like a whole lot of screaming I find myself in a crumpled up ball.
It takes 30 minutes to get an ambulance, and at least a miserable 30 minute ride out. X-rays at the first hospital showed 8 broken ribs, 5 of them twice, flailed chest syndrome (because of all the broken ribs), broken collar bone,
broken scapula, and a punctured lung. That led to another ambulance ride to a second hospital, a day in ICU, and a few days in the trauma ward, followed three weeks later by surgery on my shoulder and another day in the hospital.
Now it looks like this:
Two weeks from now I start 2-3 months of therapy on my shoulder.
AS best as I can figure, I had gotten too comfortable on the bike. Being seated with the bars rotated up had the effect of increasing the effort I had put on the front brake, causing the front wheel to lock up (ABS off), the front wheel to tuck, and the bike (and me) to hit the ground hard. I had absolutely no time to react which troubles me. I had taken the BMW off-road school a couple of years ago where we practiced locking up and recovering a locked front wheel. Well that didn't happen.
I am ATGATT, wearing a BMW Rallye 3 jacket, with CE rated armor everywhere including the shoulder. I am left wondering how much this armor did for me. I will say that I didn't have a scratch on me (but some seriously nasty bruises) beyond all the broken and punctured stuff.
So as I sit around healing I am still shocked at how fast it happened and how much damage was caused for the speed I was going. Is my internal calculator off, or would you say this is what you would expect? I know people get killed for less, and others walk away unscathed from a uglier crash. I am just trying to figure out where on the scale I come out. I love riding, but if this is the price I have to pay for the next off then maybe not. I also want to make sure I know what happened so I don't do it again.
Thanks for reading and I welcome any thoughts on this.