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Old 03-05-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
Ivyleague OP
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Lucky break

Went for a nice ride Sunday 2/23/14, at least most of it. Went out HWY 50 West from Canon City CO along the Arkansas river for 25 miles. Then made a 7 mile triangle at Cotapaxi and headed back home. It was cold, but sunny with blue skies and I had my heated vest and glove warmers. Only a gusty wind kept it from being a perfect day.

Well, that and a rather large rock that fell down the canyon wall. I had been scanning for rocks and sand all day, and there was plenty of the latter. With a quartering wind behind me, I was keeping it to an easy 50 mph and there was very light traffic. At that moment, it was open road, no cars in sight, straight 3 lanes merging into two, good light, CLEAR road and then WHAM, my front wheel went crazy and I lost grip on the handlebars as I was thrown forward. My face shield ricocheted off the windshield to the right as the handlebars went into a short tank slapper without me regaining any grip. The bike high-sided and launched me over the right handlebar, but my right arm must have gotten tangled in the controls, I guess. I did a short flip landing on the right side of my helmet just above the shield and then my back, dragging the bike behind me (or was it pushing me?).

On the explosive impact on the wheel, I thought "what the heck is going on, no warning?" Going over the windshield, it was "...this isn't going to end well." Honestly, those two thoughts, clear as a bell. But I was wrong. When everything stopped, I was on my back, right arm tangled between the handlebar with my hand trapped between the bar and the tank. It was being crushed, but I couldn't move no matter how I pulled. I was on my back with my feet pointed down the road and my right arm pulled up over my head to the trailing bike. Within a minute, a lady's head came into to view and asked what could she do to help. She pulled up hard on the bar and I was free. She is an ER Doc on her way home from Skiing.

We were miles from cell phone service but lots of folks stopped and eventually all the usual suspects came and the ambulance hauled me to the local hospital in Canon City. I could walk and talk, never lost consciousness and was amazed and properly thankful. My last look back from where I came, there still remained a bowling ball-sized rock that had tried to cross the road right where my front tire needed be at that exact time in space. The rock fell hard and fast, catching up to my bike from behind while I was going 50. It it had hit the side on the wheel, this would be a different story. It got right in from of the wheel, blew the tire and put a 4 inch "V-shaped" dent in the wire wheel (Triumph T100), took out the oil fillter, oil pan and bent the frame.

I have a small avulsion fracture in the right wrist, a soft-tissue crush injury mid-hand, a slight shoulder separation, a strawberry on my right elbow, plus a baseball card sized road rash on my left calf. My helmet, heavy gloves, winter textile jacket and pants all did their best in sacrificing themselves for me. I'm sore, but not really that bad at all. Rode my other bike next day on ten mikes of pavement and five miles of dirt road. Ain't life grand:)
Eight days later, I'm hiking, riding my mountain bike (gingerly with wrist splint). Thinking about next bike, figuring i'm on borrowed time as next birthday is #67
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:49 PM   #2
Scott_PDX
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Bad luck - Great attitude!
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
Pansy
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I do love a happy ending!

Funny how the mind works when you're in the middle of a "Face plant."

Glad you got off as lucky as you did! Any pics of the bike?
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:37 PM   #4
bigalsmith101
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Great outcome for a highside at speed! On my trip south, my riding partner and I watched a volkswagen bug size rock fall off a cliff only 100 meters ahead of us at 60+mph. It landed with a massive CRUNCH not 2 feet to the side of a fully occupied family sedan. It stood where it hit, but was scary as all hell.

Atgatt baby!
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:52 PM   #5
Swashbuckler
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I went to high school in Canon City and my father worked in Salida. One day he came around one of the corners to find a bowling ball sized rock in the middle of his lane. He ran right over it and totaled the car as it tore everything out from underneath.

Glad to see you have a great attitude about it. Next time I ride that way Owl's burgers one me!
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:10 AM   #6
Ivyleague OP
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The Owl

Shhhh, don't tell anybody about the burgers. Can't hardly get a damn seat on Saturdays. No real pics, sorry.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:25 AM   #7
kbuckey
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Several years back, heck, maybe ten, I was riding home from work after dark up US40 as it climbs into the foothills in Colorado just west of Golden and north of I-70. I was riding my ZRX. There were two motorcycles ahead and between them and me was a brand new Porsche Cayenne (temp tag). The motorcycles were keeping up a pretty good pace (65-70) and the Porsche driver was hanging in there.

Suddenly all hell seemed to break loose with dust and rocks and shit everywhere. I heard a bang as the Porsche blew a tire and I hit the rock slide. I really couldn't believe I didn't fall down, bend a wheel or blow a tire.

I got off and checked with the Porsche driver, who was OK, but had a few dents in his brand new car, plus the blown tire and I'll bet a ruined wheel.

My bike seemed fine and when I got home I could see no damage other than some scuffing on the tires. I was damned lucky that day. . . .
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:45 AM   #8
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Did you keep the rock? If that had happened to me, I'd make sure I kept that rock around as reminder and keepsake.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #9
Chico
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Interesting story and I'm glad you came out relatively ok.

I had a similar incident on Nacimiento Rd. in Big Sur in about 2003. Coming down the hill, not pushing, but enjoying the turns and the whole bike bucked up into my chest and settled back into the turn before I could even think. I saw absolutely nothing. Turned around and backtracked to find a rock the size of my head in the lane. I thought I had just not seen it but I guess it might have come down the hill into the path of my front wheel. Luckily, I was on a dual sport with strong wheels and nice suspension but to this day, I don't know how I stayed upright after I saw the size of the rock.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:09 AM   #10
Ivyleague OP
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nice riding Chico

Raw skill will only take you so far,but it's the second best arrow in your quiver. You can't beat good luck, but you can't depend on it either. When it's used up so are you....
Plan to go look for the rock, SmithSwede. The ER Doc got me to her car and wouldn't let me out til ambulance came.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
I thought "what the heck is going on, no warning?" Going over the windshield, it was "...this isn't going to end well." Honestly, those two thoughts, clear as a bell.
Glad you're relatively OK. Funny how the mind works. I took a header over the bars two years ago in Harlan, KY. As my bike went into a wicked tankslapper, I vividly remember the bars yanking back & forth and I remember sliding down the road on my backside thinking "I've been sliding for a long time." No memory of why the bike crashed or me hitting the ground. Thankfully I was riding with military guys who know trauma triage. I got very lucky to walk away with just a sprained ankle & some roadrash.

Its the not knowing why I crashed that bothers me the most. That, and the $2500 bill from the ER for 4 X-rays and a Tetanus shot.

/Mike
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #12
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Glad you are OK ivyleague. Good to hear us older guys can hit the ground and still bounce back.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:46 AM   #13
DC2wheels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivyleague View Post
The ER Doc got me to her car and wouldn't let me out til ambulance came.
The ER doctors and nurses I know are some of the best folks around. These are people who can stay calm and cool when all sorts of shit is happening around them.

Looks like you might have used up one of your 9 lives.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:53 AM   #14
Ivyleague OP
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2wheels View Post
The ER doctors and nurses I know are some of the best folks around. These are people who can stay calm and cool when all sorts of shit is happening around them.

Looks like you might have used up one of your 9 lives.
Yeah, I been thinking about that and trying to do some past accounting, but how do you count up "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" Maybe a couple left...
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