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Old 09-18-2012, 02:26 AM   #1
TUCKERS OP
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Location: Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA.
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My Baja crash 9-12-12

10am-ish we left the Mision Santa Maria hotel just south of San Quintin for a late breakfast at Mama Espinozas in El Rosario. Nice little ride, lovely food, interesting place. We gas up there and decide to ride to Guerro Negro without stopping..210 or so Pemex to Pemex. Great winding roads with elevation changes and fantastic scenery changes. About 50 miles from the first Pemex before Guerro Negro, 4pm-ish, my gas lights comes on. No big deal. I keep one eye on the road and one eye on my speedo/odo. GPS log shows fastest time of the day 125km or about 77mph, no big deal. I signalled Colleen that I needed gas (as if she didn't know) and we slowed down to conserve fuel. In the distance I could see the Pemex sign, looked at my odo 205 miles...looked ahead and thought...."we've made it". Just then a cow steps in to the road about fifty feet in front of me and stops...three things happen in that 50 feet...I say "cow"..I say.."hitting cow"...I hit cow broadside. It's about a 400 pound cow, a small one. I'm on a BMW R1150Rockster. Next thing I know I am landing arse over tit about 100 feet over the cow, all I can think is "relax".."yes it hurts...relax...open your eyes" I am doing forward rolls, I don't know how many, 3 or 4? I hear my bike scraping and then go quiet. I see sky, rough blacktop, sky, over and over. I pat the ground to make sure I have stopped moving and actually stand up. I'm 200 feet from the cow I'm sure. The bike is in the ditch further up than me. I hurt so much from my fingertips to my shoulders I want to shit my pants. Turns out I have a shattered left hand and not much else. Just five breaks in my left hand. My helmet has a big scar, the face shield is gone. My Joe Rocket mesh is shredded. My leather gloves are torn to pieces. My leather pants seams are ripped. My SIDI boots just have cow shit on them.
The front wheel complete with my new wave rotors and new front tire and bottom fork legs are about 30 feet from the bike..curious...the bike is a dirty pretzel lazing on it's side with no front end. Colleen parked her 1150GS up the road and ran back...stunned and shocked...amazed I wasn't dead, she saw it all from behind.
The extraction mission mounted to recover me from half way down the Baja peninsula is a short story in itself.....
lesson is...if you see even one animal, even if it's not so close to the road, slow down..a lot...a real lot...like to 10/15 mph. It's buddies and family are surely around and they have no road sense. Plus hitting a cow will literally knock the shit out of you.
I hurt all over, am black and blue in funny places. YMMV.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
Chuck Pryce
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I wish you a speedy recovery sir.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:57 AM   #3
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Wow, glad to hear you're at least in one piece.

How were the Hamburgers?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
lineareagle
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Betcha didn't think you had it in you to do summersaults at your age!

Hope that hand heals well so you can keep on doing what you do.

Yep any animals around - slow down or stop and let them move along, even the shit on the road is a hazard.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
d.burbach
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What happened to the cow? Was it delicious?
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
DesertRatliff
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First off, I wish you a speedy recovery and hope the hand heals soundly.

I always cringe when I go past the "Face Plant" threads. Never like hearing about or seeing crashes. This one has me curious, though, and I hope you don't mind me asking about what happpend following the crash? What medical attention did you receive in Baja? How was quality of the care provided? What did you do with the bike?

As a fellow Baja rider, these questions have always been in the back of my mind. Thank you for your time, and again, get well soon.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
TUCKERS OP
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the after crash was better than expected.

a private car with husband and wife were behind us at the last militar stop, so they helped. a cop came up he has awesome.
an ambulance came but i wouldn't get in.
the cop took me about 20 miles or so to the emergency room in guerro negro. fortunately we were close enough to a town.
the hospital was not unlike a USA outfit except quicker. no questions asked, they stitched me up, took xrays and temp casted my hand. gave me drugs. the cop escorted colleen on her bike to a motel he also stayed in, and even carried all my luggage from the bike. the hospital billed us $186 and asked for cash. colleen gave them $100 to settle completely.
the bike was towed by the designated yard. on the way back north i looked at it and in my state of mind decided to leave it (for now or later or never?) a single vehicle accident with no other people involved is easier than others. the cop is now our good friend. the motel owner. the restaurant staff.
our son insisted on coming down with a trailer we got from an advrider. he didn't want his mother riding back north on her own. we thought we may put my bike on the trailer too, but didn't.
all in all it was like crashing in the usa in a remote area, no different. the people were awesome.
for future trips i'd say load up on insurance and just do what you would do like when going to alaska.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:50 AM   #8
AceRph
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Holy smokes James. I'm so glad it wasn't worst.

What a lucky day!
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:46 AM   #9
DesertRatliff
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Thanks for sharing. Gives me a little more piece of mind as I had an off on dirt just south of there that was only bad enough to scare the fun out of it for a few days, but definitely had me thinking.

So glad it wasn't worse. Take care
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:14 AM   #10
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First off I'm glad you are okay! I wish you the best for a speedy recovery.

Second it's great to hear your positive story of the folks in Baja, I have been there many times on different ADV adventures and have had nothing but positive experiences with the locals etc.

Cheers, James
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:18 AM   #11
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be sure to clear the paperwork for your bike...

Sorry to hear about your crash. Heal quickly.

I know you have a ton of more important issues right now, but be sure to take time to clear up all your paperwork on the bike. If there is no clean paperwork trail, it can be very difficult to make a border crossing with a vehicle at a later date if this visit is not completely cleared.

There has been a huge problem with folks taking vehicles down to Mexico and selling them without all the proper paperwork. (I realize your bike is probably not repairable, but you may want to make a few calls to make sure you are clear to leave it there for salvage/parts etc. Then follow-up with appropriate paper documentation).

Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
TUCKERS OP
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yeah, i've been involved in not clearing a temp import vehicle paper before when we rode the mainland/mazatlan

on this short trip we didn't get temp imports for baja. i doubt the vehice is on the data base. i'll check next time we go.

we've ridden to cabo and back without temps twice already, and to san felipe without temps a hundred times.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
bajaburro
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lucky

lucky not to be too badly hurt.now the fun part comes in.getting your bike back.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:21 PM   #14
TUCKERS OP
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may just leave it up to the insurance company. we'll see what happens
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