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Old 09-20-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
Wy'east OP
Dust in the wind...
 
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Stuck in Levant
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Walked away...

Probably a few things to learn from this...

This was my first really big "get-off" after having rode for several years. This happened June 16, 1996 though it could have happened yesterday, it still sometimes seems like it. Talk about moments in your life that will define you...

I left work to go eat lunch. Beautiful sunny Summer day. When I was retuning, ridding down the road (the right lane, nearest the curb/sidewalk side), I saw a car in front of me. BTW, all of this "thinking" happened in a split second. Something occurred to me as odd, I was looking at the front of the car and not the back. Wait, It's coming at me, not away. WTF! Where do I go? Can't go right, there's a curb and a fence - won't make it. I chose to go to the left. Lots of room there. That was good until the driver realised his mistake and went there too.

I knew we were going to collide and it was now out of my control. A split second before I connected with the bumper I pulled my hands in, crossed my arms across my chest and tucked my head in. The next thing I know I'm opening my eyes and I'm elevated (about 5 feet?) in the air and not in motion. Mass confusion sets in momentarily... where am I?... why am I in the air?

I realise that I'm on the roof of the car on my back. Head facing front, legs rearward. I start that "systems self-check" (some of you know what I'm taking about). Pain in the neck, can I move my head a little? Ok. Pain anywhere else. No. Ok. Fingers moving. Yes, Ok and so forth on down the list. Finally I make the assessment that I should see if I can get up. Up I go. I'm now standing on top of his car and a few more "self-checks". I'm not bleeding out and nothing that I'm aware of at the moment is broken or out-of-place.

I definitely classified this accident as a near-death experience, but there was no "life flashing before my eyes" or "tunnels of light". It was just one moment you are here and then in an instant you are there with no recollection of how exactly you got "there". Bizarre.

I jump down on to the hood/bonnet and down to the street. The car is partially on top of my bike, total loss. Now begin the questions...

The driver was white as sheet. He thought he killed me. I would have too. I had to tell him to sit down several times. I thought he was going to pass out. The driver, was from Spokane and was not familiar with roads in Portland apparently, but he was still from the US so driving on the right-side is to all accounts, standard practice unless you're from Spokane maybe. He was driving on the wrong side of the road and was "somehow" confused. He saw at the last second and swerved to avoid me, informally meeting me.

After the impact, I gather I slid up the hood and smashed in the windshield of his car with backside my shoulder - evidenced by the shards of glass imbedded in my Langlitz Cascade - a jacket I still wear to this day among others - and some light shredding. There was no indication on the helmet that my head contacted any part of the car, thank goodness.

I was busy making calls on a borrowed cell phone, trying to get a friend over to help me out. By this time the police show up. The officer is looking under the car for me and can't figure out where I went. He sees me and the first thing out of his mouth is, "I've seen people die from less that what you went through." Thanks officer.

As I'm looking around snapping pictures (BTW you should always carry a camera with you, my friend brought it) I hear a kid tell his dad, "...that's one tough mother-fkr..." . Thankfully for me they saw the whole thing unfold and they too thought I was a goner. I just felt damn lucky having, for all practical purpose, just walked away from this mess.

My friend showed up with a truck and we loaded the bike on it and went off to the hospital to get checked out. Didn't want to go to sleep and not wake-up.

One of the hardest things I ever had to do up to that point in m life was to tell my parents I was ok.

The hospital "inspection" revealed that all was well and that only damage apparent was an impact to my groin unbeknownst to me at the time of the accident. From what I could ascertain, my crotch caught the windscreen on the bike and ripped it off. My whole groin was purple. For days afterward my girlfriend at the time was quite skittish, but in the interest in recovery and science all was found to work quite satisfactory. It wasn't until a few years back when I wanted to have kids that I found out I was shooting blanks. Everything is there, it just wasn't getting out. Doctors suspected a blockage. Was this a result of the accident? Nobody can say for sure, but it the chance is there. On the upside, my wife and I had two kids. We just had to "circumvent" the blockade, and went IVF.

The weeks following the accident, I had nightmares and anytime I heard a loud crash/bang I jumped out of my skin. In time it all went away.

The insurance company eventually settled for what I wanted. I would have liked more, but the injuries that I apparently suffered at the time were not sufficient to warrant it.

I got another motorcycle a few months later, a Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk I that I always dreamed about, and climbed back up on the horse.


The black circle around the glass and oil spot above is where the impact occurred. The driver moved his car over to the side.








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Wy'east screwed with this post 09-20-2012 at 06:18 AM Reason: minor spelling errors
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
74C5
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Glad you weren't hurt worse. Your groin probably hit the tank. Very common. Probably two dents in it from your pelvis.....also very common. Tall gas filler caps are also dangerous.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
gravityisnotmyfriend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Cairo View Post
my crotch caught the windscreen on the bike and ripped it off.
Ripped your crotch off?!?!

Oh you meant windshield.

Talk about your dangling participles!

I'm glad yours is still dangling.

Glad to hear you survived. I can't imagine being able to walk away from such an impact! Tough mutha effa indeed!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
rboett
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wow! 10.0 for your dismount!
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
Wy'east OP
Dust in the wind...
 
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Stuck in Levant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74C5 View Post
Glad you weren't hurt worse. Your groin probably hit the tank. Very common. Probably two dents in it from your pelvis.....also very common. Tall gas filler caps are also dangerous.
The tank was actually in an "unmolested" condition, guess I'm not sufficiently endowed. Pelvis was ok to. Funny you mention the tall filler caps, the tanks on my XL350R and XL600R always concerned me a bit. Only went over the handlebars once on the 600, caught a rut hidden in the grass that jerked the front end sideways - I imagine it's like that getting a front wheel caught in some streetcar tracks. Nothing but a bruised ego from that.

When I was living in Los Angeles, I had just crossed Melrose heading south on La Brea and had somebody swerve into my lane sideswiping me as a result and ended up knocking the bike out from underneath me. On this I was not so lucky. I went sliding down the road banging my head against the street along the way while watching the wheels of passing cars go by me. I clearly remember thinking, "please don't drive over me..." . That event left me with a 3rd degree AC separation in my right shoulder. My head was ok, but the side of my helmet looked as though a cheese-grater had attacked it and I shaved off a good chunk off the side of one of my boots and ripped open one of my gloves. No pictures of that mess though.

That little encounter unpinned me for a while. It took a better part of a year or so to recover from the near-dislocation and to get my head straight so-to-speak, for me to get back on the bike full-time.

After 27 years of riding mostly street, I can't stress how important it is to wear the proper gear. Worst case, you get to the hospital with all your parts still with you contained inside your gear. Best case, you go home banged-up. You don't wear the gear, well good luck with that, picking the bits out of the asphalt.
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Wy'east screwed with this post 09-20-2012 at 02:40 PM Reason: formatting issues
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
marine_mike
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Actually if you look at the hood, you can see the huge dent from his balls of steel. Glad everything worked out (both walking away and being able to have a family)
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:29 AM   #7
_Davi_
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Glad to see the hi viz helmet (like mine) did ya good!
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:30 AM   #8
NJ-Brett
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Glad you made it.
I think I would have bailed right onto the sidewalk.
Dodging to where the car SHOULD be is always risky.

That does not look like a high speed road, and wtf was the fool doing totally on the wrong side of the road???
It does not look like the kind of road where its easy to make that mistake.
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