"I did Not See Him"

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Retired-N-Roamin, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Retired-N-Roamin

    Retired-N-Roamin Retired and Roamin

    Nov 26, 2012
    NorCal - for a while longer... Then?
    Retired-N-Roaming is my moniker and I was living the life… Until about 8:45am on June 26th when a cager turned left in front of me and I spent the next 15 days in the Mercy San Juan Medical Center trauma unit – 6 days in ICU and the rest in a ward.

    Witnesses – an off-duty county Sheriff and others – said that I impacted the car at a speed between 40 and 50 MPH and the impact flung me over the bike and car, through the air for 40-50 feet before I landed and continued on the ground. Me? I remember zero about the crash.

    Luckily, my worst injury is an Open Book Pelvic Fracture - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelvic_fracture#Open_book_fracture

    Other injuries include a fractured right wrist, three fractured ribs, a fractured left scapula and some road rash on my shins. My left testicle was also forced into my abdomen by the impact. And no, after ~18 days I still have no feeling ‘down there’.

    I was wearing my Schuberth C3 - http://www.schuberth.com/en/motorcycle/c3.html - and I had zero head injuries, although I am told I was unconscious for several minutes immediately after the impact. The helmet is of course destroyed, but it did its job and kept my head off the pavement. We'll see if there are any delayed onset injuries, but the point is the helmet did its job.

    I also had on my Olympia three season jacket – all liners out – but with the back and elbow protection in and I had zero upper body rash.

    I had debated whether to wear my Olympia pants that morning or not – and decided against it because it was supposed to be 95º plus later in the day. I opted for jeans and thus sustained the road rash on my shins – deep enough for staples to hold the gashed edges together.

    I was also wearing my Sidi boots and sustained zero foot or ankle injuries.

    I also had on my Olympia three season gloves so there was zero rash on my hands.

    Yes, I know that luck played a major part in my lack of other injuries, but having the gear on also played a positive part.

    Frankly, other than having the screws and external fixtures on my pelvis that precludes me from walking or being comfortable sitting in the wheelchair, the most bothersome injury is the fractured wrist as it is my dominant hand and doing anything – from peeing in the jug to eating with a fork is now a PINA with my left hand.

    Lessons learned – simple. Always expect the unexpected. A regular 2-lane road with normal Wednesday morning traffic – who would have thought that an illegal u-turn by the cager would have happened where it did? I’m told they said that they did not see me because of the sun being in their eyes. Too bad that excuse is not verified by the facts – the sun wasn’t within 45º – right or left – of being in their eyes. It’ll be interesting to see their subpoenaed cell phone records.

    So now I am in the convalescence phase – sitting in the wheelchair with a totally numb ass and right leg. Sleeping in a hospital style bed. Eating pain pills like candy. Desperately wanting to take a crap without laxatives. (Look up the side-effects of narcotic pain killers.) and waiting for the 6-8 weeks it will be before the external fixtures will be removed from my then (hopefully) fully knitted pelvis. Oh, I’ll be left with two screws and a rod permanently installed in the pelvis. I can’t wait to fly again to see if the detectors are set off. :huh

    Once I’ve re-learned to walk and I have my former strength back I’ll make a decision as to whether to ride again or not. But that decision point is still months away.

    IF I do resume riding, it’ll be AGATT – screw how hot it will be later in the day.

    And… I’ll make the front of the bike into a bright light display to help ensure that the on-coming cager has zero excuse for ‘I did not see him’.

    It’s said that a smart person learns from their mistakes. And a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. Be a wise person – for your and your family’s sake.

    Oh, the 1150GS? Totaled!

  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Sep 8, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Really sorry to hear about your accident.

    Very common, U turns and left turns in front of bikes.

    Heal fast and well, and its up to you to figure out how important riding is in your life.
    I can tell you it does not get any better when you get older, those old crash injuries can hurt, and the bones break even easier.

    Some stuff heals up with no after effects, some stuff does not.
  3. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Sep 20, 2008
    backwoods Alabama
    Expect the unexpected. No matter if you are dressed like a Neon Cowboy and the bike is lit up like the Smiling Face of Jesus, someone won't see you.

    At least you are alive and convalescing and have the family. And that is the greatest blessing.

  4. bimmerx2

    bimmerx2 Long timer

    Jun 4, 2006
    DFW area of Texas
    That sounds like a nightmare of a crash.

    I had an unscheduled flight during a track day that ended a lot like yours and came out with some of the same injuries - broken ribs, scapula, partially collapsed lung, concussion and resulting memory loss. Hang in there and realize that we all heal with time. Other than little tightness in my shoulder I'm back to normal (for me).

    Oh, and I totally get you about the effect of pain killers on the digestive tract. I took this pic for our local forum when someone asked how I was doing when I got out of the hospital...


    I wasn't sure which was worse the pain of not taking the med's or the torture of the side effects.
  5. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Dec 6, 2008
    That's neither here nor there
    I wish you a full and speedy recovery, RnR. I am glad you lived to write about it... and I hope you are able to improve your standard of living in retirement at the expense of the idiot in the cage.
  6. soul_adventurer

    soul_adventurer grin and bear it

    May 27, 2011
    north queensland, australia
    R&R you are indeed a very fortunate man. an open book pelvic fracture can actually lead to death, and quite quickly in some circumstances.

    with the dissection of pelvic vessels due to trauma, the patient/victim bleeds to death. i am a remote area nurse and these types of fractures are seen in vehicle roll overs etc.

    no matter how many times ive treated victims of motor bike accidents, i still shudder when i read the list of injuries you sustained.

    take the time to give yourself time to heal! and all the best to you.

  7. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    May 7, 2008
    Washington, DC
    hang in there, glad it was not worse
  8. ozmoses

    ozmoses ...

    Jul 3, 2009
    I'm sorry you have to post here.

    Once you're healed maybe consider something safe-like skydiving!:evil

    **My whole post didn't...post.

    There is a recent thread here somewhere by an inmate mentioning how he almost took out a rider; I posted a similar account earlier this Spring. Lame as it sounds, in my case at least, I feel the riders lane position behind an oncoming truck really did result in me " not seeing him. "

    Given that I was stopped and actively looking, it really shook me- What/who else had I not seen?

    I'm not saying this was the situation for you.
  9. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

    Mar 1, 2009
    Alameda for now
    I am grateful that you are writing this to remind us of the importance of all the gear.

    I truly hope your recovery goes better than expected!

    Take care and stay positive.
  10. duck

    duck Banned

    Mar 19, 2004
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    Wow. Sounds like you're lucky to still be with us.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  11. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

    Aug 7, 2008
    Butterfield Canyon, UT
    Bad hand dealt there but, actually surviving that is a good play with a bad set of cards. What road? Bike pics? Curious to see how much damage to the bike...if in one piece.
    Best wishes on crapping. BTDT but nowhere near as bad as you.
  12. PDXLoki

    PDXLoki Not Dirty. Yet.

    Jul 13, 2013
    The Wet Coast
    I was once in the same position and found the #1 formula from this website can cut through concrete when nothing else can. Also, I took it for several months without any permanent damage, which some people claim laxatives can do. That said, I did once ignore the directions and took it between meals and that was anything but bearable. So, if you can't currently eat, it wouldn't be a good option.


    Sorry about your accident and I wish you a speedy and complete recovery!

    No, I'm not a spammer, nor do I represent the product I just posted. For whatever reason, this just happened to be the first thread I clicked on after joining.
  13. Woodenveins

    Woodenveins Adventure Rider

    May 5, 2013
    Planet Earth
    Retired-N- Roamin - Sorry to hear of your unfortunate accident. Your post will make some of us think when we prepare for a ride in the future. ATGATT
  14. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Jun 8, 2008
    NW GA
    Re. the ATGATT/heat issue, I find my Olympia mesh cooler than jeans.
  15. Retired-N-Roamin

    Retired-N-Roamin Retired and Roamin

    Nov 26, 2012
    NorCal - for a while longer... Then?
    Thanks all for your well-wishes.

    Yes, poop is a BIG deal! Prune juice, stool softeners and laxatives are the routine.

    Over the next weeks I'll try to find alternatives to the pain meds that cause the constipation - something that works for me. YMMV and all that.

    Yes, lane position is important - but if you are the lead dog of several vehicles - then... is it so important to be to the left or the right track of the lane? I'm sure there are proponents of both tracks and there are valid reasons to be in one or the other track.

    Each riding situation is unique. What is best for this particular situation may not be the best for another - and et cetera.

    Well, no use crying over spilt milk. What has happened has happened and the focus is recovery for the next few months.

    As to the bike - insurance has it in the impound and my son cannot get in for pictures or to retrieve the various things that were in the cases. That will come in time. But I am assured that the crunch is total.

  16. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

    Mar 26, 2007
    Pacific NW
    So glad you're on the mend. That's a bad crash.
    And among our worst fears.....
  17. Robert_W

    Robert_W Blah blah blah.

    Aug 30, 2012
    NW Montana
    Oh man...hurts to read. Get well soon.

    You said next bike will have more light up front. Did I miss what you had on this one? Was it just the stock lamp or were you running Aux stuff too?
  18. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Nov 15, 2007
    I had a broken pelvis once. Wait until you poop with no pain meds. Feels like you are giving birth anally.

    The body is amazing and it will heal itself up. Be good to it!
  19. Retired-N-Roamin

    Retired-N-Roamin Retired and Roamin

    Nov 26, 2012
    NorCal - for a while longer... Then?
    I had bought the bike in early December. After getting it 'customized' for ergonomic comfort, I put about 3000 miles on it in January and February. Being Retired-N-Roamin I left for an extended trip to Europe in March.

    I had just returned from that trip to Europe. The bike was fetched from storage and cleaned up. On the to-do real soon list was getting the bright blue light triangle purchased and installed. A day late and a dollar short it seems. :(:

    That sad story told, I've posted on several different MC forums about my experience last year at the close of Sturgis and seeing thousands of bikes from a head-on perspective.

    Granted most were Harley's, but (IMO) the observations are still valid.

    • White helmets are the most visible at distance. Other colors - even so-called hi-viz orange and yellow - blend in to the landscape and do not standout. Black or dark shades of other colors are the worst.

    • Yellow and orange bike colors are most visible at a distance from the rear. White and other light color shades are better than dark shades or black.

    • Bright white or bright blue headlights are most visible at a distance.

    • Modulators running on 'normal incandescent' bulbs are noticeable but do not scream 'look at me'.

    • The most visible combination of front lights was bright blue dual headlights (~8-12" separation) with a modulator running and with a bright blue light low on each side of the forks, creating the bright triangle of light I have mentioned before.

    The above combination was visible at 2+ mile distances as I met the on-coming bikes leaving Sturgis.

    Every other light combination was inferior. I want to emphasize this point.

    Every other light combination was inferior.

    So... I was prepared to create that bright blue triangle - but fate intervened this time. Next time, I won't delay because of cold weather makes it uncomfortable to work on the bike.

  20. russbryant

    russbryant Long timer

    Dec 12, 2003
    Tucson, AZ

    Brought back vivid memories of me flying through the air about 2 1/2 years ago. My own personal idiot was a normal left turner, not a u-turner. I went about 35 ft doing a slow roll and landed on my left shoulder and elbow. Destroyed both. Also 7 ribs, scapula, and wrist. Of all, the wrist gives me the most problems today so I hope you broke any bone other than the scaphoid in your wrist. When my PT guy heard about it he said that it takes the longest to heal. We didn't even know it was broke for a few weeks.

    I was on an Airhead GSPD and now have another Airhead GS so am very interested in what lights you are thinking of getting. I'm looking for the brightest thing I can get and am going to aim it directly into oncoming traffic so the idiots can see me coming.